Becoming a Destination. #5: 2011
If yours is a “snatch and go” kind of library, where customers run in, check the new books shelf, and run out, it’s tough to build customer loyalty. We know that the longer a customer stays in the library, the more likely they are to support us.
If yours is a “destination library,” like the mighty New York Public Library Main Branch where folks (and the Labradoodle in the photo below) go to spend time, you have a definite advantage. A destination library equals loyalty. Loyalty translates into customer support. Customer support means a better budget. A better budget begets more resources. More resources allow for a better customer experience. It’s a simple chain reaction.
During this past week, I have been asking myself how I would grow a library from a pit stop to a destination. Here are my thoughts so far:
• The library’s hours of operation should be scheduled for the convenience of the customers, not the convenience of the staff.
• Clean and inviting spaces encourage return visits.
• Changing displays and interactive activities promote the library habit.
• Communal and quiet seating areas allow for different experiences.
• Appropriate and plentiful lighting, with maximum seating near windows, is crucial.
• Green plants humanize the environment.
• Signage and rules should be as limited as possible. (I know this is tough for us.)
• Membership has its privileges, so pay attention to your customers. Welcome them into the library; serve them coffee on occasion. Repeatedly thank patrons for using the library, for asking questions, or for attending a program. People return to where they are wanted and welcomed!
How do you make your library a destination? I’m not “lion” when I say that it’s all about excellent customer service. (Sorry, I just had to make at least one lion reference!)
Have a roaring good week!
email@example.com #5 March 2011