On a + note


What keeps our customers up at night? #43: 2012

Posted in on a + note by flickfancy on December 3, 2012

One of the keys to connecting with customers is knowing what keeps them up at night. This requires library staff to truly understand their customers on a personnel level, what they do, how they spend their time, their core values and beliefs… essentially what makes them tick!

If we look at our library programs, services, and collections from the customers’ angle, our responses are likely very different than if we look at them through an institutional lens. Our service cannot be all about what is easiest for the staff. In fact, it isn’t even about us; it is all about the customer. The real question is “how can we provide better, more relevant library service in real time?”  We need to create an ongoing, two-way dialogue that resonates with them and informs us in our decisions and leadership.

Of course, how do we do that as a public library? Start your next book club meeting by asking folks:

►How would you describe yourself?  What fills your day?
►Why are you at the library or on our website? What are you looking for?

And, my personal favorite question:

►What keeps you up at night?

This question invariably leads into a discussion of “how can the public library solve your problems?” which is the question of relevancy we are all trying to answer.

At the Guelph Public Library, this recent discussion led to our 2013 theme, “GPL saves you time.” Our customers told us directly and through the website that saving time was a huge priority for them. For example, they want to save time when navigating the website and looking for answers. They want to save time when looking for a book, checking out a DVD, reserving a bestseller, or paying a fine. In 2013, we will be looking at all these issues and putting into place different ways to save our customers time. Why? So they can concentrate of the things that really matter to them… like reading!

Kitty Pope                                                                                            #43 December 2012

kpope@library.guelph.on.ca

 

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One Response to 'What keeps our customers up at night? #43: 2012'

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  1. Cindy Larsen said,

    Dr. Pope,

    You are so right. It is all about finding out what the customer wants and needs and how we can help them achieve that. It is about true service, not just paying lip service to the idea of the customer coming first. Actually asking them what they want is a great idea. So is listening to each one of them, including the children and the young adults. We can learn a lot from our customers. I learn so much from your posts, as I did in your marketing class. Thanks 🙂
    CJ
    “To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” Douglas Adams


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