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"In matters of principle, stand like a rock in matters of taste, swim with the current' The unwaveri

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Title: "In matters of principle, stand like a rock in matters of taste, swim with the current' The unwaveri


1
"In matters of principle, stand like a rock in
matters of taste, swim with the current.
The unwavering principle of public libraries
is to offer information and civic space freely to
help people become good citizens, reach their
goals, or pursue their interests. But the
techniques we use to guarantee that this
principle lives on will have to change to match
the predispositions of this new generation.
Thomas Jefferson
2
Customer Service in a Self-Check World
Summer-Fall 2007
  • Instructor Cheryl Gould
  • gouldc_at_infopeople.org

3
Overview
  • New customer expectations
  • OCLC perceptions of libraries report
  • Support self-sufficient users
  • What we learn from Envirosell
  • Technology and customer service
  • What can you change now?

4
All Customers
  • Want to feel welcomed and respected
  • Want to be successful
  • Want what they want when they want it

5
People These Days Are
  • Time-challenged
  • On information overload
  • Always learning
  • Have expectations of 24/7 service
  • Suffer from compassion fatigue
  • Format agnostic

6
Whos Your Customer?
  • More ends of the spectrum
  • tech-savvy users
  • low-literacy users
  • Older adults
  • Spanish speakers
  • Those who need access to government
  • Those new to your area
  • 16.7 of population move each year

7
You Only Get One Chance to Make a Good First
Impression!
  • 8 seconds for first impression
  • 4 minutes to decide if they like you
  • 15 minutes to confirm or deny their decision

8
The New Customer
  • Self-directed
  • navigates independently
  • wants to do straightforward tasks without
    assistance
  • Want help
  • at the point of need
  • with complex tasks
  • Culturally-linguistically-generationally diverse
  • Expect convenience
  • Tech-savvy customers expect
  • to have Internet options
  • to get recommendations from peers
  • to participate

9
Solutions to Meet Needs of New Customer
Expectations
  • Empower users to self serve
  • Prepare before people come in
  • Teach
  • Merchandise
  • Use your website

10
OCLC Perceptions of Libraries
  • www.oclc.org/reports/2005perceptions.htm
  • 3,300 responses from information consumers in US,
    Australia, Canada, India, Singapore, and UK
  • Figure out what the libraries brand is in the
    eyes of civilians

11
Libraries Are Valued
  • 75 have library privileges
  • 55 use public libraries several times a year or
    more
  • Adult use of libraries slight decline last few
    years
  • expect slight adult increase in the next few
    years
  • Increased usage by 14- to 24-year-olds
  • 40 of college students use public library
    regularly

12
People Prefer to Try On Their Own
  • All users combined
  • 65 never ask for help at the library
  • 35 ask for help at the library
  • Those who do ask value the librarian
  • 76 who seek help go to the reference desk
  • 77 who get help believe librarians add value to
    the research process

13
Where Do They Go for Info?
  • Most trusted source of info for people is a
    trusted friend or colleague
  • Search engines are preferred sources of
    information
  • The library never ranks higher then fifth in
    surveys of where to go for info

14
What Do We Learn From OCLC Report?
  • 65 of library users borrow books
  • Reference desk not most important
  • People unaware of electronic resources
  • 58 not aware of online databases
  • 33 dont know about library website
  • Find ways to get material to people
  • People prefer to self-serve

15
The Library Brand
  • 70 say books
  • Its not the librarian
  • Free choice learning
  • No one else does this well, we need to own it
  • A place to participate with the community
  • Friendly and competent service

16
Service Can Be One of the Libraries Competitive
Advantages
  • Americans say that the way they are treated by
    business and customer service employees is
    frequently exasperating, and sometimes even
    insulting. Too many workers, they complain, are
    careless, apathetic, and unhelpful. Almost half
    of those surveyed say that they have walked out
    of a business specifically because of bad
    service, and the number is even higher among
    affluent Americans.
  • from Publicagenda.org website

17
Accentuate the Positive?
  • Donation vs Fine
  • Extended use vs overdue
  • Express check
  • Others?
  • No cell phones
  • Out of Order
  • Closed
  • No food or drink
  • Quiet Please
  • Children only
  • Please do not reshelve

18
Creating Self-Sufficient Customers
  • Set up the physical environment
  • Teach for future visits
  • Use your website

19
Prepare to Serve
  • Observe current behavior
  • Set up the environment so basic questions are
    answered
  • signage, architecture
  • pathways with rugs, location of shelves, color
  • self-serve options identified
  • most used product/service easy to find
  • Make routine transactions independent
  • Cross train staff

20
Routine Transactions
  • Self-checkout
  • must be located near help
  • there is some evidence that controversial topics
    circulate more with self-check
  • Self-return
  • get immediate receipt for return
  • get more items faster
  • Place and pick-up holds
  • Self-service library card registration
  • user keys in info for new library card
  • at one Contra Costa branch 70 of library cards
    at new library issued this way

21
Success of Self-check Depends on
  • Staffing
  • New, flexible roles for ref and circ staff
  • Location of machines and available staff
  • Training

Self-check works when its clearly the best
option for the customer.
22
Self-Serve Gives Staff Time to
  • Greet
  • Merchandise
  • Reshelve books
  • Help new or confused users
  • Spend more time on individual solutions

Makes your work more interesting and less
repetitive!
23
Empower for Future Needs
  • Do not magically find and give an answer
  • Offer to help them learn
  • Tell them about other resources
  • dont overwhelm
  • Teach them to search the catalog
  • Promote remote access via website

24
Teach, Not Do
  • Share your expert strategy
  • Explain what youre doing
  • Let them see what youre doing
  • Let them drive
  • No jargon

25
What Complicated Services Do You Offer That
People Commonly Ask For Help With?
  • Search your catalog for books on CD
  • Downloadable audio
  • E-books
  • Find and use a popular database
  • What is Readers Advisory and how to get it
  • Better results with Google
  • How to print from the web with YOUR print
    management system

26
What Do You Do to Make New Users Comfortable?
  • New user pamphlet
  • Audio tour downloadable to IPOD
  • for physical building
  • for website
  • Map of library
  • Color code signs or parts of library
  • New user scavenger hunt

27
What Role Can Technology and your Website Play in
Customer Service?
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Remote reference
  • RSS feeds
  • Catalogs with
  • book images
  • tagging
  • public recommendations

28
Offer Wireless Internet Access
  • Saves the library money dont need as many PCs
  • Shouldnt require a login
  • Know where and how it works
  • Want to attract this audience

29
Remote Reference
  • Instant messaging
  • stay-at-home moms are biggest growth area
  • Email reference
  • Text messaging
  • Chat

30
Use RSS Feeds for Instant Notification
  • New books
  • News at the library
  • New content in subscription databases
  • New podcasts or vidcasts
  • www.hclibrary.org/services/rss.php for good FAQ
    and list of feeds

31
Self Serve via Your Website
  • Remote access to customer account
  • Remote access to databases
  • Ability to search the catalog and place holds
  • E-books
  • E-card that you can apply for online that allows
    access to e-resources
  • Email notices of books due soon or reserves
    available
  • www.libraryelf.com/Demo.aspx
  • Readers Advisory

32
  • Each generation of library users has changed the
    library in one way or another
  • 50 years ago, there were no romance novels in the
    library
  • 20 years ago, there were no movies in the library
  • 10 years ago, there was no email in the library
  • The Millennials have contributed gaming
  • Jenny Levine

33
  • Patron 2.0 is not just a content consumer but is
    a content creator

34
Use Web 2.0 to Serve Customers
  • Create recommender services
  • like Amazon or Netflix
  • staff to public
  • public to public
  • use blogs and wikis
  • Be on myspace,flickr, youtube, and wikipedia
  • Podcasts
  • Audio book reviews, library tour
  • Vidcast
  • Storytime, author visits

35
Examples of Good Customer Service via a Library
Website
  • www.queenslibrary.org/
  • Aquabrowser
  • User centric tabs
  • Personalize with My Queens Library
  • Multiple languages available from top left
  • Moving image
  • Lots of graphics/photos
  • Events
  • Books
  • Queens Library Recommends and Most Popular

36
Examples of Library Websites Using 2.0
  • www.aadl.org/catalog
  • Tagging
  • Customer reviews
  • Blogs w/option to comment
  • Rss feeds
  • Fines payment history
  • Patron-initiated ILL

37
Offering New Services
  • Technology needs to
  • be easy to use
  • be reliable
  • have consistent procedures
  • Staff needs to
  • be trained to use the technology
  • have time to use it
  • be able to train the public

38
Pierce County Institutes Self-Check
  • Five remodeled branches
  • Average circulation is about 70 ExpressCheck
  • Customer surveys show a 90 approval rating of
    the new service model
  • Staff have fewer health-related problems caused
    by repetitive tasks
  • At any given time, one to two additional staff
    people are available on the floor
  • www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6400918.html

39
New Roles for Staff
  • Empower users to self-serve
  • you can do it, we can help
  • Cross train staff to answer routine questions
  • common catalog questions
  • directional questions
  • Keep learning
  • participate in blogs/wikis
  • All staff teach

40
The Science of Shopping
  • The decompression zone
  • People go right
  • Signs
  • Product placement

41
The Decompression Zone
  • When you enter the building
  • Change in light
  • Moving quickly
  • No decisions for 10-15 feet
  • Im on a mission, wait until Im finished

42
People Tend to Look and Go to the Right
  • Use space accordingly
  • customer service
  • important information
  • welcoming first impression

43
Signs
  • Before you place a sign ask what will shoppers
    be doing here?
  • moving fast?
  • waiting?
  • browsing?
  • Use consistency, color, and placement
  • Each zone is right for one kind of message and
    wrong for another
  • type size and design relate to audience

44
Product Placement
  • Merchandise for intended audience
  • shelf height
  • what is their eye level?
  • what is their reach?
  • do they need better lighting?
  • are they likely to ask for help ?
  • Space to move around
  • If people stop, will it create a traffic jam?
  • Use adjacencies

45
What Do We Mean By Merchandise?
  • Face out
  • Make stuff people want easy to get
  • popular parts of collection
  • parts of collection not known but related to
    local community or current event or time of year
  • Use book trucks
  • leave out the returns on book trucks?
  • Moveable collections
  • Staff picks
  • Rotate for time of day

Like a physical pathfinder or a form of
pro-active readers advisory
46
The Science of Shopping Teaches Us
  • Change the Decompression Zone
  • Make connections between spaces
  • use adjacency, color, signs
  • Make each zone serve its customer
  • Use places where people stop
  • promote services on bathroom wall or where people
    wait
  • Add pushcarts or baskets
  • Change windows regularly

47
Envirosell/San Jose/Hayward PL
  • Research objectives
  • to explore dynamics of visitor behavior
  • to measure visitor actions at touch points
  • to generate information on how urban public
    libraries in California can better serve and
    educate their visitors, thereby creating a more
    satisfying library visit

48
Envirosell at San jose and Hayward
  • 3 libraries studied 2 weekdays each
  • 350 hours of videotape
  • 269 patrons tracked and timed
  • 240 patrons were talked to as they exited the
    library

49
About Library Visitors
  • 70 were frequent visitors
  • more then once a week)
  • 37 stayed for 21-30 minutes
  • People visited 3 sections of the library
  • Avg of items checked out was 5
  • Slightly more books than other media
  • 15 noticed signs
  • directional, collateral and book covers viewed
    most
  • 15 were assisted by staff
  • avg of 344 minutes
  • satisfaction with assistance was exceptionally
    high!

50
Top Level Conclusions
  • The needs of library patrons are evolving.
  • Internet usage, media browsing, customers prefer
    to navigate independently for less complex tasks
  • Socializing in groups, especially at computers
  • Libraries are local.
  • Highlight community members achievements
  • Tie programming into this effort
  • Future library designs should take ethnicity
    into account, rather than age or gender.
  • Different shopping interests emerged among
    ethnic groups, demonstrating that services and
    fixtures can not be uniform, even across
    libraries in a single region.
  • Hispanic visitors need help using the libraries.
  • Teach these visitors how to use the library.
  • Encourage outgoing behaviors among librarians
    and library staff.

51
Enivorosell Recommends
  • Encourage library staff and librarians to
    proactively approach patrons.
  • Try to get staff out from behind desks.
  • Encourage librarians to be more inquisitive with
    patrons about their needs.
  • Offer new users an informal introduction to the
    library or formal tours.
  • After ensuring that basic needs of newer users
    are met, teach these patrons, especially
    Hispanics, about what other services are offered
    by the library.
  • Services that are familiar to long-time library
    users might not be known to new users.
  • Create suggested Reading Lists with excerpts or
    brief descriptions of each book
  • Provide copies of all services in multiple
    languages
  • A take-home manual or welcome booklet in multiple
    languages might alleviate confusion or assist
    patrons who are reluctant to ask for help while
    in the library. This could be something sent out
    in the mail to community members as a way of
    promoting the libraries.

52
New Customer Service Models
  • Oxnard dispatched reference
  • come out from the back as needed
  • Contra Costa
  • peer libraries (instead of main and branches)
  • Sacramento and Contra Costa
  • single service desk (merge circ and ref)
  • Livermore roving staff
  • San Jose Public - zone staffing

53
What.No Reference Desk?
  • Librarians can spend more time on professional
    level activities
  • Selection
  • Design displays
  • Programming
  • Outreach
  • Readers advisory
  • Yorba Linda Goodreads program

54
Single Service Point
  • Located to see as much as possible of library
  • Desk is always staffed
  • usually with a librarian and a non-librarian
  • Staff are cross trained
  • librarian help with checkout, library cards
  • other staff can answer catalog questions
  • staff can leave desk to help customers
  • Use voice communication technology to access
    other staff (Vocera)

55
Roving staff
  • Many more customer interactions
  • Train how to approach customers
  • respect privacy
  • know when to help, when to refer
  • Must be easily identified
  • Need to be in communication
  • pager, full voice, text message, headsets, radio,
    phones
  • Not all hours
  • Must write guidelines and train rovers

56
Roving at Livermore PL
  • All of their information service staff rove
    (library assistants, librarians, etc.)
  • All of their rovers wear a branded apron, making
    them easily identifiable to the public
  • The aprons pockets contain papers, writing
    implements, and phones
  • They found that roving any more than two hours
    was very difficult and hard on staff

57
What Can Roving Staff Do?
  • Offer assistance to those who appear to need help
  • Straighten up
  • Shelve misc items
  • Do displays
  • Restock flyers
  • Shelf-read
  • Pull paging lists
  • Shelve holds
  • Help with self-check
  • Weed

58
Zone Staffing
  • Assign staff to cover a section of the library
    during a particular hour instead of a desk.
  • The type and number of staff assigned are
    appropriate to the types of questions that might
    be asked there and to the time of day and number
    of people in the library
  • a librarian in the adult stacks section
  • a clerical person near the checkout machines
  • The zones often overlap at the single service
    point
  • all staff often end up there with a customer
  • People aren't assigned to cover the service point
    (ie sit at the desk and wait for customers)

59
The Library Experience
  • Think of the library as a destination that offers
    an experience
  • Library as third place
  • Not home, not work
  • Place to learn and connect with others
  • Feel a part of the community
  • Create sense of place in different parts of the
    library that appeal to the right clientele

60
Create the Experience
  • Friendly, cross-trained staff
  • Comfortable furniture
  • Positive signs
  • Simplify wayfinding
  • Community place
  • games, contests, social events and activities
  • Tech-friendly
  • Free wireless
  • Enough computers
  • Not locked down!

61
Hot Picks Project at Oakland Public Library
  • Created new area with inviting furniture
  • Books, magazines, and DVDs
  • 7-day circ with no holds, no renewals
  • Limit of 4 DVDs and 4 books/magazines
  • Increased circulation
  • Drew new customers
  • Items in collection no more than four months

62
Staff Discussions Know Your Purpose/Values
  • How important is it to help the public on the
    Internet?
  • How can you find time to learn new technology?
  • Is it more important to help someone immediately
    or spend time creating a tool to help many?

63
Redefine Customer Servicefrom San Jose
  • Put yourself in their shoes
  • not reactive or proactive but interactive
  • Attitude is everything - customer is not an
    interruption
  • Everyone teaches
  • Everyone serves youth
  • need to understand youth and teen behavior
  • Flexible the customer doesnt know your
    roles!!!
  • need to be cross trained
  • role is defined by the needs of the work, not by
    a job description
  • "Don't get angry, get interested!" - you can't
    be angry and curious at the same time
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