In these tough financial times, many libraries are suffering from drastic cutbacks to funding and reduced resources. Even so, some libraries have succeeded in gaining community support for their facilities. How is this possible? By listening carefully to customers and using the evidence effectively.
A thorough explanation of how a voice-of-the-customer program for libraries can give customers the opportunity to make their opinions known, enabling libraries to develop services that meet or exceed their patrons' changing expectations.
A modern library is much like a business in that it must provide a set of products and services to meet the changing needs and expectations of its customers in order to succeed and survive. With libraries now focusing more on their "customers," Listening to the Customer is a critical resource that provides effective strategies for gathering information from the client perspective in order to meet library patrons' expectations and specific information needs.
The voice-of-the-customer program described by Hernon and Matthews involves not only listening to customers, but also maintaining an ongoing dialogue with them. The book addresses different types of customers, assorted methods for gathering evidence, data reporting to stakeholders, and relevant metrics for libraries to report. The authors also devote a chapter to regaining lost customers and discuss leadership techniques and preparation steps to meet an uncertain future. Completely unique in its methodological focus, this book is one of very few titles to address the importance of library customer service in the 21st century.
• Ten sidebars highlight specific libraries and what they are doing
• Numerous illustrative figures clarify key points
• An extensive bibliography compiles works related to customer service and implementing a voice-of-the-customer program
• Documents the importance of listening to customers, demonstrates how to gather feedback, and explains how to apply the findings
• Showcases a range of methods for gathering evidence from customers and defines key concepts
• Covers the use of social networks and other Internet-enabled methods to gauge what a library's customers are saying, and describes how to analyze these comments
• Shares the authors' extensive knowledge of customer service and the evaluation and measurement of library services