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Wednesday 12 September 2007

Summary session: Engaging our customers

Vicki Darling & Sue Fargher

Vicki Referred to Ian Brooks; also mentioned Opinionmeter as useful tool. [I'll have more to say about this when I'm back too!]

Sue Vye suggested with all the knowledge we have sometimes we can be seen as intimidating. More references to Ian Brooks - had been feeling smug until he said "Lots of you will be thinking 'but I'm already doing that' - but you're not."

Talking in groups and then sharing what got out of conference.

  • Ian Brooks - customers with conflicting demands but didn't address the issue
  • Ian Brooks - managers making decisions in office - need to come to frontline and see what things are really like
  • how to find out what customers want - two did focus groups with teens but problems of volunteers who are those who come to library anyway. Tools don't always work.
  • making ourselves available to customers, listening to what they're saying. We do much telling of what we know; need to listen more. Paula Ryan pointed out that "one size fits all" actually fits no-one
  • Open Polytech library librarian and customer in same group - fast and easy - book ordered in pm delivered next morning. Different things work in different libraries.
  • listening to customers - spend much money on research but gets put in drawer because think current process is working. Customers want to know when books coming overdue and library has consistently ignored it. So don't just listen - act!
  • accessibility - first impressions count (both from Ian Brooks and Paula Ryan). Making systems and services accessible.
  • phone problems - [...I got lost in what was being said here, but something about thinking laterally in how to serve customers]

Listen. Reflect. Act.