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Customer Service Delivery Challenges for the Future

Customer Service Delivery Challenges for the Future



A presentation delivered at the end of year forum for UniLibraries SA.

A presentation delivered at the end of year forum for UniLibraries SA.



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  • So what does customer service have to do with government?
  • The 2012 State Library Customer Survey was conducted from April to July. The Survey’s primary purpose was to gauge customer usage patterns, preferences, reflections and desires in relation to the Library’s collection, resources and services.
  • The FutureDigital community engagement - customers participate in creating the products – eg Family History experts within the community provide skills, tips, tricks for our other customers in an online environmentProactive service – service that’s provided before people even ask for assistance. Making sure that our online environment, (website, library guides) is designed in such a fashion that its easy to work out how to find information, conduct research, etcPersonal connection - Staffing the information desk doesn't have to be a passive activity. Making an effort to connect with our patrons encourages them to develop a relationship with us that should increase the likelihood that they will use our services and materials (Fry, 2009).
  • The State Library of South Australia is committed to ensuring that our customers can access, use and enjoy our collections and services. We want to provide friendly, helpful and professional service every time you make contact with us. We also want to make our collections, information and services accessible to South Australians, whether using the Library in person, by phone or online.Now, we need to have guidelines on how to interact with customers in all the social media platforms that we manage. Our social media strategy, policies and guidelines include points on staff behavior, customer response times and even the fact that if we follow you online, that we don’t necessarily
  • Issuesthat arise from moving into a digital customer service delivery model:How do you keep your staff members skills up to date with all the different tools that are used to interact with customers? As more and more customer service interactions occur through online services, how does this affect the numbers of people who come in through the doors? It becomes harder to know who your customers are. You can't see them, they're using your resources online but all you know about them is that they're a statistic on your spreadsheet. Often reporting is only required to stakeholders on through the door stats. The library is working hard to change this.Senior management wants a return on investment, but when social media tools come and go, it can be hard to document.  
  • When you consider the why of your services (what you believe and what drives your message), then you can better position your library to ensure customer loyalty. Give your customers a reason to be proud of you and they will recommend you to their friends and help you build up your patron base (Zabel & Pellack, 2012). Staffing an online customer service point doesn't have to be a passive activity, social media doesn’t have to be broadcast only. Making an effort to connect with our online patrons encourages them to develop a relationship with us that should increase the likelihood that they will use our services and materials (Fry, 2009).  
  • How can SLSA survive and flourish in the digital age? (in the wild!)Ensure our existence is well represented in places where the customer digitally “is” – our home page, Google etc. a search through these channels should bring the customer to us – or aspects of our service or collection. Ensure the unique nature of what we have and what we do is highlighted – a repository of all South Australiana, the value add through Ask Us, the distinct family history and copy centre services we provide, the attractiveness of the building itself etc.We should encourage online interaction with defined groups of users – family historians, pc users, South Australian Historians etc. and push our information out to them depending on their wants and needs.We should remind customers of the added value we provide over a simple Google search.We should highlight the research quality provided by our online subscriptions which are freely available.Ensure we adapt to customers changing needs though the use of feedback and continuous improvement mechanisms.Always strive to remain relevant to all customers – in person or online.Combine through the door with online stats to give a true indication of all customer touches.   

Customer Service Delivery Challenges for the Future Customer Service Delivery Challenges for the Future Presentation Transcript

  • Customer Service Delivery Challenges for the Future 23 November 2012 Tony May Manager, Access and Information Services
  • “The delivery of great customer service is of paramount importance fororganisations of any size or sector” Monk, 2011, p. 22
  • What is Customer Service?Customer service can be defined a series of activities that are designed toenhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that aproduct or service has met customer expectation. Turban, 2002
  • Customer Service and the GovernmentDespite not seeking to turn a profit, most government agencies are prettysimilar to business organisations in structure, bureaucracy and generalday-today operations.Customers are increasingly becoming more aware of how governmentservices are funded and these customers increasingly expect the samelevels of service and treatment from government agencies that theyreceive from businesses. Monk, 2011
  • Who are our customers?2012 Customer Survey conducted from April to July223 responses receivedRoughly equal numbers of women and men use the LibraryAge of Library users spread evenly between 15 – 74 years of age, with aslight majority falling in the 45 – 54 year old age group
  • Gender Distribution70605040 Female Male302010 0 2002 (%) 2004 (%) 2012 (%)
  • Age201816141210 8 6 4 2 0 0 – 14 15 – 24 25 – 34 35 – 44 45 – 54 55 – 64 65 – 74 75+
  • Education Level2520 Postgraduate Degree Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate15 Bachelor Degree or Degree with honours Advanced Diploma or Diploma Certificate level10 Secondary education Primary education None 5 0 Response Percent
  • The FutureMaintaining qualitytraditional customerserviceDelivering good qualitydigital customer service
  • The FutureDigital community engagement, aka customer co-creationProactive servicePersonal connection
  • Traditional DigitalFace to face or 1- 1 One to many or collaborativeEasy to quantify and measure Harder to measureCaptive audience Widely dispersed audienceFeedback received by organisation Feedback can be given in an open forumStaff and resource intensive Highly efficient, small team can reach a large audienceServices available during open 24 hours a day, 7 days a weekhours only, the library is a placeLinks the customer directly to the Distances the customer from thecollection physical library and collectionCan be slow to change Difficult for long term staff to come to terms with its implications and reachFew direct competitors Online competitors are innumerableEasy to market through traditional Can be difficult to gain awarenessmeans
  • Changing modes of customer serviceThe emergence of social media communities require you to track a newset of customer service metrics. Chung, 2012What does this mean for your traditional Service Level Agreement?
  • Customer Service at the State Library Changes in customer service delivery mechanisms have highlighted the need for a revised Customer Service Charter. • Provide friendly, helpful and professional service • Make our collections, information and services accessible • In person, by phone or online. State Library of South Australia, 2009
  • Changes in information• Quantity and Availability• Indexes as large as the Library of Congress created everyday • 24 hours of video loaded on YouTube every minute • Average of 144 million tweets per day • 50 million tweets per day one year ago• Speed of information • Within minutes, your tweet is indexed and searchable in Google • What used to require effort is at your fingertips • Crowdsourcing• Connection is instantaneous Bertot, 2012
  • Digital customer serviceOnline customer service becomes an advertisement. Interactions thatoccur on Facebook pages and via twitter are visible for all to see. The reason why we use social media is to find people who “like” the library and give them a way to express it. We aim to use platforms such as Facebook and twitter to nurture that bond and move them from like to love. We also want to enable them to share this experience and help bring others into this relationship. Mathews, 2011
  • Culture ChangeOnline customer service is about knowing who your customers are,knowing what they want. Customer service is about your staff knowingnot what it is that you do, but why you do what you do. Sinek, 2009
  • In the wildBe well represented in places where thecustomer digitally “is”Ensure the unique nature of what we haveand what we do is highlightedEncourage online interaction with definedgroups of usersRemind customers of the added value weprovide over a simple Google searchHighlight the research quality provided byour online subscriptions which are freelyavailableAdapt to customers changing needs thoughthe use of feedback and continuousimprovement mechanismsStrive to remain relevant to all customersCombine through the door with online statsto give a true indication of all customertouches
  • ReferencesBertot, John Carlo. (2012). Public libraries: current trends and future perspectives. Retrieved 21 November, 2012, fromhttp://terpconnect.umd.edu/~jbertot/Presentations/MACL_MLABertot10May2012.pdfChung, Duke. (2012). How to maintain traditional customer service in the social media age. Retrieved 15November, 2012, from http://mashable.com/2012/03/02/how-to-maintain-traditional-customer-service-in-the-social-media-age/Dawson, Ross. (2011). 9 trends that will drive the future of customer service. Retrieved 14 November, 2012, fromhttp://ipscape.com.au/2012/11/9-trends-that-will-drive-the-future-of-customer-service/Fry, Amy. (2009). Lessons of Good Customer Service. Library Journal, 134(14), 33-34.Mathews, Brian. (2011). Why does my library use social media? Retrieved 13 November, 2012, fromhttp://chronicle.com/blognetwork/theubiquitouslibrarian/2011/07/06/why-does-my-library-use-social-media/Monk, Peter. (2011). Management: Prioritising customer. Government News, 31(4), 22-23.Sinek, Simon. (2009). How great leaders inspire action. Retrieved 13 November, 2012, fromhttp://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.htmlSolis, Brian. (2012). Business not making the pivot from lip service to social customer service [infographic]. Retrieved 15November, 2012, from http://www.briansolis.com/2012/10/businesses-are-not-making-the-pivot-from-lip-service-to-customer-service/State Library of South Australia. (2009). Customer Service Charter. Retrieved 12 November, 2012, fromhttp://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=404Turban, Efraim. (2002). Electronic commerce: a managerial perspective (International ed.). London: Prentice HallInternational.
  • Presented by: Tony MayPrepared by: Tony May & Katie HannanAccess and Information Services State Library of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000 Phone: (08) 8207 7250 - www.slsa.sa.gov.au