lecture presented at the Lecture-Forum sponsored by the Ninoy Aquino Library and Learning Resource Center of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (Sta. Mesa, Manila, 26 April 2011), by Fe Angela M. Verzosa
Delivering service quality and satisfying library customers in a changing environment
Delivering service quality andsatisfying Library customers in achanging environment By Fe Angela M. Verzosa Ninoy Aquino Library and Learning Resource Center Polytechnic University of the Philippines Sta. Mesa, Manila, 26 April 2011
Challenges in the changing environment• focus on accountability -increasing demand for libraries to demonstrate outcomes/impacts in areas of importance to institution• emphasis on assessment of student performance• financial pressures - increasing pressure to maximize use of resources• expectation for rapid document delivery• user education in new technologies• migration to online full-text sources• greater need for staff training• need for Best Practices
Changes in library services• Online access to librarycatalogues, databases andthe Internet•Online/offline access todigital resources• Database searching• Electronic reference• Online circulation service• Information literacyprogram• Public relations services• Library promotion andmarketing• Epublishing
•What is library service quality?•Is service quality synonymous to satisfaction?•How can Libraries as a service provider improve service quality?•What are the dimensions of service quality?•What is the difference between Libqual+ and the original Ten Determinants of Service Quality?•How can Libraries deliver quality service and satisfy customers in a changing information environment?
Service Quality “Libraries are in the service business. The most important product they have is service. Without service, libraries are indistinguishable from museums or … they are a combination of a maze and morgue for books. Service is a pervasive ethic of the profession of librarianship.” (Gorman, 1999)
In the user-centered library, quality serviceand user satisfaction are our primary goals …
service quality and satisfaction are not synonymous concepts •Both service quality and satisfaction can be an end in themselves •Each may be examined as a framework for evaluating library services from a customers perspective
service quality and satisfaction are not synonymous concepts Service quality is an evaluation of specific attributes, probes into precise statements on which the library seeks customer input.Satisfaction focuses on a specific transaction or, inthe case of overall satisfaction, it is a cumulativejudgment based on collective encounters, ofemotional reactions to an experience or collection ofexperiences.
What is service quality?• Service quality focuses on the needs and expectations of customers to improve products and/or services.• Service quality measures the gap between the customer’s level of expectation (from minimal to desired, to perceived) and how well they rated the service(s).• Measuring service quality in libraries can be both a specific project as well as a continuous process to enhance and improve services.
Why measure service quality?• to identify where services need improvement from users point of view• to provide services that are more closely aligned with the expectations of your users• to compare our service quality with other institutions in an effort to develop benchmarks or best practices
Service Quality• Demands understanding, appreciating and responding to user perceptions• Commits to continuous evaluation and improve- ment• Learns from good and bad services outside the library• Acknowledges the interdependence of content, technology, facilities and (human) service• Requires a staff knowledgeable of content, savvy with technology, and committed to listening to and valuing user input• Encourages advice and suggestions for service innovation
What to measure?• decide if you want to measure a specific aspect of your library and information service (e.g. the provision of information literacy program) or the service as a whole?• If the whole service, decide all needed indicators from each aspect of the service: e.g. inter-library loans, literature searching, inquiry handling, library orientation, etc.
How to measure service quality? Qualitative Methods: interviews, focus groups, observation Quantitative Methods: surveys (questionnaires, customer comments cards), statistics (routine data collection) Standard tools: – SERVQUAL – LibQUAL+ (an adaptation from SERVQUAL, specially for use in library and information services) – ISO Standards – Local Library Standards
Servqual dimensions • Tangibles: appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel, and communication materials/resources • Reliability: ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately • Responsiveness: willingness to help customers and provide prompt service • Assurance: knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust and confidence • Empathy: the caring, individualized attention given to the customers
Libqual+ metrics• Service Affect – Human dimension of service quality (empathy, responsiveness, and assurance)• Library as a Place – Library as center of intellectual activity; physical facilities; location; space use• Personal Control – Interaction with modern library; digital personalization and navigation; web presence• Information Access – Ease of access; comprehensive collections; relevant and timely information; content http://www.libqual.org/home
Libqual+ metrics LibraryAffect of Service Service Personal Control Quality Empathy Ease of Navigation Responsiveness Convenience Assurance M odern Equipment ReliabilityInformation Access Library as Place Content/Scope Utilitarian space Timeliness Symbol Convenience Refuge
Original Ten Dimensions forEvaluating Library Service Quality… • There are ten general determinants of service quality that can be applied to most types of service. • These are general criteria that can be used to assess the quality of service customers expect and receive.
Determinants of Service Quality 1. Access - the ease and convenience of accessing the service(s) 2. Communication - keeping your users informed; listening to your users 3. Competence - having the skills and knowledge to provide the service(s) 4. Courtesy - politeness, respect, consideration, and friendliness of staff at all levels 5. Credibility - trustworthiness, reputation and image
Determinants of Service Quality 6. Reliability - providing consistent, accurate and dependable service(s); delivering the service as promised 7. Responsiveness - being willing and ready to provide service(s) when needed 8. Security - physical safety; financial security; confidentiality 9. Understanding the customer - knowing individual customer needs 10. Tangibles - the physical aspects of the service such as equipment, facilities, resources
Access - the ease and convenience of accessing the service(s)• convenient service hours• alternative methods to accessing services: e.g. telephone and internet/ email; “Ask the Librarian”• access to digital collections from PC or remote access• Instruction in use and/or training sessions, when needed• availability of required information / materials• timely document delivery service
Communication - keeping your users informed; listening to your users• visible and visually appealing signages associated with the service• comprehensive pamphlets/guides and flyers• clear suggestions and complaints procedures
Competence - having the skills and knowledge to provide the service(s)• all staff knowing their job (duties/functions)• Library staff with the knowledge to answer users questions• licensed professionals possessing required competencies and expertise• Up-to-date knowledge and skills
Courtesy - politeness, respect, consideration, and friendliness of staff at all levels• Library staff deal with users in a concerned or considerate fashion• Library staff show respect and courtesy at all times• Library staff are friendly and approachable
Credibility - trustworthiness, reputation and image• Library staff instill confidence in users• Library staff assure users of the accuracy and confidentiality of their personal information/data• Library staff keep users well-informed• Library staff keep their promises
Reliability - providing consistent, accurate and dependable service(s)• accuracy of information provided• performing services right the first time• keeping promises and deadlines• keeping users informed about when services will be performed• Dependability in handling users service problems
Responsiveness - being willing and ready toprovide service(s) when needed• Prompt service to users• Willingness to help users• Readiness to respond to users questions •Keeping users informed about when services will be performed •Resolving problems quickly
Security - physical safety; financial security; confidentiality• The Library is a safe place• The Library is well-secured• Library services are adequately funded• Library records/ personal data of users are kept with confidentiality
Understanding the customer - knowing individual customer needs• tailoring services where practical to meet individual needs• having the users best interests at heart• giving users individual attention• keeping users professional and personal preferences in mind
How to deliver service quality and satisfaction?• Understand customers’ service expectations and how well those expectations are being met• Work systematically to remove organizational barriers that lead to poor customer service• Recognize and capitalize on the increasing role of technology in serving customers, but …• Be cognizant of customers’ and staff’s readiness to embrace technology-based services• Continuously monitor customers’ and staff’s reactions to, and experiences with, library innovations 46
References/Further Readings• Hernon, Peter and Nitecki, Danuta A. (21 April 2011). Service Quality: A Concept Not Fully Explored. Library Trends. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1387/is_4_49/ai_77811351/• Kyrillidou, M. Heath, F.H. (2001). Measuring Service Quality. Library Trends: 49 (4): 541-799. http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?RQT=572&TS=1250603063&clientId= 109526&VType=PQD&VName=PQD&VInst=PROD&PMID=23866& PCID=1436580&SrtM=0&SrchMode=3&aid=1• Measuring Service Quality by M Kyrillidou - 2001 – powerpoint presentation http://www.google.com.ph/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CDAQF jAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Ffoliozmsq.pbworks.com%2Ff%2Fmeasuring .ppt&rct=j&q=library%20service%20quality%20ppt&ei=FhSgTfGhBsO DcNzofEB&usg=AFQjCNEH8tLMCO9Tl3xCOc1GjDcpHSQijQ&sig2 =ut9o9XQ2qOLIA8rujAwrnA&cad=rjt
References/Further Readings• Parasuraman, A. University of Miami. Library Assessment and Benchmarking Institute (LAB 2002). Monterey, CA. September 13, 2002 http://www.google.com.ph/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0C BUQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sla.org%2FPresentations%2Fsld c%2Fparsu_LAB2002pp.ppt&rct=j&q=Parasuraman%20Lab%202002&e i=JfGvTYbBBoyWvAOA9JSfBw&usg=AFQjCNFiiWyRvAZhXOFiSoF MlHi3n0AaOQ&sig2=W0_biZmQW4WUh3CU2QYI1g&cad=rjt• Bertot, John Carlo. Measuring Service Quality in the Networked Environment: Approaches and Considerations. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1387/is_4_49/ai_77811355/?tag=m antle_skin;content• Phipps, Shelley. Beyond Measuring Service Quality: Learning from the Voices of the Customers, the Staff, the Processes, and the Organization. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1387/is_4_49/ai_77811349/?tag =mantle_skin;content