NCompass Live: Customer Service Means Convenience


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Research shows that library users opt for convenience. Books nearer the door circulate more, and books from middle shelves circulate more than those from top or bottom shelves. Laura Johnson, Continuing Education Coordinator at the Nebraska Library Commission, will discuss how we can streamline the library user experience and offer services that speed up, remove uncertainty, and are present at point-of-need.
NCompass Live - April 10, 2013.

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  • Among those with a library nearby, 58% say they have visited the library recently. Among those who say there is not a library within two miles, 42% say they have visited the library.
  • One of the most inspiring ideas in librarianship is S. R. Ranganathan’s Five Laws of Library Science. The third law is”Every book, its reader.” This law, in Ranganathan’s words, "urge[s] that an appropriate reader should be found for every book.” Robert Shaw’s 1938 experiment with library shelving proved that library shelves do not allow all books equal chance to be seen by patrons. The graphs in this slide reveal the difference in circulation caused by differences in exposure to patrons. Books on lower shelves are harder to see and reach than books on upper shelves. Shelves further back in libraries are less likely to be browsed than shelves in the front of the library. Look at the circulation pattern of the shelves in the top graph. I have seen this exact same pattern on each section of a whole range of shelves weeded in Great Bend Public Library. The one exception from this pattern was the section with Danielle Steel books shelved on the lowest shelves. Weeding based on past circulation is a measure of circulation. If you see this pattern when you weed, then about 45% of the books you are weeding from the lowest shelves are being removed because they are shelved on the lower shelves, not because they are unwanted by patrons. At least 24% of the books you are removing from the back shelves is because they are on the back shelves and not because they are unwanted. Weeding books because of their location is unethical. Fortunately, there are two things you can do to correct this injustice. First, your book displays should be stocked with books from the lower shelves and the back of the library. Second, weeded books should be displayed before they are completely removed from the library.
  • in the first of three experiments shoppers were presented with jam at the grocery store. Some shoppers saw a display that included 6 different flavors; others encountered a display that offered 30. There was little difference in the taste testing behaviors of the shoppers at either table. However, thirty percent of those individuals who visited the table that offered only six choices actually purchased jam, while a mere three percent made purchases after visiting the table that offered 24 options.
  • Behavior is a more accurate indicator than disclosure
  • Predictability is how much the user can foresee the result of an interaction Control, Trust & Safety, ReliabilityEfficiency – degree to which customer effort is facilitatedConvenience-reducing physical or cognitive barriers to use flow- putting service into context near related services perception-meeting expectations, or lowering or changing control-empowering users to control their own experiencePersonality- “voice” or “style” authentic, consistent, Personal-build relationship. Recognition, customization. Don’t get over-personal
  • Easy to reachASKLocationParking stepsHours
  • Make it easy to identify and select the materials they want
  • 50%+ of displays checked out
  • Make it easy to obtain desired materialsILL
  • Books with Dewey numbers on the labels, but arranged in broad categories at the main branch of Newcastle Regional Library, Australia
  • Expedite check out & return
  • NCompass Live: Customer Service Means Convenience

    1. 1. Customer Service means Convenience
    2. 2. Five Laws of Library Science• Books are for use.• Books are for all; or, Every reader his book.• Every book its reader.• Save the time of the reader.• A library is a growing organism.
    3. 3. The Situation
    4. 4. Harris Says Americans ReadThree in ten (30%) Americans saytheir favorite activity is reading
    5. 5. 70% 2/3 didn’t checked know what they 95% out wanted beforevisited books they arrivedonce amonth 56% spent less than 10 Most minutes AV=1/3 ofvisited circulationalone 12% viewed signage The Customer- Focused Library
    6. 6.
    7. 7. “I wish there was like a Netflix forbooks. Like you can just orderwhatever you want, and thenwhen you’re done, you can justgive it back and take out anotherone.”
    8. 8. The Library brand is “Books.”
    9. 9. What is the first thing you think ofwhen you think of the library? 75% of Americans said “books”
    10. 10. Parents are working• 70% of children in • 65% of children families ages 0 -17 under 6 in families have either 2 have either 2 working parents, or working parents, or live in a single live in a single parents household parents household with a working with a working parent parent
    11. 11. Less Leisure TimeThe median number of leisure hoursavailable each week dropped 20% in 2008,from 20 hours in 2007, to an all-time lowof only 16 hours this year. This continues atrend which has seen America’s medianweekly leisure time shrink 10 hours - from26 hours per week in 1973.
    12. 12.
    13. 13. 58% 42%2 miles Use the Library Don’t Use
    14. 14. 58% 42% Don’t Use Use the LibraryLong walk
    15. 15. Principle of Least Effort
    16. 16. Principle of Least Effort [Zipfs Law]In information seeking:• Most convenient, least exacting method• Stop as soon as acceptable results achieved• Use tools that are most familiar, easiest to use
    17. 17. Shelves just inside the door circulate 24% more books than shelves 15 feet inside the door. Shaw, 1938(98) (74)
    18. 18. Books on middle shelves are checked out more often Top 18Row 2 29Row 3 18Row 4 28Row 5 16Row 6 13Bottom 5
    19. 19. Search Engine v Library 90% agree Search Engines “more convenient”
    20. 20. Choice
    21. 21. Jam Experiment
    22. 22. More Choice ≠More Satisfaction
    23. 23. Situation Analysis• Many people enjoy reading.• Not everyone thinks “library” when they think about reading, but people who do think about libraries think “books.”• But they are busy.• Their behavior indicates that they tend to go with the readily available and the easiest to access.• Too much choice is confusing and leads to lower satisfaction.
    24. 24. Affirming The Advocacy 7 Essentials of Personal Personality ConvenientCustomer-Centric Efficient Business Predictable
    25. 25. Aspects of Convenience• Actual Convenience - Reduction of physical effort and/or time required• Flow – Inclusion of related products and services – Logical structure• Perception – Set expectations, reduce uncertainty – Fill inactive time• Control
    26. 26. Convenient1. allowing you to do something easily or without trouble2. located in a place that is nearby and easy to get to3. giving you a reason to do something that you want to do
    27. 27. What will makethe library moreconvenient?
    28. 28. 4 Stages of Convenience Access Search Possession Transaction
    29. 29. 1. Access
    30. 30. What factors affect howeasy or difficult it is to travelto the library and enter it?
    31. 31. 2. Search
    32. 32. What factors affect howeasy or difficult it is toidentify and select desiredmaterials?
    33. 33. Signs, signs,everywheretheres signs Photos by Michael Sauers. Available on Flickr
    34. 34. Problematic Terms Acronyms Periodical & brand names * Serial* Database ‡ Reference * Library Catalog ‡ Resource * E-journals‡ Subject categories Index such as Humanities or Social Sciences Interlibrary Loan‡ Often Misunderstood * Often Not Understood
    35. 35. Kupersmith’s Best Practices1. Test2. Avoid - or use with caution - terms that users often misunderstand.3. Use natural language equivalents4. Enhance potentially confusing terms with additional words and/or graphics to provide a meaningful context.5. Provide glossaries of library terms6. Provide intermediate pages7. Provide alternative paths
    36. 36. Displays
    37. 37. 3. Possession
    38. 38. What factors make it easyor difficult to gainpossession of desiredmaterials?
    39. 39. 80/20 Rule (Pareto Principle)20% of your books areresponsible for 80% ofyour circulation
    40. 40. DDC Organization000 Generalities Odds and ends100 Philosophy & Psychology Man explaining himself200 Religion Man tries to explain the inexplicable300 Social Sciences Man looks at his community400 Language Man communicates with others500 Science & Math Man looks at the world and nature600 Technology Man uses/applies nature700 The Arts Man’s self-expression and interpretation800 Literature and Rhetoric900 Geography & History Man records his experience
    41. 41. 578.23 578.235 596.4 596.4 596.6D28i S93q T23b Y11a H67a
    42. 42. 4. Transaction
    43. 43. What factors make it easyor difficult to check out andreturn materials?
    44. 44. Circulation
    45. 45. Check Out Here
    46. 46. What is convenient to one segmentof the population may not beimportant to another. • Silent Generation • Boomers • Gen-X • Millennials
    47. 47. Information Seeking Behavior of Silent Generation (1922-1943)• Accustomed to top-down flow of info• Formal• Stable learning environment• Prefer materials organized and summarized –Ex: Reader’s Digest, DDC
    48. 48. Information Seeking Behavior of Boomers (1943-1960)• Formal Feedback• Interactive & Non-authoritarian• Easy to scan format – Ex: Business Week, USA Today, People
    49. 49. Information Seeking Behavior of Gen-X (1961-1980)• Independent, self-directed• Want frequent, immediate feedback• Learn by doing• Not attracted to classroom• Prefer fewer words, Visual – Ex: Fast Company, Wired, Chatroom dialogue
    50. 50. Information Seeking Behavior ofMillennials (Nexters) (1981-1999) • Cyberliterate • Media savvy • Mutitaskers • Teamwork • Readers • Lively & varied materials • Chat (IM) • Search (Google)
    51. 51. Things You Can Do Right Now1. Make staffers easy to identify2. Offer assistance3. Use lay language4. Display, display, display5. Declutter6. Weed7. Do not use bottom shelves8. Post your hours and address
    52. 52. The list of sources is available at: ceBibliography.pdf
    53. 53. Sources• ADA Guide for Small Businesses.• Circulation. “The Influence of sloping shelves on book circulation” by Ralph R. Shaw, The Library Quarterly, Vol. 8, No. 4, October 1938, pp. 480-490.• The Customer Focused Library. Metropolitan Library System and Envirosell. available on Web Junction at:• Four Stages. "Attention retailers! How convenient is your convenience strategy?." Seiders, Kathleen, Leonard L. Berry, and Larry G. Gresham. 2000. Sloan Management Review 41, no. 3: 79-89. OmniFile Full Text Select (H.W. Wilson), EBSCOhost (accessed October 15, 2012).• Information Searches That Solve Problems, by Lee Rainie, Leigh Estabrook, Evans Witt. Dec 30, 2007 Libraries/1-The-profile-of-public-library-users-is-similar-to-that-of-internet-users.aspx• Information Seeking. “Information seeking behavior and the generations.” Eileen Abels. tee/an07infoseekgen.pdf.• Leisure Time. Harris Poll 2008, Leisure-2008-12.pdf• Library Brand. Perceptions of libraries, 2010. OCLC.• Like Netflix. Anonymous teen quoted by Nate Bolt in his 2009 Urban Libraries Council Webinar, “The Future of Library User Experience” at:• Parents are working. 2011 U.S. Census, American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates. pe=table• Principle of least effort: Wikipedia. .• Problematic Terms & Best Practices. “Library Terms That Users Understand,” Internet Librarian 2005. John Kupersmith, University of California, Berkeley,• Search engine v Library. Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources, 2005. OCLC,• “7 Essentials of Customer-Centric Business.” Different. UX Magazine.• “When Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing?” Sheena S. Iyengar & Mark R. Lepper. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2000, Vol. 79, No. 6, 995-1006.
    54. 54. Photos• Boy using the library catalog. San Jose Library, available at:• Display. Kraemer Family Library.• Library stacks. OZinOH , available at• OPAC sign. Enokson, available at:• Signs. All by Michael Sauers, from his Library Signage Set, available at: 20616/with/224087761/.• All under Creative Commons License