July 21, 2011 - 1:21pm — lauralee
Connecting with the people who walk in the door of the library is the most important thing library staff can do. Whether it's the virtual door of a website or social media page or the physical door of the library building, customer satisfaction is the number one way that a library is judged.
Happy patrons become some of our best advocates when the library needs help. Unhappy patrons become apathetic towards the library, or worse, detractors.
The best way to make patrons happy is to enhance your customer service. Studies have found that for many patrons it doesn't matter whether you find exactly what they were looking for - their final satisfaction lies in how they feel about their experience in the library.
One of the most popular services patrons access in the library is help finding their next great read. This service (called Readers' Advisory in the library world) is essentially matching readers to books. To do this library staff need knowledge of the books available as well as the ability to determine the patron's reading interests.
Patrons don't just base their perception of the library on visits to your building. Your library's virtual presence is equally inportant. Social Media is an excellent way to connect to patrons where they already are online and to find your way into the lives of community members that don't come into your library. If your library uses these methods it is important to use social media properly. Like good customer service, the opinion of your patrons can be swayed by the ease of use and currency of your online information.