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When a Complaint is a Gift

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Presentation on theme: "When a Complaint is a Gift"— Presentation transcript:

1 When a Complaint is a Gift
Annabelle P. Acedera Xavier University user When a Complaint is a Gift Conference on Library Management in the 21st Century Escaler Hall Ateneo de Manila University March 2004

2 Overview Introduction user Feedback “A complaint is a gift”
Library quality Service quality Service ethic Feedback What is feedback? Feedback in library service User feedback Methods of gathering user feedback “A complaint is a gift” user

3 Library Quality user Traditional library measures Quantification
Emphasis on size: budget, staff, collection, facilities Number of users, workload indicators, amount of library use Disadvantage: Do not indicate how well libraries serve library users or how libraries might change or improve their service

4 Service Quality Service ethic user Know best what users need
Historical and traditional foundation of librarianship Desire to be helpful and provide good service “Service was what we were and what we did” (Gorman, 1999) Know best what users need user

5 Service Quality Commercial environment Focus on the customer user
Emphasis on “Customer first” Customer expectations, perceptions, needs, demands Customer sole judge of quality “The customer is always right” user

6 Service Quality Library environment user
“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) user

7 Service Quality Library environment user Focus on the library user
“People come first” Identifying what the library wants and expects Library users are the reason for having a library Library users may not always be right but they have a right to express their opinion

8 We need to acknowledge that care of the user is a priority
We need to acknowledge that care of the user is a priority. Second, we have to turn that acknowledgement into action. We have to not only talk the talk, but walk the talk. In the user-centered library, quality service and user satisfaction are goals shared by all staff … (Wilson, 1996) How can we satisfy the needs of our library users?

9 Feedback What is Feedback? user Feedback in library service
Customer opinion sought & evaluated Response to services or functions Feedback in library service From the perspective of the library From the perspective of the library user user

10 Feedback in Library Service Determinants of feedback in library service
user How much? How many? How economical? How prompt? How accurate? How responsive? How well? How valuable? How reliable? How satisfied? (Hernon, 2001)

11 How…?s from User Perspective
Feedback in Library Service Components of the “How…? Questions? From Library and User Perspective user Library How much? How many? How economical? How prompt? How accurate? Users How responsive? How well? How valuable? How reliable? How satisfied? How…?s from User Perspective

12 User Feedback Categories user Formal & Informal
The Q words: Quality & Quantity Direct & Indirect Proactive & Reactive Actively & Passively solicited Solicited & Unsolicited

13 Gathering User Feedback: Methods
Surveys Questionnaires Telephone Mail Web based Interviews On-site interviews Focus groups

14 Gathering User Feedback: Methods
Unobtrusive data Using existing data: circulation statistics, performance reports Direct observation Actually see what users do and not what people say Suggestion boxes, comment cards E-feedback Telephone


16 Why Focus on Complaints?
Paradigm shift Primary means of direct communication with user Complaining users are still library users Put yourself in the shoes of the library user Inexpensive user

17 What is a Complaint? Negative meaning user Positive aspect
Dictionary definitions Pain, annoyance, illness, accusation, moan and groan, give someone a hard time, find fault “Bad reputation” Positive aspect View as a challenge Statement about needs and expectations Opportunity to improve user

18 Complaints as Gifts Complaint-as-gift philosophy
Positive benefits of complaints Strategic tool Teaches value of listening Turning Complaints into Compliments Be receptive to negative comments and handling personal criticism Understand why users complain Develop and maintain a positive & professional attitude Communicate back to complaining library users user

19 Establishing Complaint-Friendly Policies
Establishing policy statement Procedures for handling complaints Complaint and Compliment system Availability of forms Problem report forms for staff use Analysis to identify patterns Action plan Publicizing results & initiatives

20 “Treat every complaint as ‘a gift’ that should be cherished because a dissatisfied customer spends time pinpointing what’s wrong and gives us a chance to improve…” Barlow & Moller, 1996

21 Time for Action – ABCDs of User Feedback
Ask Believe Communicate Do something Satisfied Customer THANK YOU

22 References Barlow, Janelle and Claus Moller. A Complaint is a Gift: Using Customer Feedback as a Strategic Tool. San Francisco: Berrett Koehler, 1996. “Editorial: Service Quality in Libraries and Treating Users as Customers and Non-users as Lost or Never-Gained Customers.” Journal of Academic Librarianship v. 3 issue 3(May 1996): Gorman, Michael. “Avoiding the Seven Deadly Sins or technology and the Future of Library Service in Academic Libraries.” In People Come First, edited by Dale s. Montanelli & Patricia F. Stenstrom, p Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 1999. user

23 References Hernon,Peter and Danuta A. Nitecki. “Service Quality: A Concept not Fully Explored.” Library Trends v. 49 issue 4(Spring 2001): Kyrillidou, Martha and Kaylyn Hipps. “Symposium on Measuring Library Service Quality.” ARL Bimonthly Report 215 (April 2001): April (March 3, 2004) Phipps, Shelley. “Beyond Measuring Service Quality: Learning From the Voices of the Customers, the Staff, the Processes, and the Organization.” Library Trends, vol. 49 issue 4(Spring 2001): Quinn, Brian. “Adapting Service Quality Concepts to Academic Libraries,” Journal of Academic Librarianship (September 1997): user

24 References Weingand, Darlene E. Customer Service Excellence: A Concise Guide for Librarians. Chicago : ALA, 1997. Wilson, Lizabeth A. “Glacier or Avalanche? Shifts in the Electronic, Education, and Library Landscape.” In LOEX of the West: Teaching and Learning in a “Climate of Change, edited by Thomas W. Leonhardt, p. 9. Greenwich, Conn.: JAI Press, 1996. user

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