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1 When a Complaint is a Gift user Conference on Library Management in the 21 st Century Escaler Hall Ateneo de Manila University 29-30 March 2004 Annabelle.

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Presentation on theme: "1 When a Complaint is a Gift user Conference on Library Management in the 21 st Century Escaler Hall Ateneo de Manila University 29-30 March 2004 Annabelle."— Presentation transcript:

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

2 2 Overview Introduction –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 3 Library Quality Traditional library measures –Quantification –Emphasis on size: budget, staff, collection, facilities –Number of users, workload indicators, amount of library use user Disadvantage: Do not indicate how well libraries serve library users or how libraries might change or improve their service

4 4 Service Quality Service ethic –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 5 Service Quality Commercial environment Focus on the customer –Emphasis on Customer first –Customer expectations, perceptions, needs, demands Customer sole judge of quality The customer is always right user

6 6 Service Quality Library environment 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 7 Service Quality 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 user Library environment

8 8 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 9 Feedback What is Feedback? –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 10 Feedback in Library Service Determinants of feedback in library service How much? How many? How economical? How prompt? How accurate? user How responsive? How well? How valuable? How reliable? How satisfied? (Hernon, 2001)

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

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

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

14 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 – user

15 15

16 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 17 What is a Complaint? Negative meaning –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 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 19 Establishing Complaint-Friendly Policies Complaint and Compliment system –Availability of forms –Problem report forms for staff use –Analysis to identify patterns –Action plan –Publicizing results & initiatives Establishing policy statement –Procedures for handling complaints

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

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

22 22 References user Barlow, Janelle and Claus Moller. A Complaint is a Gift: Using Customer Feedback as a Strategic Tool. San Francisco: Berrett Koehler, 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.

23 23 References user 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):9-11 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):

24 24 References user Weingand, Darlene E. Customer Service Excellence: A Concise Guide for Librarians. Chicago : ALA, 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.

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