Delighting Your Customers
by Dick Kaser
This issue of Computers in Libraries is devoted to discussing how to improve the experience your patrons, users, customers—whatever you call them—have when interacting with your library. As the cover of the magazine implies, let’s make them go, “Wow!”
For librarians at the Federal Communications Commission, it started when they seized an opportunity to run with the ball. Their new marketing strategy was kickstarted when they observed that the library was a PokéStop in the Pokémon GO interactive mobile game. As they report in this issue, the game’s motto “Gotta Catch ’Em All” soon became the library’s mantra in reaching out to library users. What’s the key to their success? Remaining flexible and grasping opportunities for user engagement.
Two other articles in this issue offer a more structured approach to making a user’s experience special. First, Jeff Wisniewski (University of Pittsburgh) and Darlene Fichter (University of Saskatchewan) share their knowledge of customer journey mapping, a technique for walking through and understanding the steps (and various channels) a customer may go through during an interaction with your library, noting friction points and fixing them.
Next, Brett Williams (Ontario Medical Association Library) starts with the user in order to determine what priority to give investments that your library makes in technology. He walks you through Wardley value chain assessments to help you understand how to see things from your users’ perspective and respond with systems that are intuitive for your users.
Finally, we hear from Matthew Goddard (California Baptist University Library) in a passionate essay reminding libraries and library vendors that aha moments are a hallmark of a patron’s experience. He encourages us to all work together to facilitate serendipity in library systems.
If, after reading this issue, you’re still looking for ways to delight your customers, join us at Internet Librarian (Monterey, Calif.) and Internet Librarian International (London) this month, where we will continue the conversation.
Dick Kaser, Executive Editor