Four Reasons Online Customer Service Matters to Libraries
A library’s power lies in the information it houses. Getting that information to patrons is the number one task of any librarian. We are lucky to live in an age where a library can extend its influence well beyond its walls, reaching patrons anywhere, anytime. A strong online presence lets patrons know that they have access to their library—and professional assistance—wherever they may be. What can strong online customer service do for your library?
1. Eliminate boundaries.
Customer service doesn’t begin and end at the door. Let your patrons know that they can get the answers they need, even if the questions arise far from the circulation desk! Online customer service allows patrons to be helped quickly and efficiently.
2. Strengthen your community.
Building a stronger rapport with patrons empowers everyone. Increasing the availability of your library’s services makes it an even bigger part of the community at large. A library that is valued by the community is more likely to thrive and grow.
3. Give technology a personal touch.
Information technology provides a wealth of data. However, it does not replace the value of having a human to help retrieve the most accurate results. Librarians have a unique skill set that can make the difference when looking for reliable answers to important questions. Patrons will make better, more frequent use of library resources if they know they can get help when they need it!
4. Expand your services.
Strong online customer service generates a win-win situation. Libraries have books, of course. But, having a bigger presence online can help patrons take advantage of other services they may not have otherwise accessed. These include the online catalog and interlibrary loan, online periodical databases, educational programs, and more. Personalized help with these services will guarantee stronger use of library services, which, in turn, will foster stronger ties between library and community.
About the author: Lizabeth C.S. Bell has worked as a librarian, and has a great appreciation for the power of information. She has degrees in English literature and library science. Currently, Lizabeth is a freelance editor and writer. Follow her on Twitter @LizBell9