Monday, March 03, 2008

6 Keys to a Satisfied Reference Customer Experience

Okay, I'm not going to sound like a 2 AM infomercial specialist on creating satisfied customers. However, the latest issue of Reference User Services Quarterly has a fascinating article on virtual reference key traits that are more likely to generate satisfied users of reference services. The study was based on formal application of RUSA and IFLA service standards... The formal title, and link to the full text of the of the article is "Effects of Librarians' Behavioral Performance on User Satisfaction in Chat Reference Services."

The following are bullet points pulled directly from the article. "Chat reference services were perceived to be more satistifying to the patrons when librarians:

* used patron's name during the reference interview;
* communicated more receptively and listened more carefully;
* search with or for the patron;
* provided pointers;
* asked the patron whether the question was completely answered; and
* asked the patron to come back if they needed further assistance."

If you want to predict how likely a user is going to feel satisfied by service received what follows are some statisically measured and tested behaviors straight from the article that for patrons are good indicators of higher level of satisfcation based primarly on the "RUSA Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Services Providers" of a higher level of satisfied user.

* answered? - asking patrons if their questions had been completely answered
* offering pointers - for example offering pointers, detailed search paths, URL's and names of resources to find the answer;
* come back - encouraging patrons to return if they have further questions;
* searching - searching with or for patrons by explaining search strategies and sequences and reformulating search strategies;
* listening - receptive and cordial listening.