Seeing ourselves as others see us

We are really passionate about making sure our resources, services and expertise are well used, so we like to look out for ways of making sure they are as accessible as possible.

 An article related to this in one of our professional journals caught our imagination recently (1).  It was about Customer Journey Mapping (CJM) – so in our case, looking at ‘the Library experience’ entirely through the eyes of our customers.  Now, it mentioned library staff impersonating readers, so I thought this opened up all sorts of dressing up and fun (for a serious purpose, of course!) but some of the others weren’t so keen…..

These are some of the journeys we are looking at:

• Asking for help finding articles for some research
• Requesting a literature search
• Arranging training
• Finding books on a particular topic

As an example of how we are getting on, Pat went through the process of self issuing a book overnight (we sometimes get some odd information on the forms we leave out).  She realised that when you put a book down on the table to fill out the form, you may well cover up the information sheet telling you how to do it.  The simple remedy was to stand the sheet up so that it was easily viewed!

However, it’s also particularly useful if real customers will walk through different aspects of the service, looking at our processes and presentation to see if there are obstacles to using our services and resources.  Once we are aware of them we can try to remedy.

If you would like to help, do contact us (dressing up optional!).  If you would like to read a bit more about CJM, the Cabinet Office has produced some information: Customer Journey Mapping
(1) Gavillet E. Short cuts to satisfied customers. Library and Information Gazette 2010; 2-15 September: 11.

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