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Service Improvement Task Group – CSGUK

Rachel L Nelligan22 September 2015

Since the Customer Service Group UK’s inception in 2012, as part of the M25 Consortium, the group has been made up of four task groups as well as the steering committee – Quality in Customer Service, Benchmarking, Service Improvement and Communication and Events. I’ve been part of the Service Improvements Task Group since the beginning, and our initial tasks were to look into how Mystery Shopping can identify weaknesses and measure improvements in customer service, and to facilitate information sharing around split vs. focussed roles of Library Assistants. In December 2013 we held an event through CPD25 on split vs. focussed roles through the CPD25 group, but our work on mystery shopping had remained an outstanding task.

Since CSGUK went national, the Service Improvement task group has reformed with new members from around the UK, and a new Chair, Helen Loughran from Leeds Beckett University. Friday 18th September saw our first meeting with our new members at the University of Leicester.

Our tasks for the day were to review our terms of reference and sign off on the work of the previous incarnation of the group on mystery shopping. We started with a rather intense discussion about what our role is within the context of the other task groups, and particular look at how our work is different to that of the Quality in Customer Service group. We started thinking about what we mean by service improvement, and identified a gap between analysing what a library does to find weaknesses and areas for improvement and what a library does to assess the impact of those improvements. Carrying out surveys, customer journey mapping, and other similar feedback tools can be used at both the beginning and end of a process of service improvements, but how does a library approach the actual “doing” of the service improvement? How are service improvement projects managed? Gathering case studies and creating a framework for approaching service improvements, we feel, would be a useful set of resources for library staff across the UK to be able to access. Helen Loughran will be taking these recommendations to the Steering Group next week.

Our work on mystery shopping began a few years ago when we gathered some examples of MS exercises from some of the M25 Consortium libraries. We identified a number of ways of tackling MS (which we decided to rename “Mystery Visiting” in the context of libraries): useful hints and tips, example questions and possible pitfalls. These are now going to be written up and placed on the CSGUK website in the near future.

The day wouldn’t have been complete without a tour of our hosting library. The University of Leicester’s David Wilson Library is a 1970’s building that has recently been sympathetically refurbished, scaling back on the print resources to provide more computer terminals and group study spaces, as well as a very swish looking postgraduate room. As usual when I visit these large campus libraries I get space envy – they even have “trolley rooms” on each floor, so that bays of trolleys aren’t visible to their users! What luxury! I also loved their very simple, white on black signage.

You can view the current work of the CSGUK on the website: http://www.customerservicesgroup.co.uk/

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