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Great customer service starts with a clear understanding of the customers you're going to serve. Most libraries have some experience with questionnaires and surveys, but there are more—and often more effective—tools available for identifying library customer needs and preferences.

In this course you will learn how to apply proven market research techniques—such as customer visits, focus groups, interviews, surveys, and experimentation—in a library setting. Knowing when, where, and how to check on market conditions and trends can help you win your users' hearts and minds, focus your resources in tough times, and deliver library services that are both responsive and highly valued.

Workshop Description: This all-day workshop will employ class discussion, individual and group exercises, and presentation to introduce you to a full range of market research techniques that will help you gather high quality, strongly predictive customer information for library service planning and public relations. The instructor will provide sample questions, cheat sheets, and checklists of market research do's and don'ts, along with plenty of practical tips that you can apply immediately in your own market research efforts.

Preliminary Course Outline:

  • Introduction
    • What is market research and what can it tell you?
    • Market research objectives
  • Third Party Research
  • Customer Visits
    • Ad hoc vs. planned visits
    • Asking effective questions
  • Focus Groups
  • Experimentation
  • Surveys
  • Managing Market Research Activities
    • Choosing the right technique for your needs
    • When to hire a professional

Workshop Instructor: Joan Frye Williams