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CRM and its usefulness in demonstrating quality in academic libraries: a partnership approach. Dr Judith Broady-Preston Department of Information Studies, University of Wales, Aberystwyth (DIS,UWA), SY23 3AS, UK, email: jbp@aber.ac.uk

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crm and its usefulness in demonstrating quality in academic libraries a partnership approach

CRM and its usefulness in demonstrating quality in academic libraries: a partnership approach

Dr Judith Broady-Preston

Department of Information Studies, University of Wales, Aberystwyth (DIS,UWA), SY23 3AS, UK, email: jbp@aber.ac.uk

Presentation to the 7th Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services, 13-16 August 2007, Spier Conference Centre, South Africa

outline
Outline
  • Background
  • Definition of terms
    • Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM), Relationship Marketing (RM) and e-CRM
  • Methodology
    • Pilot studies – UK and Malta
    • Major project
  • Pilot studies – Results
  • Partnership and collaboration
    • Pros and cons
    • Update on progress
research background drivers
Research background: drivers
  • Competition: alternative information providers (“Googlisation”)
    • “…there’s the whole Internet out there…Brilliant for my sort of work. Researching articles, going through newspapers for references. The amount you can just download. University libraries hardly get used these days” (Professor Laurence Hawker in Brett, S. Murder in the Museum 2003)
    • “…it is easy for an academic library to become complacent because it has no natural information competitors on campus to stimulate the business instincts to market within an institutional structure” (Dodsworth, 1998)
research background drivers4
Research background: drivers
  • Future role of librarians – increased marginalisation?
    • University of Wales, Bangor, and SOAS
    • “as a result of the explosion of information accessible via the Internet, coupled with the increasing sophistication of our users with regard to information-seeking behaviour, our future role must be in stressing value-added service in the delivery of information and one which…addresses customer need directly” (Broady-Preston and Preston, 1999)
why crm
Why CRM?
  • Requirement to “address customer need directly” in competitive environment
    • “as colleges increasingly embrace distance learning and e-business, CRM will become stronger and more pervasive. Viewing students as customers provides a competitive advantage for higher education and enhances a college’s ability to attract, retain and serve its customers” (Seeman and O’Hara, 2006)
  • Range of models exists – why CRM?
    • Need to develop better understanding of “how value is created for customers” (Gronroos, 2007)
why crm6
Why CRM?
  • NB – focus on service quality from customer perspective
  • Significant role of customer in creating value as value co-producer (prosumer)
  • Wang et al - “ [whilst] there is a significant body of knowledge about the concept of customer value and its relationships with service quality and customer satisfaction, there has been little empirical research on the subject. Only a few studies have focused on how superior customer value is constituted in the perspective of customers” (2004)
rm crm and e crm definitions distinctions convergence and problems
RM, CRM and e-CRM: definitions, distinctions, convergence and problems
  • RM and CRM = not new concepts
    • “businesses…have managed relationships with their customers for centuries” (Fletcher, 2001)
  • Synonyms?
    • RM
      • “ is based on a notion of trusting cooperation with known customers” (Besant and Sharp, 2000)
      • “views stakeholders as potential active partners who are capable of contributing, if reciprocal value is offered, to the effectiveness of the firm’s market purpose, i.e the competitive satisfaction of customers through the development and provision of superior customer value” ( Tzokas and Saren, 2004)
rm crm and e crm definitions distinctions convergence and problems8
RM, CRM and e-CRM: definitions, distinctions, convergence and problems
  • CRM
    • “a generic term to describe processes that…seek to join up a company's customer-focused information systems and to track dealings with individual customers throughout the relationship life cycle…to meet individual customers’ needs more effectively and efficiently” (Palmer, 2005)
  • e-CRM - a misnomer?
    • “CRM traditionally focused on the electronic or “e” delivery of information per se. However, increasingly the terms are differentiated, with there being a growing body of work evaluating the systems used to integrate customer information…and exploring the use of websites in the creation of customer relationships” (Broady-Preston and Felice, 2006)
rm crm and e crm definitions distinctions convergence and problems9
RM, CRM and e-CRM: definitions, distinctions, convergence and problems
  • Convergence?
    • RM and KM – both “recognise the value to be created through appropriate synergies of technology, people and process” (Rowley,2004 based on Tzokas and Saren, 2004)
  • Problems?
    • customers may not wish for a relationship at all (see Palmer, 2005)
    • If a relationship sought – is long-term desirable?
      • best offers/technology/public sector – no choice
    • repeat purchases/visits may result from lack of alternatives or convenience
    • online vs offline – impact on loyalty and “residue” from past relationships
methodology pilot studies
Methodology : Pilot studies
  • Cross - case comparison studies employing use of Focus groups
  • Why?
    • to explore
      • suitability of methodology adopted
      • extent of transferability, especially across national boundaries
      • any similarities/differences in findings to illuminate larger scale research project
    • NB – “use of multiple-case applications…develops the empirical evidence to support and sharpen the theory” (Yin, 1994)
methodology pilot studies11
Methodology : Pilot studies
  • Focus groups allow
    • interaction amongst participants
    • individuals to discuss and expand upon their experiences
    • ascertaining needs of target groups , especially those sharing workplace or occupation (see Walters, 2004)
  • Why?
    • “strong in extracting active and spontaneous opinions due to mutual interaction among the participants and the less pressure [sic] on the interviewees’ part” (Satoh et al, 2005)
methodology large scale project
Methodology: Large-scale project

Scope

  • UK
  • Partnership – academics and university librarians
  • SCONUL volunteers – NB need to implement change if necessary
  • Employs action research methodology
action research why
Action research – why?

“as change is intended to result, effective action research depends upon the agreement and commitment of those affected by it. This is usually generated by involving them directly in the research process. In many instances…as equal partners” (Dick, 2000)

action research definitions
Action research: definitions

Rapoport’s 1970 definition:

“Action research aims to contribute both to the practical concerns of people in an immediate problematic situation and to the goals of social science by joint collaboration within a mutually acceptable ethical framework” (Rapoport, R.N. (1970) “Three dilemmas of action research”, Human Relations, 23, 499-513)

Townsend’s 2000 version:

“ A fancy term for a really great way for teachers to demonstrate their commitment to lifelong learning, satisfy their curiosity, collaborate with colleagues, inspire their students and document their successes” (Townsend, D. (2000) Action Research. http://www.uleth.ca/edu/research/arnia/pdf/Action Research Revised.pdf )

action research
Action research
  • Action research is
    • participative – clients are involved as partners in the research process – nb not ‘lab rats’
    • qualitative
    • cyclic – nb academic cycles
    • reflective – requires critical reflection on processes and outcomes each cycle
    • responsive – needs to be able to respond to emerging needs of the situation (also flexible)
    • emergent – gradual process – early cycles help inform later cycles – test and refine interpretations – nb links to learning
action research16
Action research
  • works in natural language – aids understanding and communication – crucial in large projects
  • critical reflection for each cycle reinforces shared understanding and lends rigour
  • capable of encompassing wide variety of research methods – viz
    • Critical action research ( Carr and Kemmis, 1986)
    • Soft systems methodology (Checkland, 1981)
    • Qualitative evaluation/naturalistic inquiry (Lincoln and Guba, 1989)
  • used extensively in educational research – nb links to information literacy research – Parma study (see Vezzosi, 2006)
pilot studies summary of results
Pilot studies: Summary of results
  • Two cases = differing aims and scope
  • Results:
    • establishment of communities of practice - library staff playing active role in formation and management (Malta)
    • active participation in research centres and groups (UK)
    • information literacy sessions offered for academics
    • extensive training for library staff to undertake new roles
    • increase in usage statistics and positive user evaluations
    • Improved relationships and development of academic-library collaborations
action research partnership and collaboration
Action research partnership and collaboration
  • Pros
    • addresses contemporary professional concerns
    • encourages ‘reflective practitioner’
    • provides CPD opportunities for staff
    • generates robust theory grounded in practice
  • Cons
    • time-consuming
      • change
      • results
      • practical issues – project management and development
      • sample is self-selecting
where are we now
Where are we now?
  • Not as far forward as hoped!
  • Plans
    • convene Steering Group
    • finalise full partnership
    • acquire seedcorn funding for methodology training
    • acquire funding to roll out partnership project
  • Obstacle = TIME!!
finally
Finally…
  • Thank-you for listening.
  • Welcome comments, questions, suggestions.
  • For further information email: jbp@aber.ac.uk