Savannah’s Targeted Messaging Feature Gives Multnomah County Library a 90% Increase in Survey Responses

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Imagine increasing the responses to your annual customer survey by more than 90% in just one year.  That is exactly what happened at Multnomah County Library when they used Savannah’s targeted messaging feature to distribute the annual customer survey that provides the library with important demographic data and customer input that informs the library’s budgeting and services decisions.

“By utilizing Savannah, the survey just pops up directly in a customer’s inbox,” commented Jeremy Graybill, Multnomah County Library System’s Marketing and Online Engagement Director.

The library has been using the survey since 1986, making it available to customers on paper at branches and on the library’s website. The library relied on on-site advertising and social media to encourage patron participation. In 2018, the library saw a response rate of about 10% among their almost 200,000 cardholders.

This year, the team at Multnomah decided to employ Savannah’s targeted messaging to directly engage customers. The survey message had an open rate of 40%, and within a week the library had received responses from over 22,000 customers—a stark difference from the previous year’s total of 2,000 completed surveys. In addition to the increased number of completed surveys, the library also saw a ten-fold increase in the number of open-ended customer comments—increasing from 855 to 9,000!

Graybill believes that targeted messages were successful because cardholders “want to respond to requests from their library” and having the survey sent to them in a direct appeal is an easy and effective way for customers to do that.

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Using the data from the survey allows Multnomah to formulate its budget, improve services and expand the library’s collection with the customer’s voice in mind. 

For now, though, Multnomah is celebrating their survey results with 93% of responding customers finding something of interest every time they visit the library, 94% think of their library as a safe and welcoming place, and 98% of Multnomah County Library customers are satisfied with their library services.

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Data Results in a New, Innovative Library for the Anne Arundel County Public Library

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The Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL) faces the same challenges as public libraries across the country – aging facilities that need costly renovations.  How is the library going to renovate these facilities while continuing to provide the same level access to their customers?

This is issue that plagued library staff in early 2018, when their largest branch, Annapolis, was scheduled to be closed for an 18-month renovation project.  The designated temporary branch was significantly smaller and would not have the same accessibility as the old location.  The library staff quickly became concerned that they would not be able to adequately serve their regular branch customers. 

Around the same time, a connection with staff at the Westfield Annapolis Mall presented a new opportunity- a library at the mall! Retail space is ideal for a library branch.   It requires minimal build-out and is conveniently located on bus routes.  Customers can combine their shopping errands with a library hold pick-up, attend a family program, or simply spend some time in the library’s children’s area all in one stop. With the closing of the larger Annapolis branch, “extra” staff were available to try a pilot location at Westfield Annapolis Mall, just a few miles from the closed Annapolis location.

Staff interested in experimenting with innovative library service were transferred to the mall location and retrofitting the retail space began with funds from the AACPL Library Foundation. All of this work culminated with the opening of Discoveries: the Library at the Mall on April 30, 2018. The success of the branch as a community center was immediately apparent in both its programming and circulation numbers.

By harnessing the power of OrangeBoy’s intelligent library management suite, Savannah, AACPL was able to provide both quantitative and qualitative information on how successful the branch actually was! 

  • Typical attendance for the location’s daily story times averaged between 50-75 people, quickly making it first among all branches in overall program attendance. 

  • Circulation numbers were just as impressive as visitors checked out over 27,000 items during that same five-month time period. 

  • Not only were over 50% of their visitors checking out books and children’s materials while at the branch, but over 75% of Discoveries customers were also visiting other branches.

  • An average of 75 new cards issued each month for an overall total increase of 794 new library cardholders in their first five months in operation.

  • Customers from more than 100 zip codes were using Discoveries proving to the county that Discoveries was not just an “Annapolis project”, but instead was being utilized by customers from across the entire county and state of Maryland. 

The numbers were great, the staff was thrilled, and the customers were happy, but Discoveries was set to close once their initial lease was over in December 2019.  Once again, AACPL turned to Savannah to make their case to the county for funding to keep Discoveries as a permanent branch.  

The library enlisted their enthusiastic Discoveries’ customers as advocates to ensure that AACPL was top of mind at the county funding meeting when AACPL submitted their supplemental budget requests. Using Savannah’s filtering capabilities, library staff were able to send messages directly to Discoveries’ customers asking them to share with their council members about the positive impact Discoveries has made on the community.  Library staff engaged customers at the start of each program and during each checkout transition, encouraging them to show their support. Newly elected officials were invited to tour Discoveries and library staff spoke at each budget hearing in the county about the impact of the new location.

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The library’s ability to compile and leverage data had both the County Executive and the County Council’s attention.  But this meant that the pressure was on to deliver…and they did. As Feldmann describes, “at no time in my twenty years working with government agencies have I seen a council more engaged in an issue.  We were able to provide the answers to all the Council’s data-driven questions” using the data analysis provided by Savannah. By showing the increase in new cardholders’ statistics and the cross-county market penetration indicated by Savannah’s customer usage patterns, AACPL made the case that Discoveries was a location with community-wide impact worth the county’s investment. 

The result? A brand-new space for the Anne Arundel County Public Library System. As Feldmann puts it, “we are conveners…and bringing the library to an existing community space can really accelerate the process for creating new library services” all without being dependent on the funding patterns of government agencies.  

With the story that Savannah’s data told, Discoveries’ permanent location will open in December with 10 new staff positions and an area for community-centered learning. Moving forward, Discoveries and Savannah will continue to provide valuable data to tell the story of its success as well as make the argument for the building of more community spaces of this type in the AAPCL system and others across the country. 

Click here to hear AAPCL discuss the mall library greater detail.

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Pioneer Library Measures Customer Satisfaction with Help from Savannah

Recommendations from friends and family are incredibly valuable to customers. According to Nielsen's Global Trust in Advertising Report, 83% of respondents said they trust recommendations from family and friends more than any other form of advertising. In fact, customers are more likely to talk about a bad experience -- and they tell almost three times as many people when it happens.

That is why in August 2018 the Pioneer Library System (PLS) in Norman, Oklahoma made collecting customer feedback and swiftly identifying issues a top priority. PLS wanted to prevent negative customer experiences and reviews but also increase customer satisfaction so they would share their experiences about the library with friends, family and on social media.

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At the suggestion of their OrangeBoy Account Manager, PLS began utilizing the Net Promoter Score (NPS), a widely used customer loyalty measure and a component of Savannah®, OrangeBoy’s Intelligent Library Management Suite.

Here is how it works: Randomly selected active customers are invited to take the NPS survey within two weeks of using library services. They can rate their experience and offer comments. Happy customers become Promoters and are linked to social media to promote the library. Customers who cast a low rating, known as Detractors, can provide contact information so a staff member can follow up and address the issue.

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In an effort to create a customer-centric culture across the library, PLS administration tasked their Branch and Department Managers with reviewing the survey results every Monday and responding to feedback as if the respondent were in their office. If the Branch Manager was not able to solve the issue then he/she routed it to the correct staff person for proper follow-up. Aiden Street, PLS Associate Director, noted that this process has been extremely rewarding for both staff and customers. “Regardless of how big or small the issue, staff has been able to change the customer’s experience and provide some much-needed goodwill.” Street commented.

However, NPS does not just generate negative feedback! A success story is awarded monthly and annually to a branch to promote healthy competition amongst branches. In addition, PLS Executive Director Lisa Wells brings the library’s NPS score and positive follow-up comments to the council and county officials throughout the year providing them with a quantitative and qualitative picture of the library’s value in the community.

Only one year after implementing this initiative, PLS is proud to report a stellar NPS score of 86! (For reference, a score between 0 and 30 is good, but there is still room for progress. Higher than 30 indicates you’re doing great and has far more happy customers than unhappy ones. An NPS over 70 means your customers love you and you are generating a lot of positive word-of-mouth referrals.)

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As the library continues its focus on customer satisfaction, the NPS survey will be automatically sent out every week utilizing the smart messaging feature in Savannah allowing PLS to monitor customer satisfaction and feedback, and adjust policies and services accordingly. Join PLS on September 19 to hear more about their process.

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OrangeBoy Showcases Client Successes at ALA Breakfast 

OrangeBoy welcomed more than 50 guests to a breakfast last month at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the American Library Association’s Annual Conference.

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OrangeBoy President Sandy Swanson kicked off the morning by sharing the exciting news that Savannah welcomed its 100th library to the platform! Sandy also revealed the following new features recently implemented in Savannah: 

  • Enhanced messaging tools;

  • A built-in survey feature;

  • Market Watch;

  • Incident Reporting; and 

  • Additional clusters for wi-fi and program users.

In keeping with OrangeBoy’s client-driven approach, these enhancements were made in direct response to requests from our current Savannah users. OrangeBoy is pleased to work in such close partnership with our clients in order to ensure that Savannah yields the best data possible for making decisions that drive their libraries forward.

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Continuing in the vein of client partnerships, Sandy relayed some advice she and Clark, OrangeBoy’s CEO and founder, received upon starting OrangeBoy twenty years ago— “if you want to have a good company, get good clients.” The featured breakfast speakers made it clear that Clark and Sandy have taken this advice to heart.  Paula Brehm-Heeger, the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Director of the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County and Heidi Daniel, the President and CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore each shared the methods they are using to meet their organizational goals of community engagement, increased usage, and strengthened community support for their libraries.  In each case, Savannah has been an instrumental tool in furthering these goals. 

Heidi discussed how the Pratt was able to create a marketing campaign specifically aimed at the forty-something demographic, a segment that had previously been underrepresented among their affinity group members. As the sole funding source for the Pratt’s vital library programs and initiatives, these affinity groups are major library stakeholders. Being able to target and re-engage this segment of their community was an important project for the Pratt as it carried with it the potential for both increased community and financial support. This scenario illustrates how the library relies on Savannah to segment its customers in a variety of different ways – age, interest, location visited, etc., resulting in highly targeted email marketing campaigns for all customers.

Paula discussed the library’s facility planning project utilizing Savannah’s new Market Watch feature. The library analyzed how customers across the city use specific locations, and this data allowed the library to verify their assumptions about usage patterns. As Paula noted, Market Watch allowed the library to confim that the Main Library has users coming from all across the county and library staff was able to identify that the bus routes help push customers to this location. This data is extremely important as the library executes a massive facility planning project, a process which includes community meetings at all 44 locations. This data will, as Brehm-Heeger says, “allow us to begin this difficult conversation in a more neutral way” with their community stakeholders. 

Click here to view the breakfast session presentation and learn more about the successes – big and small – at the Enoch Pratt Free Library and the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County.

Interested in learning more about OrangeBoy and how the Savannah platform can yield success for your library?  Request a demo today.

Microsoft Showcases OrangeBoy’s Success with Customer Engagement and Power BI

Last week OrangeBoy was featured alongside companies such as Pepsi-Cola, Goodwill, GE and Sony when Microsoft released a customer success story showcasing Savannah ®. The article discusses the evolution of Savannah and its utilization of Microsoft Power BI Embedded to improve reporting, analytics, and visualization capabilities. 

In 2017, OrangeBoy deployed Microsoft Power BI Embedded to add advanced, but familiar and easy-to-use reporting and data visualization features to Savannah. The OrangeBoy development team was able to connect Power BI Embedded to its existing Azure SQL Database, eliminating the need to spend time, effort, and resources on building and maintaining its own visualization engine.  

Click here to read the article in its entirety and learn how Savannah community member, Oak Park Library has become a power user of Power BI Embedded.