Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Try This Tuesday

I'm still thinking through this idea for "Try This Tuesday," but I thought I'd throw it out there for those of you who can pick it up and run with it. Why not try experimenting with unique ways to package your existing services to make them easier to shop around? One comment I get over and over from students is "Wow! I didn't know you could do (or have) all this stuff!" Part of this promotional problem has do to with the fact that we have so much "stuff" to offer, and much of it can be complicated to explain. A possible solution is breaking down our offerings into easily digestible chunks based on the needs we serve. In the academic setting, we do this to a small degree. Usually, we don't get much further than grouping our services by majors or rank (undergraduate, faculty, etc.). My impression is that public libraries also rely on demographics, mainly age, to group services (adults, children, teens, etc.). These groupings make sense and often relate to the nature of the information we provide. I'm certain, though, that there are other, possibly better, ways to bundle our service offerings, which don't necessarily entail developing new services. Maybe we have a service package for "Students-on-the-go," where we describe our chat and telephone reference services, a basic general database, instructions on how to get online from off-campus, and our citation management software. We could then shop that package around to off-campus students and other relevant groups. Like I said, it's an idea in progress, but I think it has potential. Give it a try! (That's what Tuesday's are for, after all).

[Update: I forgot to mention that the "digestible chunks" concept was described in the Creating Customer Evangelists webcast I wrote about in Sept., if you want more details.]

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