OCLC Sympsium on Leadership Beyond the Recession

Cathy De Rosa kicks off the OCLC Symposium on maintaining leadership and thinking about how to deliver great customer service.

People are thinking differently about their choices today--no longer trading up but trading off. Libraries have the opportunity to differentiate.

The future can't simply be "more of the same."

Joseph Michelli
How do we drive a change experience with sustainability? (If we increase our foot traffic, we have to increase the funding.)
When Fish Fly
The New Gold Standard
The Starbucks Experience

Example from the Pike Place Fish Market: if you approach it only as a transactional business, you will lose. The first act of love is to listen: Let's treat people who come up to the Fish Stand as being World Famous. (An experiential brand was born.)
They focused only on creating the experience that the customer was really something special. (They stopped worrying about selling fish.) The product is exactly the same as it was before...

It's not about being interesting, it's being interested in people. The relevance goes up. It's not about entertaining people, it's about being relevant.

Experiential Brand Statements:
Ritz-Carleton Hotels. "Create the home of a loving parent." Things magically pop-up and show up. Every employee from the first day is told that this is the brand experience. Everyone on staff is given $2,000 per day to increase people's experience. They put a process in to deliver this experience.

Starbucks. "Create a third place--the living room of the community."

What We Know from Consumer Behavior
*Even in difficult times 50% of consumers will pay more for a better experience. --2009 Harris Interactive
*50% of customers leave businesses because of bad experiences.--Accenture
*Companies ...successful in creating both functional and emotional bonding with customers are [much more successful].

Can we build experiences that reinforce the library as a transformative place?

We have to live the brand on the inside first. For employees--this is a place for you to personally transform and for you to help others. (Example of employee experience in a production only model--Finnish Tax man died in his office. No one knew for 2 days.)

Ritz-Carleton. Selection process for employees (not hiring--being selected, we're going to listen to you.) Day 21 check on employees. Day 365 birthday celebration of staff being with them. This is a designed touchpoint map.

What experiences can we drive to help make it clear: this place is where you go to have life-changing experiences.

Designing Different Experiences Based on Actual Customer value.
RBC Bank rates each of its 2 million customers. High value customers get special treatment. Customer attrition is down 50% in the last 5 years. Unprofitable customers down by 6%, too.

Questions to ponder:
Is your brand promise experiential? Does it reflect transformation? Infrastructure? Necessity? the future? ROI?

Have you created staff, user, politician, academic leadership, and community experience touchpoint maps?

Can your staff articulate an experience--or a transaction?

**It's all about Service.**
Service is a flawless product, Delivered exactly as a member wants, in an environment of caring.

Create an experience so people can't resist the urge to pull the lever for "Yes."