Benchmarking user satisfaction in academic libraries - a case study
Keywords:customer satisfaction, best practice,
AbstractCustomer satisfaction and service quality have so far been evaluated mostly from a local perspective although the quality element has been firmly established in academic library management for at least a decade. Critics of inter-institutional comparisons often object that different preconditions are not considered adequately. Examples from a joint user satisfaction survey conducted by 15 German university libraries in 2001 suggest that comparative data are a suitable means to identify cases of "best practice" and can effectively initialize processes of customer-focussed improvement. Furthermore, if compared with corresponding statistical data or performance measures, satisfaction ratings can reveal possible structural strengths and deficits relative to other libraries. On the other hand, follow-up telephone interviews with participating libraries showed that the survey results substantially challenged the institutions' internal communication and public relations organisation, and underlined that even in a well-developed culture of assessment the need for professional mediation and coordination of comparative analyses may not be underestimated.
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work. The work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to distribute the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.