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Enhancing the customer relationship management in public libraries: Findings from three developing countries

Aleksandar Stokić (Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia)
Danijela Stojanović (Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia)
Zorica Bogdanović (Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia)
Marijana Despotović-Zrakić (Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia)
Božidar Radenković (Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 5 September 2018

Issue publication date: 12 June 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the possibilities of implementing the customer relationship management (CRM) concept and smart technologies in public libraries in developing countries. The goal was to explore the level of librarians’ awareness about CRM concept and their willingness to accept the CRM concept in libraries. Also, patrons’ satisfaction with the quality of services and relationships in public libraries is explored.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors obtained data for this research through two online surveys. The first survey measures librarians’ level of awareness about CRM concept and their perception about CRM and smart technologies concept in public libraries in three developing countries: Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The second survey measures patrons’ satisfaction with services and relationship in public libraries in these three countries.

Findings

The research results revealed that most surveyed librarians are familiar with the CRM concept. However, libraries in these three developing countries barely use CRM or smart technologies to improve the relationship with stakeholders. Also, most patrons are satisfied with relationships and services. The analysis of data indicates no significant difference in the satisfaction level among patrons between these three developing countries.

Research limitations/implications

Not all libraries participated in this research. Therefore, the sample is not distributed evenly across different types of libraries or user groups. Future research should include different types of libraries.

Practical implications

The results can be used by public libraries in developing countries to improve the relationship with stakeholders harnessing CRM concept and smart technologies.

Social implications

The use of CRM in combination with the smart technologies can help leverage the quality of the relationship between public libraries and stakeholders which in turn would secure their support and loyalty in the future.

Originality/value

The integration of CRM concept as a component of library business automation process is an idea that has not been discussed widely in the library community and could initiate a positive trend in public libraries in developing countries.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Serbia.

Citation

Stokić, A., Stojanović, D., Bogdanović, Z., Despotović-Zrakić, M. and Radenković, B. (2019), "Enhancing the customer relationship management in public libraries: Findings from three developing countries", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 37 No. 2, pp. 247-268. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-07-2017-0138

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited