Selection and implementation of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program to track patron interactions

Authors:Nunemaker, Megan, Claude Moore Health Sciences LibraryUniversity of Virginia Barker, Kimberley, Claude Moore Health Sciences LibraryUniversity of Virginia Ramsey, Ellen, University of Virginia LibraryUniversity of Virginia ORCID icon

Objectives: We sought to select a customer relationship management (CRM) tool in order to better track interactions with patrons and know where library connections in our clinical, research, and educational departments are strong or weak.

Methods: A requirements document was drafted, and several CRMs were identified as possible solutions. Four CRMs were tried by the authors of this paper, and the requirements matrix was updated after each trial. The authors reached a consensus, and a proposal was made to library management to beta-test Zoho CRM. The off-the-shelf product was then customized to meet the library's needs, and custom documentation was created to be used as a training aid for all librarians using the product.

Results: After beta-testing and a series of training sessions, the Zoho CRM was implemented in January 2014. Various reports were created to provide the necessary data to library administrators and outside organizations (Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries/Association of Research Libraries). The database of information continues to grow on a daily basis. As it does, the ability to create richer interpretations of our data increases.

Conclusions: Throughout the process of selecting a CRM, we found that the commercially available systems were designed to track interactions and business processes in a much more thorough fashion than what our needs demand. The desire to have a perfect system was balanced with the desire to have something available quickly, and the Zoho CRM product has met the vast majority of our needs. However, as more libraries choose to track detailed information regarding patron interactions, there is room for a product tailored to libraries. Ideally, one library would create such a system and make it available in an open-source fashion.

All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Source Citation:

Nunemaker, Megan, Kimberley Barker, and Ellen Ramsey. "Selection and implementation of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program to track patron interactions." Medical Library Association Annual Meeting '14 - Building Our Information Future, Chicago, IL. 2014.

University of Virginia
Published Date:
May 20th, 2014
Sponsoring Agency:
University of Virginia

Poster presentation.