Added value

We went to Healesville Sanctuary today, which is the Australian animals specialty zoo in Victoria, set in a beautiful bushland park about an hour or so north east of Melbourne.

I love Australian animals and knew what to expect as I have been there several times before, but it was the added value that made this visit one that we will remember for a long time to come.

There were two parts to the added value that made the day for us. The first was the Spirits of the Sky display, where you sit in an arena whilst birds of prey, parrots and owls display their natural abilities for you – including beautiful arcs of flight quite low over the heads of the audience, small tricks and amazing wild behaviour that we would never otherwise see. This display was included in the ticket price. The second was a 15 minute Magical Moments session. We paid extra to enter the dingo enclosure and to have up close and personal time patting and being photographed (and enthusiastically sniffed and licked) by two young dingos.  It was awesome! These two added value events made our day!  Especially the latter.

Now I don’t expect that we will be able to do this sort of thing for all our users on every visit, but I do have to start wondering – what added value are we giving our users already (besides our awesome go the extra mile customer service…) and what other added value could we be giving them. Our Facebook community is growing because we give them free entertainment, insights and information, just for liking us. Great return on investment for both sides – great content for them, great PR for us.

I never want to see us go the “would you like fries with that” route, but there are things we can do to give our users that extra special service or experience and I know they are happening in libraries every day.  Please let me know in a comment, examples of the sorts of things that have happened in your library that have made your users say “wow”! I would love to hear them.