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Subscription Services Focused on Public Libraries

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I’ve made a lot of mention in our recent Press Release, Introduction Webinars and in promotional emails about our focus on school libraries and on public libraries.  But what does that mean, and how does that really play out in real-customer experiences?  I want to take the opportunity to talk about what our service to a public library looks like in a practical sense.

First of all, Rivistas Subscription Services is designed to serve public libraries and school libraries.  At this time, we do not service medical, law, academic/higher education libraries.  We want to have a razor sharp focus on public and school libraries, have services designed specifically for them, serve them incredibly well and pick up the slack where we feel some of the other agencies are dropping the ball.  So we designed our entire business model, online system, customer service practices and ordering system around serving the needs of two segments of the library world.

I’ve been told all my life if you can do one thing and do it better than anyone else you can be a success.  That’s part of the reason we want to focus on public libraries.  We’re not out to be all things to all types of libraries, but rather everything to public libraries.  The needs of academic libraries are much different than the needs of a medical library, and a medical library is much different than a corporate library.  And all of them are different than a public library.  Subscription agencies have built their online customer interface and businesses to meet the needs of the libraries who spend the most money with them.  This leaves an online system cumbersome to use for most public libraries and their attention on other customers.

So in practicality, how does this play out for public libraries and Rivistas?

  • Our online system is designed for public libraries and school libraries.  We have an intuitive system that is easy for multi-location libraries to use, it’s easy to maneuver, full of the needed details but missing all of the extra baggage that an academic library requires.  In 2012 people want information at their fingertips, and want it to be simple to retrieve, so we designed our online user interface with this in mind.
  • We want to help libraries discover new titles.  Whether that means new titles on the scene, or new titles to a particular library.  We want to be a resource that can help Collection Development discover new magazine titles to keep their collection fresh, up-to-date and current for their patrons.
  • You have our attention.  Since our focus is public libraries and school libraries, you don’t have to fight for our attention to be served with excellence.  Other agencies are focused on academic libraries, medical libraries, or corporate libraries who spend much more than the typical public library, so their attention and services are easily diverted to those libraries.
  • You can expect a speedy response and effective results.  With constant cutbacks and layoffs from the larger agencies, their customer service has suffered.  With offices closing and territories / job positions being combined, service continues to decline. We have a dedication to being available when needed and putting resources toward our biggest assets, our customers.  Being responsive is a top priority whether over the phone, online, by email or a twitter response.
  • We still provide the personal touch.  Even though our online system will provide the needed information at your fingertips, there are still times that having a one-on-one conversation is desired, and when that happens, we are here to help.  You will find us highly dedicated to high standards in customer service and willing to see problems and concerns through to the end.
  • When people want their renewals, they want them instantly.  So we give you 24/7 access to each branch’s renewal forms.  From our online system, you can add, delete and change title details from our renewal module.
  • Each Branch has access to their information and the administrator has access to the entire account.  This allows each branch to manage their collection or the account can be managed centrally.  Flexibility is key.
  • Current invoices and historical invoices can be viewed at any time, giving you access to previously ordered subscriptions.
  • We help walk new accounts through the transition process.  It’s a simple process to us, but we understand libraries may not be familiar with what all happens during a transition.  So we walk each new account through the transition making the switch an incredibly simple and easy process.
  • Our pricing structure is unique.  We offer a bottom line discount and not a line item discount.  Our discount is subtracted from the bottom line, without line item exceptions.  Other agencies have “non-discountable” titles.  This confuses the process because the library never knows what is discounted and what isn’t discounted.  The percentage we offer may be smaller but the amount discounted is higher.  We want to be very competitive with our pricing, but also want to make it simple too.
  • You will find us helpful.  Like librarians, we feel our job is to help and serve others – that is easily seen in the way we interact with our customers.
  • We offer free quotes and proposals. You can learn more about getting a quote here.

We are different, we are designed to be different. We are passionate when it comes to working with libraries and are fanatics about magazines.  Working with Rivistas Subscription Services will be a refreshing and will be reminiscent of a time when service was one-on-one and came with a smile.

 

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About the Author:

Bonnie is a guy who is crazy about magazines. He sold his first subscription to Field & Stream at age 12 and has been practically selling magazines ever since. Working in the magazine industry since college, Bonnie has worked in school library sales, public library sales, publisher relations, customer service – all surrounding the magazine world. Bonnie is one of the partners of Rivistas and handles the PR & Marketing side of things.

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