Quality Control Commendations and Tips for Chat Improvement: April-June 2017

AskUsNow!:  Quality Control Commendations and Tips for Chat Improvement

FY 17

April-June 2017


The following commendation and improvement points are based off of praise and constructive criticism from 1) the Statewide Coordinator and Support for Operations, 2) Liaisons, and 3) QuestionPoint and out-of-state/country Liaisons.  Please refer to the Quality Control pages at http://askusnow.info/staff/learningcenter/behaviors and http://askusnow.info/staff/learningcenter/technical for past commendations and improvement points.


Top Five Chat Librarian Commendations:

  1. Research help to students before their Spring semester or school year ended:  we did a wonderful job of figuring out what students needed according to their grade levels, research guidelines, and deadlines.  If they wanted search strategies, they were given for specific online resources.  If the students wanted one or two sources that would help them complete a project due the next day, it was done.  If they needed more help by email follow-up, you made sure the students opened up about when their projects were due.  '
  2. Resolving e-service issues:  we are continuing to make concerted efforts to resolve online library account, eBook, and online resource questions, and giving choices about how to get more help later if needed.    
  3. Reaching out to the cooperative for helping out customers with challenging research questions:  we are in this virtual reference cooperative together.  If we tried our best to find an obituary, primary source, peer-reviewed journal article...but to no avail, then the chat was given to a subject specialist for further assistance.  
  4. Reaching out to the cooperative for helping out tough customers:  similar to "challenging research questions," we are reaching out to the liaisons, Project Coordinator and Support for Operations, or QuestionPoint if we need help figuring out how to resolve a behavioral or research issue.
  5. Accessing and using online resources available at the customer's library and beyond:  no luck using a customer's library resources to give answers to their questions?  We have been using Sailor and our own library's resources to give the customers what they need.  We have even been using Credo Reference (thanks to QuestionPoint for making this resource available) to offer more research help.


Top Five Tips for Improvement:

  1. Addressing Technical Issues:  we appreciate how technical issues from the customer or librarian's end of the software have been brought to attention within Maryland, but it is even more important to send the technical issues to OCLC Support.  The OCLC Support staff can directly find out if there is a software issue, or if the issue is from outside of OCLC.
  2. Greeting and Goodbye Scripted Messages:  by helping out customers outside of Maryland, we are doing our part to contribute to the QuestionPoint global cooperative.  What we need to do when working with the non-MD customers is:
    1. Use the "AskUsNow_Cooperative" greeting script as given in our statewide shared scripts at http://askusnow.info/staff/learningcenter/technical/chat_scripts.
    2. Use a clear, customized global cooperative greeting:
      1. Hi, welcome to 24/7 Chat!  My name is Paul in Baltimore.  I help out your librarians when they are helping out other customers or not scheduled on chat.  I am reviewing your question and will be with you momentarily.  Thanks!
    3. Use the non-MD library's closing script OR a customized, "Thanks for accessing 24/7 Chat.  Bye!" script.
  3. Choices for referrals and follow-up:  Customers need to be given the steering wheel when wanting more help not just during chat, but after chat too.  The best choices for customers tend to be multiple online referrals:  email follow-up, filling out an email form, and emailing someone directly are best.  If the online referrals are limited, then phone and in-person referrals are adequate, but we do need to put ourselves into the customers' shoes and ask, "Why would I be satisfied with a phone or in-person referral?"
  4. Screenshot alternatives:  As the chat widget (i.e. Qwidget) continues to be used most often to access chat, we have to accept that this is a preferred way for most of our chat customers to access chat.  The Qwidget allows customers to click on websites and they open in different tabs or windows.  If we want customers to learn something by "seeing it," we suggest using the screenshot alternatives available in the Recommended Resources at http://askusnow.info/staff/resources.  In particular, Snaggy allows us to write on a screenshot, and then send it to a customer: https://snag.gy/.  
  5. Info Tab Information:  Even before we have a conversation with the customers, we get to learn a little bit about who they are and how they are accessing chat and possibly trying to find answers on their own in our chat monitor's Info Tab.  Please use "The Referer..." guide at http://askusnow.info/staff/learningcenter/technical/referer to become familiar with how to learn about our chat customers before we get deep into conversations with them.

Interested in learning about the high quality of service that we provided to AskUsNow! customers in FY 17?  Please go to http://askusnow.info/staff/sites/default/files/Overall&LibraryBreakdown_Surveys_Satisfaction_July2016-June2017.xls.  We'll continue to recap the quality of the service in FY 18.  Thanks for helping out the chat customers at any hour of the day.