How Does a URL Appear to the Customer During Chat?

When you send a URL to a customer during chat, what do they see? This guide shows how different URL protocols appear to customers in the normal chat form.

Students' In-Depth, Research Questions: Tips for Helping Them Out

A topic that has been revisited over the AskUsNow! years, here is working list of the best ways to help out students at any grade level with their in-depth, research questions.  These tips have been provided by chat providers and customers in survey and email feedback:

The Referer: It Saves Reference Interview Steps

"I need an obituary from this newspaper." 

"Where are the peer-reviewed articles?"

We've all seen versions of these oddly-specific questions.  In some cases, this is because customers assume we can see what they see.  Thanks to the referer (aka referral URL), this is somewhat the case. 

The referer shows the page where the customer began their AskUsNow! chat.  It's located in the Info tab on the chat monitor:

Using Neutral Questioning to Get the Real Question

What is a Neutral Question?

  • It can never be a closed question.  Closed questions are those that have a limited responses, usually one word answers (such as "yes" or "no"). 
  • It is a type of open question.  The customer responds with information relevant to his or her situation.
  • A pure neutral question includes no noun, adjective, or adverb used in the customer’s question.  This helps prevent you from making incorrect assumptions.
  • It does not begin with “Why.”

Chat Practice Checklist

When practicing with chat, here's a list of items to make sure you know how to do:

The Chat Monitoring Tool

The online environment can be strangely isolating, yet amazingly active.  While settling in for your chat session, it's interesting and informative to gain a sense of who else is online and what types of questions are being asked at the time.  We can do this through the Chat Monitoring Tool.

I Want to Change How I Am Alerted to New Customers

This will help you change your customer alert settings in Flash Chat.

If you're the only librarian monitoring chat, there may be a technical issue. Here's how to fix it.

This will help you troubleshoot Flash Chat when you appear to be the only librarian online!

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