learning center

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.

Customer Service Excellence in Email Reference

For following up with a customer via email, we have the same customer service/quality guidelines that we do in person or in chat! The benchmark of a successful customer service email effort should be the quality of the response. Here's a quick guide to excellent email reference!

Let's say a customer came into chat asking about resources for becoming a dental hygienist and the chatting librarian marked the session for follow-up via email. This is how you'd want to respond:

Special Library Partner Optimization

Updated on 3/2/17

In order to give AskUsNow!'s special library partners more visibility within Maryland, our library partners across the state can now link directly to our special library partners / subject specialists websites and email webforms where deemed appropriate for their own websites.

Our Special Library Partners are Open for Referrals!

Updated on 3/2/2017

You are one of the 200-300 librarians who actively staff Maryland AskUsNow!'s chat service. You’re part of a system that is made up of 40 partner libraries. Through your session(s), you help to cover AskUsNow! for over 200 hours a week, all from computers like yours, and all over Maryland.

Quality Control Commendations and Tips for Chat Improvement: October-December 2016

AskUsNow!:  Quality Control Commendations and Tips for Chat Improvement

FY 17

October-December 2016

 

Customer Emails and Referring For Follow-Up

It's important to get customer email addresses if follow-up is needed. This guide walks you though how to do that (and what to do if you didn't).

Fake News v. Real News Resources

Nationwide, libraries are taking "Fake News v. Real News" headlines seriously to the point that libraries and information literacy advocates have written articles and created research tools to help researchers determine how authoritative the news they found online is.  

Some points to consider when giving customers real news, or helping customers determine fake news versus real news include:

Quick Guide to Going Global

"Going global" means that during your AskUsNow! shift, you're accepting customers from outside of Maryland. The global queue is almost always busy and can be a little nerve-wracking to librarians who are unfamiliar with working with non-MD customers. We've put together this guide to help out.

Best Practices for E-Resource Questions

In this guide, I will be using "e-resources" to refer to eBooks, eMagazines, eAudiobooks, and other e-materials.  An "eBook" will represent any type of e-material.

Around 2010, virtual reference services suddenly began to receive question about e-resources (eBooks, eBook readers, PDF books...).  The questions were primarily about "How do I get an eBook?" or "What eBook reader do you think I should purchase?"

As e-resources have evolved, so have the questions (which are not limited to):

AskUsNow!: Persistent and "Interpretation" Online Customers

Dear Liaisons:
 

Yesterday I had multiple chat librarians make the right judgment calls in addressing concerns about a customer who was asking them to interpret passages/ask what the passages mean. 

The chat librarians were suspicious of the customer's online behavior because of these "red flags:"

  • The initial chat question made no sense.  Here are examples from yesterday:
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