learning center

Chat Practice Checklist

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

Quality Tip: Customers and their Transcripts

I get a lot of questions about resending transcripts to customers that didn't get them. So here's the skinny on what goes on with transcripts and how to get them to your customers again:

Choosing Queues - How to Decide

Whether you're an academic or public library provider, you can log onto chat in a few ways :

Is it always this slow? (I'm not getting any customers!)

Local Maryland public and/or academic queues may be slow at times, especially during any term breaks and holidays.  It may be, however, that the hour you are covering just happens to be low in traffic.  If you find that you're constantly logging in during a slow hour and would like to get back into action, where what you can do:

When Providing Resources: Slow Down

It often feels like we have to rush when doing chat with our online customers -- even though we don't! Cutting corners on time can show up in various ways, but one of the most common is by skipping over essential information about the sources we’re providing.

The following is an example of 'throwing sites' to a customer in an attempt to hurry and satisfy the customer's request:

Descriptive Codes

Effective Friday, 7/1/16, AskUsNow! Admins discontinued collecting and reporting Descriptive Code data at the statewide level.  Chat providers do not need to add in the Descriptive Codes, whether they are the statewide descriptive codes or the generic QuestionPoint codes.  Library partners have the option to add back in the codes for local reporting purposes.  

Training Opportunities


AskUsNow! offers three types of trainings to suit your needs:

New Staff Training to get new folks trained and available to provide service on AskUsNow!

Developing Relationships with our Customers - setting the stage

To build a good rapport with your customer, start with a welcoming atmosphere!

Customer Unresponsiveness

When customers log onto chat with a question and then seem to disappear, what is actually going on?

Like ghosts seemingly spirited away after a brief glimpse, we have customers who flit away after taking the time to sign onto chat.  There can be various reasons for why this happens:

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