Archive for November, 2010

Lost call? Before you end your session…

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Check-out part one of this post Lost call? Here’s a few reasons why… first!

So now you have a red dot Red or unresponsive patron what do you do? Before you end the session, here’s a few tips for providing a consistent patron experience for AskAway users:

1. Inform the patron that you are going to end the session, give a reason why, and give them a few moments to respond before you exit.

2. If time permits, offer any additional resources or suggestions that may help with their question before you close the session.

3. Encourage them to return for additional assistance on AskAway or provide them with a link to email, telephone or in-person reference assistance at their home library.

Most importantly patrons can disappear for long periods of time and even return to a session from a red dot indicator Red and find it frustrating that their question was closed without any explanation. Just remember that until the “Patron is no longer connected.” message appears.. they may still return!

Have questions or comments? Contact Sunni!

Lost call? Here’s a few reasons why…

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Recently on AskAway patrons have often appeared to disconnect or disappear without warning. Sometimes this is due to internet outages, navigating away via Qwidget links, QuestionPoint server troubles or the patron finding the resources they need and forgetting to return.  The patron status indicator often turns to a red dot Red in these cases.

When busy it can be tempting to simply end the session when you see the red dot.  However, until the “Patron is no longer connected.” message appears, the patron may still return or use the email transcript option to find out if any additional information was sent. It’s always best to assume they will read the transcript and leave an explanation of why you are closing the session.

Patron feedback from the exit survey has given us some insight into what’s happening on their end:

“The connection was so slow and just terrible, to a point where my messages were going through so slowly the librarian terminated the session – and my internet connection is fine.”

“Librarian signed off before I found any relevant information. Did give some good suggestions before signing off though.”

Most importantly patrons can disappear for long periods of time and even return to a session from a red dot indicator Red and find it frustrating that their question was closed without any explanation. Check out the Lost call? Before you end your session… post for tips on how AskAway service providers can end their sessions for a consistent patron experience.

Have questions or comments? Contact Sunni!

Patron Status Indicators

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

There are a variety of helpful indicators available in QuestionPoint to inform us of the current status of our patrons. During these busy times it can be helpful to know at a glance if our:

( ! ) Patron is typing.
(+) Just sent a new response.
Yellow Is off searching or may be slow responding.
Red If they may have disconnected from the session.

Check out the AskAway Flash Symbols guide for additional information on all the QP indicators and their meaning.

NOTE: Please be aware that these indicators are not always accurate. For example lately patrons have been returning from a red dot indicator Red to a green one Green and until the patron is disconnected message appears – they may return! The patron is typing (!) indicator is also often not accurate. If they are typing for a long time without a new message appearing you may want to check-in on their progress.

Have questions or comments? Contact Sunni!

New Script: Contact Security Situations

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

With the new mobile AskAway option and the prevalence of laptops in libraries, AskAway service providers are responding more and more to patron security complaints & queries. At times it can be difficult to know what to do when an upset or stressed patron asks for help… Should we provide them with contact information or call and pass along the concern/complaint ourselves?

For consistency in dealing with these  situations, which are often more complex and time-consuming than they initially seem, we recommend that you provide the appropriate contact information and inform patrons they will need to make the call themselves for assistance. We cannot call campus security for them.

Check out the new Problem – Contact Security script available to make it easier to quickly deal with situations like noise complaints, smoke & fire concerns, theft, first-aid requests and more…

Problem – Contact Security: This sounds like a situation you should contact Campus Security to deal with. I can help you find their contact information, but I can’t call them for you. Hang on while I look for that information…

Have questions or comments? Contact Sunni!