"Earlier this week I was unable to log in to Bank of America’s site. I thought about calling, but I hate navigating through phone trees (plus there is the fact that I do not sound like my husband–whose account I was trying to log in to–but we won’t go there). I was just about to give up until the following window popped up on my screen:
My first thought was, “How cool, I don’t have to talk to a person!” Yep, I am officially a geek. My second thought was, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we offered a service like this to patrons using our catalog.” After so many attempts to find an item a window would automatically pop up and offer to let the patron chat with a librarian."
Read Lori's full post, Learning from Corporate America.
I absolutely love this idea. There's nothing more frustrating to many of our customers then trying to navigate the online catalog. Imagine if you could easily engage them in a chat session and walk them through the process from inside the catalog itself - connecting with them at their point of need and frustration (& before they are totally disenchanted and disappointed)... Hmmm
Yup, Love it! ... but would love it more to see it implemented... Hmmm [scratches head] :)
All catalogs should come with that built in! What about a popup window with a meebo chat box? I'm sure I've seen meebo on the sidebar of someone's catalog. Or maybe just happily imagining it.
Have you seen this Penn State page? Marie Radford brought this to my attention in her Library Garden Magical Mystery Tour presentation.
Not only is the plugoo chat widget right there, they have the "ask" icon (which links to the full range of library assistance options - chat, email, phone, etc.) built right into a catalog widget. Students can install that widget wherever they like--their own portable library!
To quote the six million dollar man, "we have the technology..."
Yes this can easily done with any ILS with a meebo widget. I am getting ready to do this with our catalog. However, I am warning everyone about the upsurge in traffic once this is done. Placing a contact point right where someone is having trouble is just what everyone needs.
I think it's a great idea, and in order not to alienate people who are in fact just peacefully browsing the catalog, it should only happen once per "session" and retreat to a place where the user could see it. No one likes pop-ups that don't go away, especially if they didn't actually want the help! I browse with a pop-up blocker myself, but I already know how to reach the librarians I need.
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