QuestionPoint Chat Tutorial for Chat providers
One person logs in as the librarian. Click on “Launch Chat” and then “Monitor Practice Queue.”
Let’s look at the different parts of the chat console. Here are tabs you should use.
Greet users when beginning a chat session. Open with a salutation and an offer to help; also consider greeting them by name.
Best practices* (from American University Library) http://groups.google.com/group/IMBestpractices • Greet users when beginning a chat session. Open with a salutation and an offer to help; also consider greeting them by name. • Consider including some personal contact information (e.g., your name and telephone number) when chatting with a user, in order to establish rapport and ensure the user can re-establish contact in case of technical problems. • Strive to provide the same service as you would in a face-to-face reference interview. For example: • re-state the user’s question; • ask users when they need the information they’re seeking; • ask users where they have already searched, and what they have already found; • explain search details step by step; consider breaking long paragraphs into shorter sentences, and separating them with ellipses (…) to deliver instructions in manageable pieces; • include keyword search strategies within the text of the chat session, so the user can follow along with you in another browser window; • and, cut and paste URLs within the text of the chat. • When referring users to a specific database, be clear about the name (i.e., call it what the patron calls it, and/or verify that you and the patron are referring to the same database). • Make sure the user understands the concepts and vocabulary you’re using in the transaction (e.g., “article database”). • When answering a second or third instant message, let users know you are handling more than one IM. At your own discretion, consider limiting the number of instant messages you accept (perhaps no more than two or three), in order to ensure good IM reference service. • When you have to leave your desk, change the instant messaging status to “Be right back” or “Busy,” to let the user know you’re away. • When referring patrons to another person or department, include contact information. • When signing off, be sure to invite the patron to check back with the service if they still have questions.
Finish by thanking the patron and encouraging them to come back if they have any other questions.
Mark the session “Answered,” click on “Add” and then click on “Close.”
Additional Training • QuestionPoint has some good tutorials and a browser set-up checklist. • http://www.questionpoint.org/education/index.html • AskMN staff wiki • http://wiki.askmn.org/