The library at the City, University of London uses the Springshare Suite to provide outstanding service to patrons. The kudos from the university community to the librarians keep rolling in. Lucy Clifford, the Library Systems Manager/Analyst/ Programmer (she's wearing many hats, just like all of us at Springshare) shared with us how they're using the Springshare Suite to consistently provide outstanding service. With help from the data in Springshare tools they also continue to look deeper and work harder to improve even further.
There's a saying that people don't notice customer service until they're not receiving it. Today, there are so many ways for users to voice their complaints. But on the flip side today's users also have many avenues to send kudos for outstanding service. LibAnswers with LibChat provides Lucy and her colleagues a great feedback loop platform to receive both the kudos and suggestions for improvements.
Springy tools are an integral part of our library service. Our website homepage has embedded links to LibGuides, LibCal for group study rooms (a very popular resource), LibCal training calendars and LibAnswers Chat and FAQs. We also embed chat buttons where we think users might most need help, for example in our Discovery Service and our library account pages.
We’ve had great feedback from our users about the booking system and chat services in particular. We’re involved in an externally scrutinised customer service award scheme (the WOW! Awards) and a substantial number of the nominations received by library staff for these have resulted from LibChat enquiries. Quotes from our users submitting nomination forms include:
There's more good news - LibAnswers and LibChat are getting better all the time. We know how important it is that you both meet your patrons where they are and make an excellent first, second, third impression by consistently exceeding their expectations. To that end, Springshare is about to roll out new enhancements to LibChat designed to streamline the process of managing your chats and to improve behind-the-scenes group chats. When immediate assistance is unavailable LibAnswers features round-the-clock accessible FAQs so users can search the knowledgebase and/or easily submit their question.
Lucy Clifford and the Library team are getting such positive feedback from their students and faculty but they make it a priority to dig deeper and use the data in LibAnswers to improve further.
We've found that reviewing chat transcripts is a great way to find ways to improve our service. We use these as a training tool, so new members of staff can read through real chat interactions to get an idea how to do it.
The LibAnswers statistics offer stunning charts and graphs that are all printable and downloadable to be included in your reports. You can glean much from the data, for instance, to help understand when it's busiest so you know how many people to schedule. You can see which questions have the most views, who is asking, the subject of the questions, turnaround time and more. The LibChat transcripts are a favorite feature. Lucy says,
Our User Experience team also find these a good source of data about where our service might need some improvements. For example, we recently identified that we get the same questions repeatedly from the Library Account chat widget so we've embedded a few targeted FAQs into the page to try to answer users questions before they need to ask -- such as, 'what does hold mean' and 'why can't I renew these items?'
LibGuides CMS has exclusive features that include the LTI integration tool, enhanced statistics, access rules and permissions and more. The ability to have Groups and to be able to lock groups down has made LibGuides CMS ideal for building an intranet. The City library team has done just that.
The intranet also jump-started the creativity of the team! Lucy said,
We've transformed our Staff Manual, which contains all of our policies and procedures, into a searchable LibGuide so staff at service desks can find the answer to any procedure with a simple search.
They are active users of LibGuides CMS, linking to it from the library website. There are guides specific to each of their schools, a link to the library blog, and a link for Help. For instance, when you click on copyright, it's a guide. There's also a Contact Your Librarian guide which contains information on the Subject Librarians for each of the schools including the Cass Business School, City Law School, School of Arts and Social Sciences, etc. True to the heart of the City library's team, there's a call for feedback image they've designed that links to a LibWizard survey.
LibWizard is our most recent product. In addition to giving one of our colleagues great joy (he giggles every time someone mentions LibWizard) our Law Librarians have created a tutorial on the complicated requirements of referencing for Law. The tutorial has been taken over 200 times and has proved to be a very successful teaching tool.
LibCal is a calendaring solution with four components: Event Management, Appointment Scheduler, Spaces/Room Booking and Hours Management. There is an optional Equipment Booking module that can be added, as well. City library has 2 routes to get to LibCal. It's accessible via the library home page and also via a Support Tab that leads to Library training where you can register for workshops and book appointments with specialists. Lucy said,
The room bookings module in LibCal doesn't just work well for booking rooms. Our business school has a suite of dedicated terminals where users can access business databases (such as Bloomberg and Datastream). As these are in high demand we use LibCal to make each computer bookable.
During exam periods, we also reserve a number of desks in our silent study areas and make these bookable, so students can ensure they have a few hours guaranteed access to a quiet study area when they need it.
In Lucy's own words,
Springshare products are never just 'good enough'. Each product comes with widgets, APIs and additional functionality to the core product. They are designed with the UX experience of both the staff and the end user in mind, making them easy and intuitive to implement and use. Springshare products don't require any special skills or knowledge to implement, so even non-technicallly inclined staff find it easy to create and embed widgets from one product into another, for example, embed a training calendar into a LibGuide.
When we need to report a technical issue or simply have questions about one of the tools, the support team at Springshare are responsive, knowledgeable and friendly. We love that fact that if we ask about functionality that isn't yet available on a Springshare product, they track these to queue for future enhancements which then appear in regular updates throughout the year.