Public libraries have seen potential in live chat as a customer service tool for a long time. However, in many cases technical and logistical challenges have limited its usefulness and popularity with patrons.
In this series of posts, we’ll address five common mistakes libraries make with live chat that hamper its utility as a customer service channel. Fixing these things will produce more chats, more patron activity (checkouts, downloads, visits, sign-ups), and fewer phone calls and emails for staff to deal with.
Mistake #1: Chat Widget Not on All Pages
Many libraries offer live chat, but only on the contact page of their website. Presumably this is so that they don’t get too many chats – which is exactly the result. But then why offer chat at all?
When the chat window appears on just the contact page (for example), customers have to navigate there to use it, or even discover it in the first place. And because the chat window is embedded on just that one page, the customer has to stay right there until the chat is done, or open a new tab in their browser to look at other pages on the library website while the chat continues.
This technical limitation forces online patrons to use the phone and email to communicate with the library, adding unneeded effort, complexity, and delay to the customer experience.
This allows patrons to easily find and use the chat service wherever they happen to be on your website, and allows the chat conversation to go with them as they navigate around the site and follow links provided to them by the library chat representative.
Many online patrons know what they’re after and don’t need to chat on every visit. But for those who do, make sure immediate help is always just a click away by placing your chat widget on each and every page.