Curbside past COVID
Last year, most library systems looked towards curbside service to provide physical materials when physical contact was not possible. Now that in-person services are reopening, patrons and staff are looking to continue curbside service for convenience.
Various patron types prefer curbside. Parents with young children in car seats, patrons that may have difficulty getting out of the car, or someone that loves the convenience, retaining curbside post COVID will be a win for patrons and a win for libraries wanting to add circulation. If your location has a difficult downtown parking situation, continuing curbside service makes it simple for patrons to access your branch and services.
What is the cost of adding curbside service to your full menu of services? If patrons call in when they park, add up the time of every one of those phone calls and the inability to walk away from the desk. For many mid-size library locations, 1,000 curbside checkouts a month has been common. Even one minute of talk time to gather a patron’s name, barcode, and parking spot will add up to hours of talk time per month. With the resumption of in-person services, committing additional hours may be difficult.
Curbside Communicator has made this process simple by automating the information gathering before even notifying library staff. Staff receive a browser-based notification after all your standard questions are answered. They then grab the item, complete the checkout, send a preconfigured response, and walk the items to the car or table. The questions and prebuilt responses are configurable at every branch. Find out insights specific to your curbside process through built-in reporting at the staff and management level, including full transcripts.
Patrons follow a familiar process as other curbside check-in tools. Signage at the library shows the local phone number to text and their location. The automated questions let patrons provide all the information staff need to complete the transaction. If there’s a need for additional questions, patrons can communicate through SMS as needed. The staff’s simple interface makes it easy to chat back with patrons.
With a simple month-to-month agreement, Curbside Communicator is easy to get started and use as your team needs. Curious about how Curbside Communicator would work for your team? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a demonstration and chat.