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Chat and followup

Overview

This overview of chat and followup provides context for setup activities and decisions.

Chat workflow

  1. Librarian logs on to QuestionPoint, launches the chat monitor, selects queues.
  2. Librarian accepts a chat request and chats/co-browses with a patron.
  3. Librarian selects a resolution code at the end of the chat session.
  4. QuestionPoint sends the transcript to the patron’s email address.
  5. QuestionPoint creates a question (reference transaction) for the session and places it in the QuestionPoint system, including the chat transcript and other information about the session.
  6. Based on the resolution code selected, QuestionPoint assigns a status to the question and adds it to a question list in the Ask module.
  7. Librarian logs out of the chat monitor upon completion of his or her chat shift. 

Resolution codes and their effect in QuestionPoint

  • Followup by patron’s library: The status of the question is New for the patron’s library. The question is unassigned. If Shared Followup is turned on for the patron library’s group, the question is also included in the Shared Followup list. The question is not included in the question lists of the chatting librarian’s library.
  • Followup by me: The question is assigned to the chatting librarian, whether or not he or she is from the patron’s library. The status of the question is New for the librarian’s library. The status is Pending for the patron’s library if it is not the librarian’s library. The question is not included in the Shared Followup list even if Shared Followup is turned on.
  • Answered: The status of the question is Answered for the patron’s library. The status is Answered for the chatting librarian’s library also if it is not the patron’s library. The question is assigned to the chatting librarian.
  • Practice: Same as Answered
  • Lost call: The status of the question is Closed for the patron’s library. The status is Closed for the chatting librarian’s library also if it is not the patron’s library. The question is assigned to the chatting librarian.

The 24/7 Reference Cooperative's best practices document contains guidelines for use of the Resolution codes by members of the cooperative. Libraries and groups should provide guidelines for use of the codes by their librarians when they are not participating in the cooperative.

Question status

  • New (New question symbol): Needs follow-up by your library
  • Pending (Pending question symbol): Needs follow-up by another library, subject-matter expert, or patron
  • Answered (Answered question symbol): Answer sent to the patron during or after the chat session
  • Closed (Closed question symbol): Work on the question is considered to be complete (librarians can close questions in QuestionPoint)

Question lists

Under the Questions tab:

  • Active Questions: Your library’s questions that have New, Pending, or Answered status.
  • New Questions: Your library’s questions that have New status.
  • Pending Questions: Your library’s questions that have Pending status.
  • Referred Questions: Your library’s questions that involve another library or a subject-matter expert and have New, Pending, or Answered status. This list is used primarily by libraries that provide e-mail reference. They use it to monitor questions that they have referred to another library or a subject-matter expert.
  • Answered Questions: Your library’s questions that have Answered status.
  • Closed Questions: Your library’s questions that have Closed status.
  • All Questions: Your library’s questions that have New, Pending, Answered, or Closed status.
  • Shared Followup Questions: Questions, for any library in your group, that have New status and are waiting for any librarian in your group to claim for followup; list appears only if Subscription Group administrator turns on Shared Followup.

Under the My Questions tab:

  • For each of your library’s librarian accounts, the question lists under this tab contain the subset of your library’s questions that are assigned to that librarian. (For example, in your account, the lists contain the questions assigned to you.)
  • The following lists are provided: My Active Questions, My New Questions, My Pending Questions, My Referred Questions, My Answered Questions, My Closed Questions, All My Questions. 

Service History

Inactive questions remain in question lists for 90 days. Then QuestionPoint moves them to the Service History (Ask > Service History).

Follow-up workflow

  1. Librarian logs on to QuestionPoint; goes to a list of questions needing follow-up:
    • Shared Followup Questions (Question Lists > Shared Followup)
    • New Questions (Question Lists > New)
    • My New Questions (My Questions > New)
  2. Librarian selects a question and sends an answer to the patron. Referral: Rather than send an answer, the librarian could refer a question to another library or a subject-matter expert. See Referral of questions and transcripts: overview.
  3. QuestionPoint sends the answer to the patron’s e-mail address, changes the status of the record to Answered, and moves it to the Answered Questions list.

Setup

Do the setup tasks below to provide chat and follow-up to patrons. Some tasks are done by the Subscription Group administrator and some by the Institution administrators. The Subscription Group administrator also does the Institution administrator tasks for his or her own library.

Subscription Group administrator

Chat service and follow-up: If you are the Subscription Group administrator, review the current settings for each of these tasks and make changes as needed.

task feature location in system what to do tips/resource links
Turn on shared follow-up.

(This task applies to
groups that contain
two or more libraries
and use chat with co-browse.)
Shared follow-up Administration >
Subscription Group >
Settings > Shared Followup
Check or uncheck the box and click Save to turn shared follow-up on or off. If turned on (checked), sessions marked for Followup by patron’s
library
are listed for any group librarian to claim at Ask > Questions
> Shared Followup. And the Shared
Followup referral option becomes
available.

If turned off (unchecked), you have
no Shared Followup question list. Each library does its own follow-up. 
Create chat forms for
your Queues
Chat Forms Manager Administration >
Subscription Group >
Chat Forms Manager >
Chat Form
Choose and configure fields for inclusion on the chat form for each queue. Create your group's chat forms
Create scripts for use
by all libraries in your
group.

(This task applies to
groups that contain
one or more libraries
and use chat with co-browse.)
 
Shared scripts; Shared URL Scripts

(See Tips/resource links column)
Administration >
Subscription Group >
Settings > Shared
Scripts; Shared URL
Scripts
For each script, supply a name and text or a URL and click Add. Add, change, or remove scripts

Institution administrator

Chat service and follow-up: If you are an Institution administrator, review the current settings for each of these tasks for your library and make changes as needed. If you are the Subscription Group administrator, review the current settings for each of these tasks for your own library and make changes as needed. 

task feature location in system what to do tips/resource links
Create any needed library accounts Librarian accounts Administration > Institution > Accounts Create any new librarian accounts that are needed. You can create as many librarian accounts as you need to provide your library’s reference service, at no additional cost. We recommend that every librarian who uses chat have his or her own QuestionPoint account. Two people
cannot use the same account at the same time to chat.

See Create librarian accounts.
Confirm that librarians are trained and ready     Provide opportunities for training and practice with QuestionPoint.
Confirm that librarians' workstations are set up     Ensure that the browser setup procedures have been followed. QuestionPoint training
Verify that your library's network does not conflict with chat     Ensure that your library’s network
accesses the Internet without passing through a proxy server.

Or, if it does pass through a proxy server, request that traffic to and from port 80 not be cached for
questionpoint.org 
These requirements are necessary because QuestionPoint chat
refreshes every few seconds.

Ask your network administrator to contact OCLC Support with
questions.
Verify or edit your policy page and make it viewable.

(Required, if you are a member of the 24/7 Reference Cooperative)
Policy page Profile > Institution Services > Policies If status is Hidden, click Change to change status to Viewable.

Click Edit to edit a field.

Click Save to save changes to a field.

Click the View Policy Page to view the results of saved changes.
Create or update your library's policy page
Submit your policy page if you are a member of the Cooperative Policy page Profile > Institution Services > Policies Click Submit when your policy page is ready in order to begin your chat service and your participation in the Cooperative. After you submit the policy page, the QuestionPoint team sets up your primary chat queue and notifies you. Then you can place links to your
chat form on your library's web site. 
Create scripts for use by your library Institution’s Scripts;
Institution’s URL Scripts

(See Tips/resource
links column) 
Ask > Settings > Institution’s Scripts;
Institution’s URL Scripts
For each script, supply a name and text or a URL and click Add. Add, change, or remove scripts
Remind librarians to create scripts for their personal use My Scripts; My URL Scripts

(See Tips/resource links column)
Ask > Settings > My
Scripts; My URL Scripts
For each script, supply a name and text or a URL and click Add. Add, change, or remove scripts
Verify or configure your library's chat form   Administration >
Institution > Forms >
Forms Manager > Chat
Settings and URLs
View the published chat forms, which are hosted by QuestionPoint, and get the URLs needed to create links to the forms.

Customize the look and feel of the chat form banner, and add your customized banner to the published chat forms (optional).

View and customize the chat-closed
page that your patrons see if chat is not available (optional).
Contact your Group/BME administrator to discuss any questions.

See Set up your library's chat form.
Set your library's Viewport URL Viewport URL Administration >
Institution > Forms >
Viewport URL
Type the Viewport URL in its box and click Save.

When a librarian accepts a chat request, the page for the URL appears in the left side of the patron’s chat window.
Do not use a framebusting URL.
Verify important profile information Institution Information

Institution Contact Information

Group Branding 
Profile > Institution
Services > Inst Info;
Contact

Administration >
Subscription Group >
Settings > Branding
(Subscription Group
administrator only)
Provide your library’s information for the following fields:
  • Inst Info: Inst (Institution) Name; State/Province; Country; Time Zone; Daylight savings
  • Contact: Alert E-mail; Library Type(s)
  • Group Branding: Short Name

Click Save on each page. 
You can change pre-existing information as needed. For example, change uppercase letters only to upper and lower case letters.

See What profile information should every library provide?
Turn on email notices of new questions or follow-up E-mail notification Administration >
Institution > Settings >
E-mail Notification
Click Yes if you want to receive an email notice when a new question or chat transcript needing follow-up arrives in your library’s account.
Click No if you do not.

If you click Yes, type an email address or addresses in the box.

Click Save
You can use a mailing list address.

Separate multiple addresses with
semicolons.

Click Test to send a test message to the address or addresses that you specified.

See Set the email notification address.
Customize system-generated email messages sent to patrons Custom Messages

Administration >
Institution > Settings > Custom Messages

Custom Messages:
Custom Reply Text
appears at the bottom
of all messages to patrons.

Messages related to
chat and/or followup:

  • Answer
  • Clarification Request
  • New Account from Chat
  • Chat Transcript

Messages related to
e-mail (web form)
reference:

  • Answer
  • Clarification Request
  • New Accounts
  • New Question
  • Acknowledgement Page 
Click Change to exclude (off) or include (on) patron account information in messages to patrons.

Click Edit to edit a particular message.

To edit Custom Reply Text, click Yes, type the text, and click Save. It does not have a Test button. Custom Reply Text appears in the other patron messages when you test them.

To edit other messages, click Custom, type the text, and click Save. Click Test to view a mockup
of a message as saved.

Click Cancel to return to the main Custom Messages page.
Custom messages
Turn on capture of patron replies to system email messages Outgoing address   Click On, click Custom, type a custom email address, and click
Save.

If you do this, QuestionPoint sends
an e-mail notice to the librarian and adds the patron’s reply to the
question history when a patron replies to a chat transcript, answer or clarification request.
The custom e-mail address appears
as the From address in system email messages to patrons. You may want to use an address that identifies your library. You can use a valid address or one that just looks valid because patron replies do not actually go to the custom address.

See Outgoing address.
Turn on patron survey form Patron survey form Administration >
Institution > Surveys >
Survey Form
  1. Check the boxes for both survey forms (Chat Session and Ask Answers).
  2. Check the box for each question (up to 15) that you want to include in each form. (You can choose the same or different questions for each form.)
  3. Click Save.

After you save, you can click each View button to test the results.

Chat survey form: Patron can complete it when a chat session ends or the transcript email arrives.

Ask survey form: Patron can complete it when a follow-up answer arrives via email.

See Create/manage patron survey forms.
Display links in Worldcat.org to your library's reference service.

(These links increase the visibility of your reference service.)
Open WorldCat Setting; Question Form URL Administration >
Institution >Forms >
Question Form
If you want to include a link in WorldCat.org to your library’s reference service and your library makes its holdings available in
WorldCat.org, click Yes and type
the URL for your reference service in the Question Form URL.

Otherwise, click No
Display links to your reference service
Exclude transcripts of chat sessions with other libraries' patrons Chat Transcripts Administration >
Institution > Settings >
Chat Transcripts
If you want to exclude transcripts of your library's chat sessions with other libraries' patrons from your library's question lists, click the Exclude button and click Save.

If you do nothing, these transcripts will be included in question lists because that is the default option. 
The Exclude setting applies to libraries that pick up chat sessions with other libraries' patrons, whether or not they participate in the 24/7 Reference Cooperative. Excluding these transcripts simplifies workflow for some libraries.

See Include/exclude transcripts of our chat sessions with other libraries' patrons.

 

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