Category Archives: SMS Text Messaging Customer Satisfaction

4 Ways Text Messaging Can Improve Your Patron Communications

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A recent Pew study revealed that 80 percent of American cell phone owners use text messaging as a means of communication, sending or receiving an average of 41.5 text messages per day. For the 18-24 age group, 97 percent of cell phone owners text, sending or receiving an average of 109.5 texts per day.

One look at these numbers and you know instantly how to reach a majority of your current library patrons and an even greater majority of tomorrow’s library patrons: via text.

Text messaging is a fast and efficient means of communicating with your library patrons and there are many ways in which you can use text messaging to improve your patron communications. Here are just a few types of messages you can communicate to your patrons via text:

1. Circulation Notices Such as Holds and Overdues.

Emails today convey much less of a sense of urgency than they did a few years ago, especially to younger library patrons. To catch your users’ attention with important circulation notices, try sending them via text instead of email. This way, they can act on the notices immediately.

2. Promotional Polls and Contests

A great way to keep your patrons engaged is to link promotions to programming and other library events. Your library can have contests where you send out polls or questions via text for prizes such as first row seats to an upcoming speaker (ie. “The first three patrons to text us the author of Tender Is the Night win front row seats to our October Author Speaker Series Event”). You can also hold a text vote to choose between two programming possibilities for an upcoming date.

3. URLs to Newsletters or Other Library Publications

Does your library publish a monthly newsletter? A terrific way to get the newsletter into the hands of your patrons so they may have immediate access is to send them a short text with the URL right when it is published. Your patrons can be reading the newsletter that your staff worked so hard on literally within seconds of publication.

4. Programming Reminders

In today’s fast-paced and information-packed world, we need to be reminded of things. A great way to promote your library programs is to send your patrons text reminders of upcoming events, along with URLs linking to further information if available. This way, they can check their schedules on the go and even add the events directly from your text to their calendars.

Try these text messaging tips to improve communications at your library. We think your patrons will appreciate it.

5 Reasons You Should Have Ask-a-Librarian on Every Page of Your Website


To get the most value out of your library’s services and provide patrons with the highest level of service, it is important to make it as easy as possible for your patrons to connect with those services

The best way to connect patrons with your Ask-a-Librarian service is to have Ask-a-Librarian tabs, links or buttons on every page of your library’s website. Here are five ways that implementing such a strategy with your online reference will benefit your users:

1. All successful advertisers know that the key to getting a message across is through repetition and consistent branding. When your patrons interact with a consistent layout from page to page and see Ask-a-Librarian on every page, you have created the best possible ongoing marketing campaign for your service, with an important added bonus: It’s free.

2. While we can predict some user behavior, we never really know when and where on a website patrons are going to need assistance. A patron may be on a page where the information seems to be straight-forward to librarians, but to an uninitiated patron the information may leave questions. Likewise, a patron may be on one page but thinking ahead to another problem or the next step in his or her research process. Having Ask-a-Librarian immediately available from wherever the patron may be on the library’s website ensures that he or she will be able to connect to help when needed.

3. If a patron is interacting with the library’s website, encounters a problem, and then has to recall where to go to find the Ask-a-Librarian service, the library has not succeeded in making the most of the service’s primary benefit to users – the ability to connect them instantly with a library professional who can solve their problem.

4. Consistent placement of the Ask-a-Librarian tab on your library’s webpages makes marketing the service via social media or flyers much easier. When the Ask-a-Librarian tab is on every page of your library website, there is no need to place an easily forgotten URL (or URLs) on your marketing materials – simply state that the Ask-a-Librarian service is available from every page on the library website and where it is located (“look for our Ask-a-Librarian tab in the upper left-hand corner of any page on the library site”).

5. Each Ask-a-Librarian query that comes from a specific page can help you improve the overall content and design of that page. When you have an Ask-a-Librarian chat box on every page, and you are tracking which pages queries come in from, this gives you the great benefit of an ongoing focus group indirectly telling you what works and what doesn’t work on every page of your library’s site.

Responding quickly to queries will help you provide the top-notch customer service that will keep your library patrons satisfied and returning for more business. To make sure your patrons submit those queries whenever they need help on your library’s site, you should have ask-a-librarian tabs on every page.

 

Mosio for Libraries
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http://mosio.com/libraries

Text Messaging: The New 800 Number in Customer Service and Advertising Response

Traditional Customer Feedback

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Augmenting Toll Free 800 Numbers With Mobile Text Messaging for Customer Service
Americans are texting more than they’re talking, a trend that’s likely to grow more than slow down over the next 5-10 years. It’s easy and it’s quick. The popularity and usage of texting is no surprise as the on-the-go lifestyle ends up being more like living than a style type. The truth is, people are still going to use the phone to talk, but the growing usage of text messaging across all demographics shows more people prefer text messaging.

Customers Will Be Heard
The bell curve above illustrates how customer feedback has traditionally been given: in person, comment card, telephone and email. It used to be an extremely effective way to give feedback to a company. But with the growth of social media, customers are being heard by their friends, co-workers and strangers whether they are happy or unhappy with a product or service. Some companies have taken to Twitter to handle customer service issues, but “we’re on Twitter” is not a social media customer service strategy (and it’s certainly not a mobile customer service strategy).

I’m not suggesting companies using Twitter don’t continue to do so, but reacting to a tweet about a bad experience is like someone yelling “this food sucks!” in a crowded restaurant: you can run over and help your upset patron, but the damage has been done. That’s the obvious reason why so many companies are jumping into the social media space: they have to do so to protect their brand image. But there’s another way to protect one’s brand image: make yourself more available to communicate directly with your customers.

Text Messaging: New Customer Conversations

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Text Messages: Direct Customer Conversations
If people are texting twice as much as they are talking and they’re using text messaging and mobile apps on their phones to update their status and communicate with friends, companies need to make themselves available via the mobile channel. People are posting their loves and dislikes for a product or service on social media services because it’s easy to do so. Integrating text messaging gives companies an opportunity to start a customer conversation using the medium customers prefer and keep the conversation between them. Is it going to stop everyone from ranting on updates and blogs when they’re upset? No, but it opens up dialogue with more possible customers at a fraction of the cost of 800 tolls or chasing down posts online.

Text Messaging Beyond Customer Service: Direct Response in Marketing and Advertising
I hate the word “blast” when it comes to mobile marketing and it’s a word used far too often in our industry. Customers don’t want to be blasted on their mobile phones. In fact, it’s the last place they’d want to be communicated with in such a way. The mobile medium offers so much to traditional advertising with more and more research showing mobile getting better response rates than online advertising.

We soft launched a mobile advertising response product with a few marketing and advertising agencies and are getting great feedback. The system lets customers help themselves get more information immediately using their mobile devices. Text messaging as a method of responding to ads, whether they be print, TV, billboards, posters or flyers is going to be a huge hit in 2010 and beyond. Used in customer service, direct response or as a helpline for a brand, mobile text messaging is still in its infancy. What’s better, you don’t need “an app for that” to use it in your business.

For information on how Mosio can help you set up mobile text messaging customer satisfaction, service and feedback systems,contact us or visit www.mosio.com.

Text Messaging Use in Helplines, Hotlines and Info Lines

Help and Info is Only a Text Away

Yesterday Scarleteen, a free sexuality information resource for teens and young adults went live with their Text Scarleteen service. I’ve been quite impressed by the buzz already surrounding their launch of the service in the first day (and their graphic, above, is great as well). Owned and operated by Heather Corinna (plus a handful of volunteers), Scarleteen provides service to approximately 20-30,000 young adults per month internationally. Heather and her team seem to have no trouble getting traffic to the website where they can ask questions via email or read and respond to messages on their message board.

Scarleteen’s use of text messaging in this way isn’t augmenting a phone line, but rather using it as an additional way for young people to get in touch with someone who cares when they’re out in the world. Last month I wrote a post on our mobile answers blog called “sex and health education for teens and young adults via mobile text messaging – private, personal, anonymous, and effective” pointing out some of the reasons we’ve been contacted lately by health centers and services on campuses and in the community. In a recent meeting with an organization that provides youth lines, they told us that their phone call volumes were going down. It makes sense. Americans on average, text twice as much as they talk on their mobile devices. If teens aren’t talking to their friends as much on the phone, preferring texting, then it’s not going to be their first choice in communication tool for speaking to hotlines or helplines. The organization that we met with knows using text messaging to communicate will prove to be more successful. I’d argue this is the case not only for teens, but 20-35 year olds as well, even if for different reasons.

Consumers expect businesses to have a website. They expect many businesses to have a toll-free number. If your audience carries a mobile phone, they’re going to expect to communicate with you on that device and behaviors are showing that it’s not going to be talking.

More and more libraries are beginning to understand this and moving that way. They use text messaging as a way to extend their outreach, expand their walls and communicate with patrons wherever they are. It’s an exciting movement and very fun to watch. What we’re seeing with our customers is the understanding that simply having texting capabilities isn’t enough. There has to be a way to collaborate, archive, search, run statistics and become more efficient in responding through the mobile medium. We’re happy they’re choosing us to do so and are getting more and more interest in our text messaging for hotlines, helplines and info lines software.

Below I’ve reposted the “9 reasons to use mobile messaging for sex and health education for teens and young adults” in case you haven’t seen it yet. Most of the reasons below can be applied to any organization in communicating with all U.S. mobile phone users these days, not just the younger demographic, but that’s for another post.

9 Reasons to use Mobile Text Messaging for Sex and Health Education for Teens and Young Adults

1. Their mobile phone is everywhere they are. Phones are in their pockets and in their purses, everywhere they go. Text messaging offers a quick, discrete method of communication whenever and wherever advice is needed.

2. Text messaging technologies exist that provide anonymous interactions, allowing conversations to be private and confidential.

3. It is difficult to get over the hurdle of calling or coming in face-to-face for advice or help. Starting the conversation via text messaging can lead to more personal interactions (phone or appointment) once a level of comfort has been reached.

4. 80% of 18-34 year olds report cell phone as “lifeline” in a recent survey conducted by Sprint.

5. “Sexting” is a real problem. Utilizing the same medium to educate students can make a positive impact on negative behavior. They are obviously communicating about sex with their peers through text messaging & mobile photos, so this channel is open for healthier conversations.

6. 71% of teens and 90% of college students own a cell phone (Pew Internet and Student Monitor, respectively).  Not all own computers or have the privacy at home to be able to consult health professionals and sex education specialists.

7. Young people already understand texting can be used beyond peer-to-peer interactions. American Idol and youth-targeted marketing campaigns have done this for years, so there is no obstacle or major challenge for them to understand how a text messaging service works.

8. Quick, immediate, real-time availability by health services/information specialists can help prevent delayed, long-term issues.

9. It is a lot easier than you may think to implement a text message service and information helpline to reach more teens and young adults.

Texting the Library – Beyond Reference Services

Text the Library With Comments, Feedback and Suggestions

Enabling libraries to set up mobile text messaging reference services so patrons can ask questions has been the primary use of our technology to date. In fact, mobile questions and answers is our business, it’s what we geek out on every day at work. But there’s another use for Mosio’s Text a Librarian currently being utilized and we’d like to encourage more of it: Patron feedback and suggestions via text messaging.

Encouraging patrons to text comments, suggestions and feedback can be a great way to gather intelligence about library use and provide insight on opportunities to better serve them. Being able to collect this feedback everywhere throughout the library beyond a stationary suggestion box allows patrons to chime in at their point of experience. Plus, it will get them to start using your mobile reference service, showing them all of the ways they can communicate with the library.

As a company, Mosio prides itself on listening to the suggestions and feedback of librarians to help make our software better. The product development team always wants to know how people are using the service, what would make it better, more useful, easier to interact with. The product has come a long way in the past 8 months since we launched, but we’re not done making it better. The same is true for those libraries we see who are embracing new technologies and services to become more relevant to patron needs.

Of course, there are always the traditional methods of gathering feedback through simple conversations, suggestion boxes, emails, surveys, etc, but if your library is already offering a text message reference service, you can easily extend the service to include comments and suggestions.

“Questions, Comments, Feedback? Text Us!”

By making it easier for them to communicate with you when they have ideas, you can collect great information that’s helpful to the entire library. Capturing patron thoughts in a database, where reports can be run, shared and talked about, gives you the ability to make ongoing improvements to your library services.

To those libraries who have already put this new use into play, we applaud you! For those looking to get interested, we’ll be creating and posting some easy to use comments/feedback patron marketing templates to use very soon, so stay tuned.