Tag Archives: sms

7 Things Library Customers Want NOW | Customer Service and Library Patrons

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7 Things Library Customers Want NOW

What attracts library customers to today’s libraries? The rise of mobile culture and the smart phone society brings a dynamic shift in expectations about how, when, and where to access information. Endless media streams, interactive news feeds, and autonomous research options provide numerous avenues for information-seeking customers. What factors draw their attention to the library, rather than a crowdsourced data channel, commercial service, or search engine?

1.    Convenience. Mobile customers use text messaging constantly and carry on multiple conversations concurrently. Libraries offering SMS services to manage reference, information, or patron relationships fit seamlessly into to this information exchange and can interact directly with the customers at the point of need.

2.    Community. Libraries serve an essential role as a leading provider of educational programs, local events, after school and family activities, and employment and business resource centers. Announcements, notifications, mailing lists, newsletters, and social media are effective options for community interaction, library marketing, and advocacy.

3.    Immediacy. Libraries partner with other libraries around the city, county, state, and country, and make use of these established networks to connect readers and researchers with necessary information. From integrated request systems to on-site kiosks, libraries support patron self-service, both inside and outside of library buildings.

4.    Accuracy. Librarians deliver experienced, trained, and intuitive support to readers and researchers seeking specific content. Rich collections are enhanced by a curator’s historical knowledge, detailed research questions are handled by subject specialists, and so on. Library services delivered via IM (instant messaging), allow librarians to handle complete questions while providing direct access to supporting documentation and online resources.

5.    Customization. Once accurate content is identified, librarians provide expertise, synthesis, analysis, feedback, and references, without bias, in the context of the inquiry.

6.    Privacy. Libraries’ privacy practices are published and non-negotiable: private records are not made public, sold to advertisers, or shared with other agencies.

7.    Service. Regular library users recognize the value of direct support, local context, and personal attention. These strengths, built and enhanced through patron relationships, set outstanding libraries apart from the competition.

About the Author
Lisa Carlucci Thomas is the Director and Founder of Design Think Do, providing innovation and technology consulting to libraries, publishers, and information partners. Follow Lisa on Twitter @lisacarlucci

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The ubiquity imperative and the economics of attention – The competition for patron engagement

“How many people with short attention spans does it take to screw in a light bulb-wanna go on a bike ride?”

An article from Ryan Lawler on GigaOm the other day, the ubiquity imperative and the economics of attention shines a bright light on the importance of ubiquity among content companies clamoring for the attention of consumers. It struck a chord with me in the context of libraries from the simple fact that patrons are always customers to companies, in and out of the library.

While the post speaks specifically to video content, the message is clear:
“…consumers are now in charge of when and how they [consume] content. No longer content to be stuck to someone else’s schedule, consumers expect to be able to access their favorite content whenever they want and on a wide range of devices. As a result, the media companies that will win are those that recognize the need to be everywhere.” Full GigaOm Article here

Libraries have to be everywhere, on every device, to compete for patron attention. More time and money to spend, more technologies to sign up for and support. Not great news, but also not entirely true.

The strategy many libraries are implementing to solve this: Pick and choose your battles by choosing ubiquitous technologies rather than trying to be everywhere. For example, in mobile technologies, if you want to reach the largest amount of patrons on their mobile phones, you have 2 great choices: voice calls and text messaging. All mobile phones, smart or not-smart (aka “feature phones”) have both capabilities and are used by nearly everyone. At Mosio, we say “texting is the new talking”, not because we don’t enjoy talking to people, but because people are texting more than they’re talking on mobile phones. It’s simple, more efficient and enables time-shifting for busy schedules.

There are some amazing mobile technologies in the world. If we had unlimited resources and time, I’d have a developer working on as many as possible, but I don’t know any organization that has unlimited resources. With mobile messaging utilized twice as much as voice calls on mobile phones in the U.S. and around the world, we happily have our hands full offering solutions available to the largest amount of mobile users.

SMS FTW,

Noel

Library Mobile Apps: Developing an iPhone app is more expensive than most people think.

Reposted for Libraries from Mosio’s Company Blog

Text Messaging is Used by Consumers Twice as Much as Mobile Apps

A colleague sent me a stack overflow thread today entitled “How much does it cost to develop iPhone applications?” It’s worth taking a look at, most interesting is an answer suggesting around $10,000 ($50/hr for a Developer and $50/hr for a Graphic Designer x 200 total hours), which the stack overflow community quickly jumped on, providing insight and information to back up a more realistic $50k-100k (and some say $200k) price tag.

At Mosio, naturally we get asked about mobile applications from clients all the time. I love my MacBook Pro, iPhone and iPad, but Apple has spent plenty of money in advertising to convince us all that “There’s an App for That.” They even spent money trademarking the phrase and that’s fine, they benefit by doing so. The craziest thing about the mobile apps hype is that it caters to less than 1/3 of the mobile subscriber market. Consider recent research about Mobile Content Usage for the month of July 2010 in the image above from Wireless Week:

Among all U.S. mobile subscribers ages 13+:
31.4% Used a Downloaded App
33.6% Used a [Mobile] Browser
66% Sent a text message to another phone

Why, then, do people think it’s so inexpensive to develop iPhone apps?
I’m not exactly sure, but my guess is that it’s a combination of people wanting to believe it costs less combined with the misinformation from people selling shoddy development services or app workarounds trying to capitalize on the hype. And before those of you developing “affordable” iPhone applications start flaming me in the comments, consider the fact that by saying it’s inexpensive and cheap, you’re essentially selling yourselves short, commoditizing your expertise. The misinformation hurts your skills and service.

The world is mobile and we want to provide a mobile experience beyond text messaging. What should we do?

If you are a library and looking for a great way to mobilize your website or catalog, we recommend you visit our friends at Boopsie. They have a great team and wonderful experience in helping libraries on an existing platform that makes the process simple.

Mosio CEO Interview on UNTETHER.tv Discussing Text Messaging in the Mobile Workforce and Text a Librarian

I was interviewed by Rob Woodbridge @RobWoodbridge last week on UTETHER.tv (conversations with mobile industry rock stars). In the interview we discuss how Jay Sachdev and I got into the mobile business, our flagship product “Text a Librarian” and our new mobile software as a service product for mobile workforce automation, FieldForce Mobile.

Thanks Rob for the great interview!

Video embedded below:

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.