For several years now, the Missouri State University Libraries has offered a chat reference service, enabling users to ask questions and receive prompt responses right online, while they seek, use, and create information.
This service became very popular when the physical libraries closed briefly last year. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, you could find the chat service embedded under the Ask a Librarian page and in select subject guides. Now, the chat service is featured on the main MSU Libraries homepage and will pop out after a few seconds to ask if you have any questions. This also happens on each subject guide.
This form of proactive chat has immensely increased our chat statistics. We are currently averaging over a 400% increase from January and February of 2020 to January and February 2021. Our patron service ratings from those months in comparison remain around the same with an average of 3.85 for the first two months of 2020 and an average of 3.86 (out of 4) for the first two months of 2021. A few comments left by library patrons include:
- Fast and Friendly service.
- I really love this feature from our library!
- Felt good to have support.
- I am amazed how quickly you all are able to help! You save us so much time and it is very much appreciated.