Monthly Archives: April 2014

Tweeting customer service

I’m impressed.

I stayed at the Washington Hilton recently while attending Computers in Libraries. I tweeted that I had checked in and got a response from the Hilton, welcoming me to DC. Nice touch.

When I got home and looked at my credit card bill, I realized there were two additional charges on my card that weren’t mine. I tried calling the hotel itself and getting it resolved, but not only do they have one of those über -annoying voice-mail menus, but I couldn’t get any help. Frustrated, I tweeted my annoyance.

Almost immediately, Hilton tweeted back. How could they help? They asked me to follow them so we could direct message. I did, and was contacted by Fran, who asked for details so she could resolve the problem.

This is serious customer service.

Twitter is sometimes dismissed as a fluffy venue for people to post about their lunch, or how much they want coffee, or complain about the weather.  Guilty as charged. However, it can be used as a terrific way to monitor your business reputation – or that of your library.  How wonderful would it be to be able to resolve a customer service issue for one of your library patrons?  If that patron is like me, they’ll be impressed and spread the word.

There are two great lessons to take away from this experience. The first was the welcome tweet. If you’re monitoring your library’s Twitter feed (and I’m assuming you are) you can respond to any patron who checks in, or mentions that they’ve visited. It’s a nice way to let them know you’re listening, and to appreciate them for their patronage.

The second is the customer service interaction. If a patron has a complaint, you can not only help to solve the problem, but you can keep the problem from escalating by dealing with it as soon as possible. The patron will be appreciative, and the resulting good will is priceless.

I must say, this has made me impressed enough with Hilton that I will go out of my way to stay at one of their hotels in the future. Good job!

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Filed under CILDC, Customer Service, Me and mine

Super Searcher Tips

Mary Ellen Bates

Motherpipe: search engine based on Bing, with servers in Germany.

Million short: remove top 100 to 1 million search.Long tail research.

Wikipedia different in different language versions.

Social-Searcher : search specific social media with different filters; analytics.

Twitter has improved its search function.

Hashtagify.me: find related hashtags on Twitter. Find top influencers, see popularity trends.

Use Pocket while searching. GetPocket.com. Browser extension. 1 Click saves pages, assign labels. Can push articles to phone.

Google Scholar Library: saves your cites in one place.  Can add labels to sort.

Searchonymous: anonymous Google while logged in. Firefox addon.

Find lists with Google: “top 10..30 tips” keyword.

Google maps gallery:  maps.google.com/gallery. Browse or search. World Bank, census, etc.

Google autcomplete: find alternatives to a product or service. something vs.

Google’s new site info card: learn more about the site before going to it.

Google images has added CC  filters.

Google media tools: google.com/get/mediatools

Google hack for job search, for jobs not listed outside their website.  site:taleo.net  intitle:career librarian Weird glitch: use (intitle:career OR intitle:careers)  gets many more hits.

Great presentation!

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Filed under Libraries and Librarianship

Conferencing

I’m in Washington DC attending the Computers in Libraries conference. It’s an interesting mix of librarians with little experience in techie things (I helped one get set on Twitter) and the super-geeks who can hack the world. I’ll be blogging and tweeting as the day goes along, so stay tuned.

For those of you who aren’t interested in library stuff, I apologize for the chatter. Feel free to tune out.

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April Fool

I hate April Fool’s Day.

I never was that much of a fan, either of pranking or being pranked. But my freshman year of college was the death knell for any joy I would get from the day.

On March 31st of that year, two college friends were in a fatal car accident. They both were movers and shakers in our small college campus; everyone knew them. One was the editor of the campus newspaper. They were both charming and funny and much, much too young to die.

I had the unfortunate timing to come across the accident just as the emergency medical crew was frantically working on one of them; he was pronounced dead on arrival. The other friend died two days later, on April 2nd.

We – the friends who had learned of Kirk and Pat’s accident and subsequent death – now had the unenviable task of relating the news to the rest of the campus. On April 1st.

Imagine telling someone news like that, only to have them chide you for trying to pull such an awful April Fool’s prank. And you reply no, it isn’t a prank. And they insist it is. And so on.

It made the awful job of relating such news that much more awful.

And so, while others share silly “news” stories with glee, I will be remembering Kirk and Pat.  I hate April Fool’s Day.

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Filed under Me and mine