We're taking a bit of a breather while the world rearranges its underpants. Meanwhile, the other blog is here.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Overture and beginners

There are worse project managers than librarians!

The call centre goes live in a couple of weeks (brilliant timing on the council's part). Milton, Bronwyn and I have spent the past couple of weeks constructing help sheets, FAQs and model scripts and I've constructed a pile of HTML pages taking the call centre staff through the recursive elements of your typical library enquiry where a customer wants to renew overdue books and it turns out that we need to correct their address because the notices have been returned to sender "not known at this address." I've done some work with the operational manager to work out the training requirements and pencil together a training schedule. We're getting there.

Except for a pile of panicky emails and 'phone calls this afternoon from the project managers who want to know how to give the call centre staff access to the library management system. Milton told them in principle in writing last summer and I told them in detail, including prices and suppliers, twice in October and once again in December. What have they been doing? Drawing increasingly inaccurate flow charts which they send us once a week, we correct and they ignore, that's what.

Last year the council outsourced its business management processes so as to improve its project management. Obviously getting its money's worth.


Webrarian said...

We turned off our 24/7 automated phone renewals service at the beginning of the year, and substituted an answerphone - about a thousandth of the cost of replacing it with something more upmarket.

When there's someone sitting next to the machine, they answer it (now there's a novelty for you).

We were baffled and intrigued to discover, on routing the old number through, that half the renewals calls were actually enquiries.

And most of the renewals were from people who didn't listen to the lengthy recorded message and just starting typing in their library card number as before.

We now have a caller display phone to catch those, as they had a tendency to mutter and put the phone down, leaving everything unrenewed and us not knowing who they were.

Good luck with the call centre.

Kevin Musgrove said...

We have an answerphone at Helminthdale but the rest of the libraries just ring and ring (as does Helminthdale some days but that's another story).

It's all this t-gov nonsense where I get swamped with emails banging on about mobile working and then can't get out of the office for boxes.