InfoServices: A Multi-Channel, Multi-Tier Model For Information Service Delivery

Salt, Rowan
January 2004
IATUL Annual Conference Proceedings;2004, Vol. 14, preceding p1
Conference Proceeding
Griffith University's Division of Information Services provides integrated library, information technology and flexible leaning services to Griffith's community of approximately 30,000 staff and students. A Division-wide restructure in 2001 led to the creation of InfoServices, a new organisational unit created from members of library and information technology front-line staff This unit was presented with the challenge of answering the majority of customer inquiries related to the Division's products and services. InfoServices seeks to resolve 80% of all customer inquiries at first contact, regardless of product. In order to meet this demand, InfoServices implemented a multi-channel multi-tier service delivery model. InfoServices' model comprises of three channels; the face-to-face service provided from each of the six campus libraries, a phone channel, delivered via a purpose-built 20 seat contact centre at the Nathan (Brisbane, Queensland) campus, and a digital channel, comprising web, e-mail and live electronic assistance. This multi-tier structure consists of Tier Zero, consisting of web-based and other self-help materials such as knowledge bases, frequently asked questions, and web forms. These resources empower clients to resolve their issues without intervention from InfoServices. Tier One encompasses the Library information desks, the contact centre and the e-mail answer service. Tiers Two and Three are specialist support groups such as Network Administrators and Information Literacy Specialists. To ensure the highest standards of customer service, InfoServices has standardised its service offerings, procedures and branding across all three channels, in addition to developing robust protocols for escalation and resolution of customer issues. Providing resolution to 80% of all customer enquiries has required a large amount of staff training and development. The three major directions of the training have been cross-skilling the staff across both library and information technology support, the ongoing development of best practice work methods for each of the products InfoServices supports, and a program of customer service training, designed and delivered in-house. Each of these training opportunities has been developed and provided for all InfoServices staff — regardless of campus or channel; further strengthening the consistency of InfoServices service. The paper further discusses the change management implications of bringing together Library and Information Technology staff to provide an integrated service, in particular the issues related to providing an effective service during periods of great internal change. InfoServices current initiatives related to its collaboration with Queensland University of Technology to provide out-of-hours support are also discussed.


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