Today I’ll share a small gain we’ve made on a rather mundane topic: overdue notices, produced via Destiny. For years, this has been our schedule:
7-14 days overdue > regular 1st overdue notice emailed
15-21 days overdue > regular 2nd overdue notice emailed
22+ days overdue > report produced to me for follow-up individually (ie. I’m the heavy)
The 22+ day report produced was usually 3-4 pages long. Which means not only did we often have popular books being held hostage, but it took a good deal of time and energy to follow up.
Until the dawn of the courtesy email!
I’ve lost the thread of where I heard about this (please tell me if it was you so that I can send you flowers). It’s been a huge improvement.
Sending the following email to borrowers who have materials due in the following week has cut that long overdue report from 3-4 pages to less than one:
“Just a friendly reminder that your book (or books) are coming due soon. Please return by the due date or contact us if you wish a renewal. Thank you.”
Students and staff are renewing and/or returning in greater numbers and people have expressed appreciation to us for giving them a heads up – customer service for the win! It’s also opened up more conversation with readers who take a bit more time to read, which is making me wonder if, rather than having a set borrowing period, we should start asking borrowers how much time they’d like (within reason).
Is anyone out there trying user-driven due dates?