Under the hood, each FAQ site can be connected to a queue and to an e-mail address/e-mail contact form. These integrations make it easier for patrons to find what they need. The FAQ provides answers to commonly asked questions. Chat lets patrons contact librarians in real time. And e-mail is available to enable patrons to reach librarians when your service is offline or if the patron does not wish to chat. Plus chat and e-mail are great ways for patrons to submit their own question to be added to the FAQ!
When patrons search the FAQ, they will see an "Ask Us" button included at the bottom of the instant results. When your queue is online, the button shows patrons a chat widget connected to your queue. When your queue is offline, the e-mail contant form is automagically shown instead. The "Not finding what you need? Contact us!" link included at the bottom of every FAQ page works exactly the same way.
The "Real-time chat" and "Email us" links in the right sidebar are hooked up in the same way as the "Ask us" button and "Not finding what you need? Contact us!" link at the bottom of the page. But either or both of these links can easily be overridden if desired by editing the right-sidebar.html template.
You can elect to use your own in-house e-mail contact form by specifying a URL for your e-mail integration. Or if you prefer, you can customize the default e-mail contact form.
The default e-mail contact form only asks for a patron's name, e-mail address, and question. Asking a patron to provide the most minimum of information lowers potential contact barriers that would prevent patrons from following through. Many times, this is enough information to get started. However sometimes it is useful to ask for additional information up front rather than rely on follow-ups. The e-mail contact form is flexible and you can include any additional HTML form fields you'd like.
The e-mail form lives in the email.html template. If you wished to ask for a phone number, that might look like:
<input name="phone" class="input-block-level" type="text" default-value="Your phone number" />
When adding an extra form field, it is crucial that your field has a name attribute. Only fields with name attributes will be included in the content of the sent e-mail. Above, we've called our phone number field "phone".