A recent study published by Museum Audience Insight looks at why almost 90% of visitors feel that staff does not really care about visitors. One visitor went as far to comment:
“I would get rid of the majority of the staff and replace them with energetic, well-informed individuals with an open creative mind and the ability to focus on the needs of the customer (the general public) and its changing face.” In other words, this visitor’s main museum fantasy is a caring staff.
Maybe even more surprising is the expectation among core visitors that expect to feel this way. There is a great deal Science Centers can learn from the retail industry.
when asked, “Is there anything where this organization falls short in meeting your needs (and your family’s)?” only 2% of respondents indicated that they “wished the staff cared more.” Two percent! What this tells us is that our Core Visitors don’t walk in the door expecting that museum staff members should care about them.
Most organizations will acknowledge there is room to improve but clearly Science Centers and other cultural institutions have a alarming problem – an organization that does not value its base of support will soon find it has no base of support.
Is there a solution?
A few Science Centers are starting to look to the customer-centric retail market for solutions. Customerville, a real-time customer feedback and engagement service has recently signed on several cultural institutions including a nationally recognized science center as a customer.
Customerville measures customer satisfaction in real time at the unit level, which means you can spot changes in service levels before they impact sales numbers (or in this case survey results). Our solutions, tailored to the needs of mid-sized operators, provide the information in the right way to the right people, resulting in dramatically improved service levels and greater sales through customer loyalty.
In addition to Customerville there are many feedback and communication tools that can help Science Centers reverse this trend.