Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Best practice in visitor service

I have been sitting on this question for awhile from Pamela Clelland Gray: Dear Lynda, I hope this finds you well. I write to seek your guidance on where in the world you would suggest the best practice in Visitor Service in the environment of a gallery/museum might be taking place. I think a great deal more could be done in terms of human engagement with visitors, how the communication base of the gallery flows through to the experience of visitors.
I will be most appreciative of any guidance in this direction.

Hi Pamela. I have been pondering your question as I originally misread it as best programs but I now see you're looking more at customer service. Speaking personally, I have had mixed receptions in many of the museums and galleries I have visited across the world. As far as research in this area goes the only one I know of is Steve Yalowitz's doctoral study. Steve works at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and may be worth contacting him directly.

A good text that looks at many aspects of the visitor experience is Graham Black's book The Engaging Museum: Developing Museums for Visitor Involvement. It contains many examples and practical tips.

This is a good question and I'm wondering if others have any thoughts to share?

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