chapter  4
25 Pages

Visitor services: operating for quality

This chapter focuses on the standard of support facilities museums must seek to achieve for their visitors, including a service blueprint approach to evaluating these, but concentrates on the staff side of visitor services. It draws on the case for giving visitor services a central role in museum provision, how to define quality in visitor service provision, and measuring visit quality. The primary role of visitor services is to encourage and support access to museums by all visitors and potential visitors — whatever their age, gender, education, class, race, disability, reasons for coming. Visitor services 'wrap around' the site, collections and exhibitions to humanise the museum and bring the visit alive. Museums still have few professionally trained visitor services managers. Museum visitors seek individual experiences, so standardisation of content and service is both difficult and positively unwelcome. Quality visitor services, including front-of-house staff, play a vital role in encouraging the visitor to engage with and learn from collections.