First-Time And Repeat Visitors: What Makes A Satisfying Museum Experience?

This reading goes into some of the inner workings behind understanding visitors’ satisfaction, the work that goes into developing museum-going as a competitive leisure experience, and ways that museums could approach measuring customer satisfaction. The reading proposed that a repeat visitor was often a sign of a satisfied customer and would expand on that further in the study they performed. The reading also emphasized the importance of museums doing their own surveys and research to better understand the needs of their visitors, since their survey was only of a small community history museum. I do think the overall message of the reading, regarding meticulously tracking metrics for customer engagement and satisfaction is critical though, with leisure activities constantly competing for our dollars there are thousands of hours put into researching customer trends from their data, and I think it’s essential for museums to use this kind of data to keep themselves relevant.

The Experience Economy

In the reading, the authors delve into the core components of experiences and what makes them valuable. I think this is relevant in the context of museums because museums essentially sell guests an experience, typically the experience of navigating through a museum and going to many different exhibits. The authors pose an important question for those who sell experiences, which is how do you enrich and improve them? I found the idea of theming experiences to be especially powerful, experiences often don’t exist in isolation instead they often build on each other often exhibit after exhibit in a museum, so ensuring a cohesive and coercive message and storying is being conveyed through the experience is crucial to creating a good product. Creating a powerful theme can immerse guests in a whole new sense of reality, and help bring guests into a much better space for learning and engaging than their usual mindset.