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Museum Customer Experience (CX)

Museum Customer Experience

Museum Customer Experience (CX)

Would like to start off with an apology, I have been neglecting Museum Planner.  Last July I started teaching in Mexico City and there has been a very steep “learning curve”.  Now that I am into my second year at Tec de Monterrey hoping that I will settle into more of a routine.

Tec de Monterrey is located in Estado de Mexico and the highest ranked university in Mexico.  I am teaching in the Industrial Design department.  Teaching “User Experience”, “New Technologies for Industrial Design”, “Product and Service Design” and “Museum Exhibition Design”.  I teach in English and my Spanish (more of a “Spanglish”) is sufficient to be able to answer questions in Spanglish.  My most interesting course has been “Customer Experience”.

Coming from the museum field I have a different perspective on User Experiences (UX) and Consumer Experiences (CX).  For most people UX and CX pertain to a “selling centric” viewpoint and or providing information to customers and potential customers.  Museums have visitors not “customers”.  Yes, museum visitors often pay for their visit to a museum, but the relationship between museum and visitor is different than between for-profit company and consumer (customer).  I have found the United States website digitalgov.gov very helpful.  In many ways the relationship between the United States government and citizens of the United States is analogous to the relationship between museum and visitor.  Both governments and museums have many “stockholders” and it is important to provide excellent CX to all stakeholders.  In the same way that museums seldom think of “brand” museums seldom think of the Customer Experience.  Teaching the classes at Tec de Monterrey has given me a whole new perspective of how to create CX for museums.  I have also come to understand that museums have a tremendous amount to offer for-profit businesses in the process of creating authentic visitor experiences.  I am seeing a gap between for-profit businesses wanting to provide “authentic” CX for their consumers and museums as experts in creating authentic CX.  Too often museums are told to be like for-profit businesses, now I am seeing that for-profit businesses need to be more like museums in creating authentic accurate experiences for customers.

My book Museums 101 was released in May and now I plan to turn my attention to a series of blog posts about “how to” create museum customer experiences.  The blog posts to be written for museums, but for-profit businesses could learn to use many of the same processes.   

Posts to include:

  • Defining Museum Consumer Experiences (CX) and Museum User Experiences (UX)
  • Improving the Museum Consumer Experience (CX)
  • Improving Museum User Experiences (UX)
  • Museum CX and Museum Strategic Planning
  • Museum CX and Museum Master Planning
  • Museum CX and Museum Exhibition Design
  • Museum CX and Museum Project Management
  • Museum CX and Museum Exhibits (may become several blog posts)
  • What Business can learn from Museum Customer Experiences

Thank you all for your patience as I get back to writing for Museum Planner.  The last year has been wonderful !  Continuing to work in NYC, San Francisco and Mexico on Museum Master Planning and Exhibition Design projects, thank you to our Museum Planning clients! Completing Museums 101 and starting to teach, I easily learn as much (maybe more) from the students than I teach.  Thank you to Tec de Monterrey  for being willing to think about Museum CX differently and thank you to all of the readers of Museum Planner, I am sure that I have learned more from writing than people have learned from reading the posts.

Thanks !

– Mark

About Mark Walhimer

Mark is Managing Partner of Museum Planning, LLC, a museum planning and exhibition project management firm of interactive educational environments for Science Centers, Children's Museums and Natural History Museums. You can reach Mark at mark@walhimer.com.

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3 comments

  1. Would love to hear comments, do you think Museum Customer Experiences are important ?

    -Mark

  2. Looking forward to seeing the posts – am working on some Visitor/User/Customer experience mapping/strategy at the moment.

  3. Hi, wow! So nice that you are teaching in Tec de Monterrey. Im mexican, btw. I’ve been reading some posts and Im doing a final project about branding for non profit organizations with a new brand identity for Franz Mayer Museum.

    All your post have been really helpful.
    Thanks!

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