In our last post we discussed the value of comment cards and listening to front line staff when when making conscious design choices for our Museum. In this post we will look at ways DCM takes the opportunity to respond to these comments.
How do our visitors know their comments are considered?
All visitor comments and suggestions are categorized by specific topics related to the Museum - staff, exhibits, snack room, etc. "This helps us look at issues over time," noted Kim Stull, Director of Guest Services. "While we cannot respond to every comment, when visitors leave an e-mail or phone number, we may contact them to offer feedback or ask for further clarification about their particular experience.. It is our hope that visitors notice changes, even minor ones." A few years ago, verbal and written comments indicated that visitors wanted some help with supporting their children's learning in our Moser Construction House. Specifically, they were requesting examples of children's woodworking creations for ideas to share with their own children. Knowing that using real tools and nails was a developmental process, not necessarily producing an end result, we wanted the response to be more about educating the visitor, rather than following their specific request for real examples. A Build-osophy guide was created, which educates our visitors about the developmental stages that most children follow when becoming a builder. The guide shows pictures of the varying stages children typically follow when learning to build, which helped to validate the request for specific woodworking examples. Because the information is available both in the exhibit and on our Web site, we no longer see or hear this request.
What do do when you can't fix it!
Not all suggestions are easily fixed. Some require more time, effort or finances, which may not be currently feasible. Sometimes, our actions speak louder than our words. "Take the snack room, for instance," noted Kim Stull. "On very busy days we used to receive a number of comments about the snack room. We know that families are going to create messes while eating. We don't expect that everyone will clean up after themselves. Since our day porter cannot spend all of her time cleaning the snack room, a volunteer position with regular shifts was created to sweep the floor and wipe the tables. This minor change significantly lessened the number of responses regarding the neatness of the snack room."
To all our visitors, we hope that you will note how your requests are acted upon at DCM. Although not all requests can be acted upon, your suggestions and comments are very important to us!