NEMO Science Museum shares its customer experience philosophy
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NEMO Science Museum shares its customer experience philosophy

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What could possibly go wrong with a science museum that gets more visitors year after year?

Spokes, the magazine of Ecsite, the European network of science centres and museums, put this question to Martijn van Heemskerck van Beest, operations deputy director of the NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

“Overcrowding, even if only on peak days, can be a 'dissatisfier' for your public and undermine your attractiveness in the long run," he warns in the introduction of the article he wrote as an answer.

NEMO is one of the biggest science museums in the Netherlands. The copper-clad, boldly skewed building on the inner city waterfront is an eye-catcher, visible from a large part of Amsterdam. Last year, it welcomed around 665,000 visitors. Yet rising visitor numbers went together with a drop of NEMO’s net promotion score in recent years.

To address this challenge, NEMO's operations and contents teams worked together to develop a holistic approach, taking into consideration the fact that 50 per cent of the quality of the customer journey is determined by the content of the exhibits, and the other 50 per cent by the service experienced.

A new visitor flow policy combined a new entrance for school groups and the introduction of barcoded tickets for regular visitors. “Soon, cashiers and ticket desks will be a thing of the past,” shares van Heemskerck van Beest, who wants e-ticketing to become the norm. His team is also looking into replicating popular shows several times a day, introducing longer opening hours or testing price differentiation for different times of the day. A lot of attention is also paid to managing pre-visit expectations, cultivating “the joy of anticipation”.

“Optimising the customer journey will always remain a work in progress,” concludes Martijn.

Read the full article in Spokes #50, March 2019: How to deal with success successfully by Martijn van Heemskerck van Beest

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Company Details
Ecsite (European network of science centres and museums)
Ecsite is the European network for science centres and museums, linking science communication professionals in more than 400 institutions in 50 countries
Address
Rue Coudenberg 70/5, B-1000, Brussels, Belgium
What could possibly go wrong with a science museum that gets more visitors year after year?
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