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On Display: The Nonprofit Retailing Blog

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4 tips for retail displays that get noticed!

  
  
  

FIDM Museum ShopWhen you are thirsty, you grab a drink of water. (Unless, of course, you need a caffeine hit!).  What about your displays? When they are looking thirsty, do you ensure they get a drink right away?

Proper merchandising is critical in conveying to your museum store customers the message you want to send, i.e., “This merchandise is fresh and interesting; you must have it, or at the very least—consider it!”

Here are four tips to keep your displays looking inviting:

1. Replenish displays.  When you have a hot-selling product line that turns over quickly and often, it is important to restock displays to convey a message of abundance. Nothing looks more tired than a half-empty display. It also makes your customers wonder about your ability to reorder. (Financial difficulties anyone?)

2. Use back lighting. Effective back lighting is a great strategy to attract attention. However, don’t neglect lighting the display from the front, as well. When only lit from behind, the product face can become too dark, making signage difficult to read and product actually more difficult to see.

3. Don’t skimp on props. Inexpensive props can cheapen the look of a nice product line. For instance, a chintzy, poorly constructed backdrop that doesn’t hang straight will take attention away from your display. Cheap dollar store paper products made into props can bring the image of your store down a notch. You may think your customers won’t notice, but believe me, they will!

4. Coordinate displays with one another. Ensure that your displays work well with one another in order to create visual order and harmony. Keeping your space looking coordinated makes it easy for your customers to concentrate on the displays they are seeing, rather than trying to make sense of the environment over all.

Do you have any tricks that have worked particularly well for you? Share them. We’d love to hear from you!

MSA 2014: Extend the Experience

Counting your chickens…even if they aren’t hatched

  
  
  

ChickensMuseums are increasingly engaged in a more rigorous system of evaluation for programs and events. They are hiring evaluators, whether as a part of the staff or as consultants. As a former museum professional, I remember creating surveys on half sheets of paper to assess an annual Girl Scout Day event at a living history museum. Looking back on this project, I realize I asked questions about their experience in a short-sighted way:

  • Did they learn anything? How was the leader supposed to know that as they were walking out the door? I didn’t ask the scouts as I should have.
  • Was it engaging? People in cool costumes, historic houses and farm animals—of course they answered yes!

After the event had ended and all the supplies were put away, I’d look through the pieces of paper. Then, into the file cabinet they would go. I didn’t have time to properly collate the data and report to my supervisor. While this scenario is still common in many museums, others are putting a concerted effort on evaluation, using the results as a vehicle to justify changes to staffing, programming and even building layout. Seriously, listening to the visitor pays off.

So…how can formal evaluation work in the museum store? 

Tracking and Timing

By looking at sales data, you can see the most popular items and the time of day that most sales occur. You can determine your best-selling product category, capture rate, sales per square foot and more. (By the way, if you want to learn great techniques for basic statistical analysis and how to use these key stats, don’t miss MSA’s next webinar, “Evaluating Your Museum Store,” presented by Andrew Andoniadis!)

Another way to gather data on store layout and product interest is through tracking and timing. I’ll admit, it can feel a little like stalking someone.  The process is simple: You track the places a particular visitor goes within the store and how long they stay in those landing places. You will need the following:

  1. A clipboard
  2. A pencil
  3. A sheet with the layout of your store, i.e., entrance, exit, fixtures, walls, areas of interest (books, children’s jewelry, etc.)
  4. A watch or clock

Your page should also have a place to list time of entry/exit, approximate age of visitor and gender.  This will help you analyze the data later on. Also consider whether they are alone or with a group as this might affect how long they stay in the store.

With the supplies in hand, choose a visitor as they come in. Mark the appropriate details listed above. Place an x or some other symbol to represent the places they stop in addition to marking the total time at each place. If they glance at a display, you may make note of that, but don’t need to consider it a “stop-and-look” location. In the end, you will draw a line between each symbol to indicate their path.  And of course, make note if the customer makes a purchase.

It is up to you how many you gather before you begin any analysis. You will start to see patterns based on school tours versus quiet days, male versus female customers, mom with kids versus a couple on a museum date, etc.

The question, “What if I’m caught?” often comes up. Be sure you are wearing a name tag (even if it’s a peel and stick) or staff shirt of some kind. Try to be as inconspicuous as possible so as not to affect the outcome. Stand at the counter, or if you have good sightlines of the entire store, stay in one place. People will walk straight out if they feel watched. If asked directly, tell the visitors what you are doing and how they are helping. 

Try it out for a week. See if it results in any “a-ha!” moments.  You might be surprised.

Have you tried any techniques for tracking how your customers interact with your museum store and staff?

EvaluateMuseumStoreWebinar

Hartford welcomes MSA in 2015

  
  
  

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

The 60th annual MSA Retail Conference & Expo is coming to Hartford, Conn., in 2015!

While I knew the Connecticut Convention Center in downtown Hartford (which links to the Marriott) was a good place for people from all over the world to meet and connect, it turns out that Jama Rice, MSA Executive Director/CEO, had staffed a conference in my fair city a few years back. She knew Hartford to be affordable and the convention center a pleasant place for networking and educational sessions, as well as the perfect place for vendors to share their latest products.

Jama checked in with me about potential venues in and around the city that our members might like to visit. In addition to my personal favorite (the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, of course!) I was happy to share with her a small sampling of the vibrant cultural scene in my neck of the woods, including MSA member institutions such as the Connecticut Historical Society Museum & Library, Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, New Britain Museum of American Art and Friends of Dinosaur State Park and Arboretum. I was thrilled to learn MSA decided to bring MSA 2015 to Hartford.

While the West Coast and the Gulf Coast (thank you Houston, Los Angeles and New Orleans!) have lots of charm, it’s time to welcome you to the Northeast, where so many of MSA’s Institution Members and Vendor Affiliates call home base.

I moved to Hartford 11 years ago and can’t wait to share all that the city and the surrounding area offers. Mark your calendars now—the 2015 event will be held April 17–20!

MSA 2014: Extend the Experience

The most significant factor impacting volunteerism

  
  
  

volunteer nurturing imageMany nonprofits are merely scratching the surface of their potential in the huge numbers of volunteers they could engage because they are ignoring the number one impact factor. In fact, I believe that if nonprofits don't take this factor seriously, they could be out of business in 10 years.

What is that factor?

It is not technology, the change in family dynamics, episodic volunteers, or today's hectic, busy lifestyle that is challenging volunteer leaders the most. Although these factors are significant, the most subtle and often overlooked, but most important, cultural change that is affecting the future of volunteerism is the emergence of the “interpreneur”—that 21st century volunteer who is a product of the "knowledge worker" workplace. Many nonprofits don't realize how the knowledge worker is affecting their engagement of volunteers, and many of those who do understand the problem, don't know what to do about it.

What is the impact of the knowledge worker?

It all started back in 1959 when Peter Drucker wrote about the shift in corporate management. It took almost 50 years, but as we approached the end of the 20th century the workplace was being transformed into a whole new culture. In the spring 2000 issue of Leader to Leader Journal, Peter Drucker wrote, “In a few hundred years, when the history of our time will be written from a long-term perspective, it is likely that the most important event historians will see is not technology, not the Internet, not e-commerce. It is an unprecedented change in the human condition. For the first time—literally—substantial and rapidly growing numbers of people have choices. For the first time, they will have to manage themselves. And society is totally unprepared for it.”

People would no longer work for 40 years for the same company and retire. Employees would be an institution unto themselves because of their greatest asset—knowledge. These “knowledge workers" own their assets—the knowledge. When they keep their knowledge up-to-date and use it to deliver valuable assets to a job, their careers outlast most businesses, so they don't rely on their employers for job security and advancement. As we entered the 21st century I would hear knowledge workers refer to themselves as free agents—looking for the best opportunity (and most money) to use their knowledge-based skills.

I have begun to see a whole new breed of high-capacity, knowledge-worker volunteers who are ready and eager to get involved in nonprofit organizations. However, they do not want to serve under the old systems of management. The 21st century workplace was filled with knowledge workers who didn't need to ask their managers for permission to act. They were empowered to make decisions. "Intrepreneurial" was a word often used in the 90s to describe these new kinds of supervisors and managers.

What does this mean for nonprofits as we engage volunteers?

From enthusiastic Millennials to retiring boomers, knowledge workers can bring to our organizations excitement and energy—if we know how to unleash all that passion by effective 21st-century leadership know-how. Volunteers are seeking flexible schedules and pursuing a role in defining how projects should be completed. They want to feel a sense of responsibility for an organization's overall mission. These volunteers don't want to simply make a contribution; they want to make a difference! If all you are going to do is use them up and assign them stuff, then they are out of there and they'll find a place to volunteer that wants their skill, knowledge and expertise.

What new ways do you use to engage with volunteers in your museum store?

MSA 2014: Extend the Experience

MSA Western Chapter leads the way with support for logo re-design

  
  
  

UPDATE 2/5/14: MSA wishes to also thank the Mid-Atlantic Chapter for their generous donation of $500!

Can you feel a brand new day? Can you. Feel a. Brand new day? (Clap your hands everybody!) Okay, I just dated myself there. For you youngsters who aren’t singing, dancing and clapping along, click here for some vibrant, pre-80s style funk:

Brand New Day from The Wiz

Hopefully I’ve got your toes tapping now. Those lines from the 1978 classic “The Wiz” are a great segue to another classic 80s icon: the MSA logo. Originally designed in the 1980s, our logo is looking dated, old and tired. But it’s not the same old MSA. There are lots of changes as we move forward on the work of reinventing the association, from new member categories to a revamp of the MSA Conference & Expo. And an updated look will help announce and communicate the positive changes at MSA.

With these ideas in mind, MSA began work on a rebranding and logo redesign project. The MSA Brand Task Force was formed last July (Stuart Hata, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco/de Young and Legion of Honor; David Howell, David Howell & Company; Barbara Lenhardt, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and myself, Kathy Cisar, Museum Store Association) to identify potential designers, create a Request for Proposal (RFP), review submittals, and choose a company. And now we are in the final stages of building our new corporate identity, which we plan to officially present at MSA 2014 in Houston.

We have been thrilled to work with Cristina Vasquez Obando of Barboletta Design Bureau of New York City. She graphically conveyed the balance, support and connection between the association and our members and affiliates. And we loved Cristina’s ideas for the accompanying chapter logos.

But, MSA has limited resources, and even with Barboletta Design Bureau’s nonprofit discount on this project, the task force requested a little help from our chapters. In December we asked all chapter officers if their chapter members would be willing to contribute $500 (or whatever is affordable) from their chapter funds to help defray the cost of this new re-branding.

We have received lots of positive feedback from the chapters and are very pleased to report that the MSA Western Chapter was the first to support MSA in this endeavor with a check for $500. MSA wishes to formally and gratefully acknowledge the Western Chapter for their generous donation! Thank you!

What inspired the Western Chapter to approve this financial contribution? Chapter President Stuart Hata says, “With the reinvention of the new MSA, this is the perfect time for a new and improved MSA logo. The Western Chapter is happy to support this important brand development for MSA and all of its chapters and affiliates. I hope the new logo will increase awareness and recognition of MSA and its members in the industry and establish MSA as the leader in nonprofit retailing as well as stress the importance of MSA membership as a measure of success.”

Chapter Secretary Raymond McKenzie, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, adds, “As MSA reinvents itself to serve and represent nonprofit retail in the 21st century, it is important for chapters to champion this transition. What better way to start than by supporting the design of a new brand? A new design is in order to reflect our re-invigorated organization and our shared goals for the future.” 

MSA has been working hard to improve its support and relationships with all eight of our regional chapters, and a new MSA brand and accompanying logo for each chapter is just one of the many projects we are working on in 2014 and beyond. Did you also know that for every institution membership renewal in your region, $5 goes back to your local chapter? And the new Chapter Policies & Procedures Task Force is clarifying policies to make it easier for MSA to help further the goals of each chapter and for each chapter to become more involved in supporting the national office. It’s a win-win situation and you can be a part of this process of change by getting involved!

Western Chapter Vice President Jeannette Garbarini-Walters, San Francisco Symphony, truly appreciates the efforts of creating a strong partnership between the association and its chapters. She says, “I look forward to working with the new leadership and developed focus of MSA. The knowledge, communication and support that I have enjoyed from members during my 14 years with MSA has certainly contributed to define the direction of retail for the San Francisco Symphony.”

It’s an exciting time to be a member of MSA, and we hope you are as energized as we are about the upcoming changes. Please consider supporting MSA (as a volunteer or with a contribution from your chapter funds) as we grow and reinvent and follow our new path down the yellow brick road! If you have any questions about the logo redesign project, please contact one of us on the task force.

P.S. We’d also like to highlight the Western Chapter’s recent regional meeting in October. It’s always nice to see members having fun, learning and connecting with like-minded professionals! The chapter met for three days in Santa Barbara, and you can view their jam-packed schedule of events. Don’t you wish you could have joined their get-together?

Western Chapter meeting

The MSA Western Chapter visits the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and Santa Barbara Zoo.

 

15 little (retail) life lessons

  
  
  

HappinessRich Kizer & Georganne Bender are professional speakers, retail strategists, authors and consultants whose client list reads like a “Who’s Who” in business. Companies internationally depend upon them for timely advice on consumers and the changing retail market place.

Things can get pretty intense in our office sometimes. Between clients and prospects and promises and deadlines, it’s easy to get lost in the minutia of the everyday and lose focus on what’s really important. And that’s not good for us or for our business.

There is a chalkboard wall in our office that we use to keep track of our musings, rants, notes and advice to one another; the things we try to embrace to make our lives richer. In no particular order, here are some of our favorites:

1. Do something out of the ordinary. Sometimes you have to do things that break your pattern. Know what we do? We pack a lunch and we go fishing. We never catch anything, but that’s okay because that’s not really the point. There’s something about sitting in that peaceful environment that sets our creativity on edge. Some of our best ideas have come while sitting with our feet in the water, enjoying a warm PB&J.

2. Start now. We can’t begin to tell you the number of business people we’ve met who think that they can wait until tomorrow to do whatever is important to them. Don’t wait too long. That career opportunity will pass; your kid will only be little once; your spouse deserves your attention; and your dog needs to be walked. Your business is important, but don’t let it be everything. No one on his deathbed ever said, “I wish I had spent more time in on my business.”

3. Find what makes you happy. You can’t escape running your business, but you can delegate the things you would just rather not do. If you like training, then train your associates. If you like playing with displays on your sales floor, then go for it. Here’s the thing: If you don’t like doing something, you won’t do it well. Hire or assign someone to do it for you.

4. Hang out with your friends. Start your day with associates at your local coffee shop. If there’s no time for that, then spend a few minutes catching up with friends on Facebook. Make lunch or dinner plans with friends at the MSA Conference & Expo and the other tradeshows you attend. Or better yet, go in a day early and visit local museum stores with your pals.

5. Own it. This one is simple: No more passing the buck. If you did it, said it, or bought it; deal with it.

6. Reinvent your business. It's been said, and we wholeheartedly agree, that every year, 10 percent of your business disappears. Items stop selling, trends fizzle and fade, new product and applications replace those once sacred cows. Your job is to reinvent your business to the tune of at least 10 percent each and every year. If you have done nothing in the last five years to reinvent your museum store, you could be close to being 50 percent obsolete. Make reinvention a priority.

7. If your original path isn’t working for you, choose another. Your museum store is a living, breathing entity; nothing about it should stay the same for very long. Shake up your sales floor. Add a new line or new department or two. Nuke what isn’t working and find something that does.

8. Visit Las Vegas. Every single retailer should visit Las Vegas every couple of years. The retail landscape there is phenomenal—the Forum Shops at Caesars alone boasts the highest retail dollars per square foot in the world. Every designer and chain puts its best foot forward in Las Vegas. Indies do, too. It’s a one-stop idea shop! The food’s good, too!

9. Stop playing it safe. If you’ve ever heard yourself say the last seven words of a dying company, “but we’ve always done it that way,” you are in a big rut. Great things can’t happen if you are not willing to stretch and learn. Don’t just put your toes in the water—jump in!

10. Become a retail explorer. We have a retailer friend who takes a lot of road trips. We like to follow her colorful adventures on Facebook. Sometimes we’re not sure how she ever makes it to their destination because she tends to make frequent and unplanned stops at indie retailers along the way. But that’s really the point, isn’t it? There is a retail world to behold out there, but you have to be willing to leave your comfort zone to experience it.

11. Say thank you and really mean it. It feels good when someone notices something you did for them and says thank you, doesn’t it? Make a point to send a handwritten note each week to someone who did something nice for you. Georganne found the teacher who had a big impact on her life and sent her a note—30 years later. There’s not statute of limitations on a sincere thank you.

12. Toot your own horn. You are really wonderful. Did you know that? Does your community know it? Contact your local media and pitch stories about your store, product lines, services, in-store events and promotions, charity events, your people, trips to tradeshows, all the cool things you do. Eighty percent of the stories in local media come from a press release, so send one for each legitimately newsworthy thing that you do in your store.

13. Before you put that big idea into action, stop and ask yourself, “What if we _______________?” It’s like brainstorming, plus one. It can’t hurt, and that little “What if?” just might lead you to an even better idea.

14. Change your self-talk. The things that you think and say to yourself have a huge effect on who you are, and how you are perceived by others. Change your self-talk and your attitude will improve. Really!

15.  Partner up. It’s hard to overcome point #14 if you are struggling alone. There’s a lot to be said for partners, official or otherwise—colleagues, employees and friends work, too.

So, take a look at where you are today and where you’d like to be tomorrow. Are you happy with the choices you’ve made so far? Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Sound advice from a fictional high school senior who was smart enough to realize that even he needed to refocus on what’s really important every once in a while.

What creative ideas do you have for re-energizing and refocusing?

MSA 2014: Extend the Experience

Does your museum store have a magnetism that attracts shoppers?

  
  
  

MagnetsWe all know how important it is to keep displays new and fresh to attract shoppers’ attention. However, during busy exhibitions, serving customers, keeping shelves stocked and tidying up displays can eat up a lot of staff hours.

Make your fixtures and displays work harder for you by choosing products designed to make your job easier. Oh, and did we mention all the tips we are sharing today involve magnets? Here are five ways to make those electrons work for you.

1. Magnetic Wall Displays

Custom-made magnetic walls can be used for a small display area or an entire wall. They are easy to install and make changing up exhibition posters or housing a magnet display a snap.

2. Changeable Magnetic Graphics

Rather than papering or painting a whole wall with a permanent graphic, products exist that allow store personnel to install—and change up—large- or small-scale magnetic graphics quickly and easily.

3. Magnetic Floating Displays

Who can resist stopping and checking out a display that has a product seemingly floating in midair? This kind of display captivates both kids and adults alike.

4. Signage

Magnetized signs make it easy to switch up signage seasonally or to aid traffic flow during popular exhibitions. Create all the signs you need for a given period, strategically install mounts, and simply change signs as needed. Voila!

5. Ceiling Magnets

Depending on what you see when you look up, hanging items using ceiling magnets can be a great option for drop ceilings or for ceilings with exposed beams. There are also solutions for high ceilings without magnetic surfaces. Focal points, signage and more can be hung from the ceiling using suspension systems designed around magnets.

Don’t be polar opposites! Use magnetic forces in your quest to lure shoppers to your museum store displays.

How have you given your museum store a magnetic personality?

MSA 2014: Extend the Experience

8 tips to prepare for MSA 2014

  
  
  

MSA2014TipsWe’re only 12 weeks away from MSA’s annual conference (and just days away from the end of the Early Bird Rates) and you won’t want to miss it! The MSA Retail Conference & Expo is the only event specifically created for professionals in nonprofit retail and we’ve added many new elements for our community of member institutions and affiliate vendors. 

As you prepare to join us, here are eight tips to making the most out of your MSA 2014 experience. 

1. Plan your sessions, meetings and activities in advance. MSA 2014 is packed full of keynotes, sessions, product sourcing opportunities, networking events and more. You might be surprised when you take a closer look at the expanded schedule compared to years past. By thinking strategically before you arrive, you will cover as much as possible. We recommend our institutional members visit the Shop the Expo section of the website to view a virtual floor plan and get vendor contact information. Set advance appointments for the best attention and service. Plus, you’ll want to get an early look at 2014 Show Specials to save money when placing orders at the expo. 

2. Create a document with your travel arrangements and schedule. A successful show starts with making sure all the details of your hotel and flight reservations are confirmed and readily available. Follow up by writing down key activities, sessions and meetings. Have an electronic copy accessible on your phone or other device. Bring a hard-copy too. And make your hotel reservations soon to ensure the best conference rates!

3. Download our MSA conference app. Available for both iPhone and Android, the MSA Conference App is a great companion to extend your experience.  It will be available for download a few weeks before the event. Use this tool for planning in conjunction with the conference program book. It includes schedules, speakers, sessions, exhibitors, special events, maps, local activities and more. See who else is attending and connect with those you know or others you have a special interest in meeting. 

4. Bring plenty of business cards. MSA is a community. Your primary objective at the event is to build relationships whether with vendors, buyers or experts in the field. One of the highest perceived values from the conference comes from the people you meet. Post-expo follow-up will yield the highest results in making relevant connections. A stack of up-to-date business cards will go a long way in being remembered by others.          

5. Prepare your electronics and pack your chargers. A cell phone, tablet and laptop are among the many devices you may want to bring along. Be sure the batteries are fresh and each device is packed with its charger. You will appreciate the ability to readily access your schedule, take notes, post to social media, take pictures, check out the MSA app and reach out to colleagues to confirm meetings.

6. Bring your top problems for innovative solutions. MSA has put significant effort into enhancing its educational opportunities for 2014 including creative new formats and themes. We’ve brought in more speakers and sessions, all of which are designed to focus on the most pressing needs of museum store professionals. Surround yourself with a unique community of like-minded professionals facing many of the same problems and how they’ve developed innovative solutions. The more clarity you have on what issues you are looking to solve, the easier it will be for others to help.

7. Delegate back at the office. We understand you have a lot on your plate. Try to get important priorities completed before you leave and assign daily responsibilities to a staff member or colleague. You will get the most out of conference by being present both in mind and body. Rest easy knowing the office has a plan to be able to stay on task in your absence.   

8. Smile, relax and enjoy. Once you’ve committed, take pleasure in the ride. The MSA Conference & Expo is an opportunity to learn and do business. For many in attendance, it is a special opportunity to see longtime friends and make new connections. People come from around the globe to express their commitment to the museum store profession. You are a community. Enjoy!

We look forward to seeing you in Houston in April!

MSA 2014: Extend the Experience

3 tips for dealing with and listening to upset customers

  
  
  

ListenIt’s not always easy to bite our tongues…whether literally or figuratively speaking. But when it comes to upset customers, shutting up is often your best strategy. Instead, your goal should be to listen.

Customers who want to tell you about their experiences, poor product reviews, customer service disappointments or anything else that may not have been ideal, want to do more than just share their story…they want to get their frustration out of their system. In other words, they want to make sure you (and anyone else who will listen) hear about why they are upset, annoyed, disappointed or just plain mad. As a nonprofit retailer, the best thing you can do to accommodate this is to simply listen. Here are three tips on doing this in an effective, productive manner to help ease your customers' frustrations while hoping to regain their confidence in your museum store to visit again.

Tip 1: Encourage Your Customer to Tell You How They Feel

This may not be a tip you want to hear, but it’s a tip that needs to be heard. If you ask your customers to tell you about their experience or share whatever it is that has made them upset, they are able to get their frustration or disappointment off their chest, so to speak. Additionally, it shows you actually care to learn about what happened versus just resolve it—which in many cases can not only help you as a retailer, but also shows your customer genuine consumer care.

Tip 2: Look Your Customer in the Eyes

Nothing says you care like eye contact. Don’t focus on anything but an upset customer when they are talking to you. This means look at them no matter what, giving them confidence that you are truly listening. The reality may be you want to scream out loud and ask them to leave your store right away, but you can’t do this. Look in their eyes and let them explain how they feel.

Tip 3: Ask Them What They Want

Most upset customers have an idea in mind as to how they can feel satisfied about their disgruntled situation. Let them tell you what their ideal scenario would be. Based on what they say, do your best to accommodate their requests. If their requests are completely unrealistic, calmly explain that while you wish you could, you simply cannot. Share with them what you can do and acknowledge that while it doesn’t meet their expectations, you hope it will ease their frustration, even just a little bit. The key here is to let them know you heard what they said and you are doing the best you can to support them in resolving it.

Finally, recognize that if you don’t listen to your customers, someone else will. They will vent with friends, family and even other merchants. Collectively, that’s a whole lot of potential customers that should not have to hear about one customer’s bad experience. Instead, take the time to listen so that the stories they share with friends, family and others will be about your outstanding customer service—not your lack of care.

What lessons have you learned to help defuse a customer's frustration?

MSA 2014: Extend the Experience

Roll out the red carpet

  
  
  

RedCarpet Philippa Burgess is Marketing Manager at the Museum Store Association.

A tweet sent to us at the top of the year, posed the question, “As a network of museum stores, how can you really break the mold and leave lasting impressions?” It continued the query saying, “We…are always on the lookout for outstanding retailers in every segment. We love seeing how people break down retail barriers and go the extra mile.”

This got me thinking, there must be so many great stories to share from our MSA member base—not only within our association, but encompassing a wider swath of peers, professionals and media. Although I am new to the museum field, I have worked in marketing and communications across the film, television, publishing, digital media and advertising industries. Each industry has established a way to honor their best and brightest with awards, including the Oscar, the Emmy, the Cleo, the Grammy, or being recognized as a New York Times Best Seller.

Today we want to call your attention to the MSA Awards, as the deadline to submit nominations is quickly approaching! These awards are designed to enhance your institution’s recognition among your peers and increase your own professional value and visibility, as well as bring recognition of your store or company to the public. We want you to have the opportunity to proudly share you’ve won an award from the Museum Store Association for outstanding performance in a number of select categories.

This year MSA is pleased to announce four new awards to honor nonprofit retail professionals and vendors. However, the association can only act on nominations it has received. Please take the time to recognize yourself or a colleague through a nomination. 

NEW! The 2014 Museum Store Association Awards:

Web Presence—recognizing excellence in web presence by an institution.

Visual Merchandising—recognizing excellence in visual merchandising by an institution.

Product Development—recognizing excellence in product development by an institution.

Vendor of the Year—recognizing a vendor that has gone above and beyond in providing goods or services to the MSA community.

All nominations and the requisite information for these four categories must be submitted online by Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. Get more details and submit your nomination soon…then get ready to join your colleagues in Houston in April where the awards will be presented!

MSA 2014: Extend the Experience
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