Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday's signpost

Spotted in a workshop area at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Handmade signs like these are always a symptom of a larger problem that an employee is trying to fix. So if you're in management, and you notice a sign like this, see if you can alleviate the actual problem.
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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Creating customer service cultures

I had the opportunity to interview Jack Mitchell, author of Hug Your Customers, for the Experienceology podcast. See the player on the right sidebar to listen in.

Jack's new book, Hug Your People, helps organizations learn how to create what he calls a "niceness culture," absolutely critical to creating great customer service. As many of my museum clients are asking to how create these cultures, I loved interviewing him and seeing the many practical suggestions he offers for shifting your internal culture.

Jack tells some great stories and was, of course, very nice to talk to! I encourage you to read this book and also to listen to the podcast. It's one of the few books I've read on customer service with so many how-to tips. It isn't just heart-warming stories, but instead talks about how you can actually achieve this at your organization.

Jack is the CEO of Mitchells/Richards/Marshes, three of the most successful clothing stores in the country. You can learn more at the Hug Your People website.
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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday's signpost

The perfect walk-by sign: Rent here, return anywhere. I understood exactly what they were selling without even stopping, but the sign (and the clever concept) got me to stop and think about it.

This company rents personal DVD players and DVDs at airports. And apparently, pays for your return shipping. Great idea.
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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday's Signpost

At the Roadrunner Sports store in San Diego, this well designed sign led us straight to our destination. (This is especially helpful for finding something located in a business park, which are not typically designed to aid wayfinding.)

It says: Turn right after the tree and head to the back of the parking lot. Turn left and walk until you see the clearance center signage.
The strong visuals really made this sign work. They added a whole series of these stencils on the pavement, which coordinated visually with the sign.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Attention to detail: Sacramento's Zocalo Restaurant

I got a great restaurant recommendation from the owner of Taylor's Art & Soul, so I headed over to Midtown for dinner. My choice was Zocalo, a Mexican-inspired restaurant located in a historic building.

I loved that they used the sidewalk to help create an entry. Most people forget how effective it is to place signs in atypical locations.

The high ceilings and great bar were complimented by the furnishings, like the fabulous mirror on the back wall.

In my booth, hand-carved edging created a rich, evocative feeling.

The food was muy bueno. So good, in fact, that I ordered my lunch for the next day as take-out.

No Experienceology visit is complete without a trip to the loo... just beautiful.

They even created a themed sticker for the soap dispenser. (I personally would choose clear, white, or yellow soap, so as not to clash with the color scheme.)

A great experience, one I would definitely repeat. I also noticed that they have worked hard to become a community hub for the Latino community in Sacramento, and were about to host a celebration of Colombia. That's a great way to create loyalty and broaden your customer base.

Tip of the day: Any environment (museum or for-profit) can be enriched through little details. Think about ways you could carry your theme throughout your entire experience.

How can you reach out to your community and become a hub for more than just current customers or visitors?
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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday's signpost

Spotted in Old Sacramento: What a great way to help visitors, while reducing the number of times you have to answer this question! I especially liked that the sign explains how late each set of bathrooms is open. (They just took an existing map and added their own information, but did it in a way that also looks professional.)
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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Fun at the Sacramento Airport

What do you do with a pile of unclaimed luggage? At this airport, they turned it into eye-catching sculptures to define the baggage claim area and create wayfinding icons.

Tip of the day: Are there ways you can take a negative, like lost and found items, and turn it into a positive at your museum?
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