Visitor Service Standards: Go for 100 Percent

October 31, 2016

By Kate Neumiller Schureman

It doesn’t take much time on TripAdvisor to find the following review, “Great museum, horrible customer service!” I would guess that many of you might be thinking to yourself, “I am sure that is not part of a review for my museum,” or maybe, “That’s not about our museum store.” Well, you are not alone. More than 80 percent of American businesses, including museum stores, think they provide “superior customer service.”

If that is truly the case, then how do we explain the $41 billion per year that American businesses lose due to poor customer service?

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Seeking Your Unique Content for MSA Blogs!

August 29, 2016

MSA is seeking content for our weekly blog, and we hope you are interested in sharing your skills and experiences with the MSA community. MSA knows that our members and friends have interesting, personal, and relevant material that our community would find useful. Our most recent blog posts, by MSA members Barbara Lenhardt, Julie Steiner, David Duddy, Blue Anderson, Chris Michel, Stacey Stachow and Pam Edwards, proved us right. We also revamped the MSA blog to include a photo of the MSA blogger’s business and an image of the author to personalize the post.

We are eager to see more blog posts from respected museum store industry leaders – store operators, vendors and business partners – such as you.
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6.5.16 Tiger Blog Image

Five Steps for Contented Content

June 6, 2016

As you have been expanding your marketing to increase your presence online, you may have added a blog to your website. Of course now that you have your blog, you’re probably struggling to maintain a high level of high-interest content. For everyone who’s ever been faced with producing a regular blog, content is probably one of your biggest challenges (along with just maintaining a regular schedule). Read more

Group Of Multi-Ethnic Group Of Business People Holding Placards Forming Customer

Managing Your Customer’s Experience

May 16, 2016

If you Google “customer experience” you’ll be surprised by the number of hits you get labeled customer experience management.  Who knew your customer’s experience needed to be managed?

It wasn’t that long ago that you simply put merchandise on the counter, turned on the lights, opened the doors and… voilà, instant customer experience.  Oh sure, somebody would throw in some clever visual merchandising to spice things up, but in the end the customer’s experience was pretty much unmanaged. Read more

Woman successful hiking climbing silhouette in mountains, motivation and inspiration in beautiful sunset and ocean. Female hiker with arms up outstretched on mountain top looking at beautiful night sunset inspirational landscape.

4 Ways to Define Personal Success

March 28, 2016

Are you successful? Hopefully, you’re running a successful operation and you come to work every day with a smile on your face. But defining true personal success is often difficult.

You could be running a massively successful operation, while your personal life is crumbling all around you. Or, just the opposite may be true. Your personal life may be nothing but endless joy, and at the same time, you can barely keep the front door of your store open.

Life, both professional and personal, seems to be an endless balancing act. You often feel like a juggler, trying to keep a dozen balls in the air. It might work for a while, but it doesn’t work all the time. Read more

Vintage Typewriter With Phrase "A long time ago..." Typed in Blue Paper


February 22, 2016

It’s been said that you should write about what you know.  Occasionally, I have been accused that I don’t know what I am talking about, but in truth all of us are experts in some way or another.  If you do your job well, you’re probably an expert.  If you’ve been doing what you do for a while and have developed good methods to do what you do, you’re an expert.  This can be writing, managing people, cleaning, budgeting, working with customers, curating items for your store, and on and on. Read more

several donuts on a white background

Social Media Explained

February 8, 2016

A while back, I came across an image that went viral that explained social media using donuts. Naturally, the use of donuts caught my attention since donuts are at the top of my nutritional tree… and social media seemed kind of important, too.

As it turns out, the social media explanation, ala donuts, has been knocking around the Internet since 2013. It’s a simple, yet effective way to visualize the social media food chain. It’s easy to see why it caught the imagination of anyone who is trying to figure out a way to take advantage of all that social media has to offer – especially for businesses. I guess that’s why I keep a copy of these nine definitions pinned to the bulletin board near my desk.

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Flat design illustration  of cloud computing. Hands holding various computer and communication devices connecting to the cloud

8 Apps To Make Your Day Better

With both Apple and Google each offering more than 1.5 million apps a piece, chances are you might have missed one or two that could come in handy.  A smartphone in your pocket is an amazing tool, made even more powerful when equipped with the right apps.  Better yet, most of the basic apps are free. While most apps offer Pro or expanded versions for a price, the free versions usually give you everything you need.  So, the investment in most apps is in taking the time to learn how to use them. 

Whether you work with an iPad, iPhone, or with an Android/Google platform (or some combination), you’ll find most of these apps are available no matter which operating system you prefer. The apps on this list might make your day-to-day life easier (or more complicated, depending on your technological prowess).

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10 Ideas You Should Steal

January 25, 2016

In 1970, the King of the counterculture, Abbie Hoffman, wrote, Steal This Book. It was a guide to survival in time of change. It’s now 2016 and times are a changing. It’s time to steal some ideas.

Every industry has unique ways of doing business. Many of these ideas translate well to the retail business. So here are a few ideas that you can steal to help your store survive in the ever-changing world of noprofit retail. Read more


Coffee for Millennials

I recently ordered some coffee from the Death Wish Coffee Company.  I’m not kidding. This new company is quickly establishing itself in the market, particularly among younger buyers  including the fast-growing Millennial generation. Death Wish is a long way from the Folgers that Mrs. Olson pitched on TV back in the 1970s. Like many companies, coffee sellers are changing the way they package and market their products to appeal to the new wave of younger buyers.

With a logo that includes a skull and cross bones the coffee they sell pushes the limits of caffeine, nearly doubling the standard dose included in most store brands. This coffee is, well… serious. And I suspect Millennials will soon make it their brand of choice. Read more