V&A

Embracing new standards in Visitor Care

We collaboratively developed a customer and visitor care training programme with their staff to engage them in delivering the best possible service as well as empower them to train any future staff members.

Objectives

The Victoria and Albert Museum doubled its visitor figures when they introduced free entry, welcoming more than two million people. The aim was to develop a customer and visitor care training programme to support their 200 front of house staff members.

Approach

Steps worked closely with the V&A to develop a half-day, front-of-house training programme. This ran 12 times, every other Monday morning, at the V&A's training centre - and also at the museum's Covent Garden and Bethnal Green sites - with up to 12 staff attending each session.

"All of these people work on rosters and rotas, which made it difficult to take them out of the workplace for training," said James Wilson, training and development manager at the V&A. "To get around this, we wanted to develop a half-day session which could run regularly."

"We developed a good working relationship with Steps. Together we evaluated and adjusted the session to respond to our training needs." James Wilson, Training & Development Manager, V&A

Outcomes

Following the training, the V&A became one of the first museums to win the Investors in Investors in People accreditation.

"The session was very effective in helping our staff with the training and practical help they needed to give visitors the best possible service when they come to the museum," said James Wilson.

The V&A has now evaluated the results from each of the visitor care training sessions. A focus group comprising participants from each session will incorporate all the material gathered into one set of standards and behaviours for visitor care which will be adopted museum-wide.

"When new people join, we will be able to show them the standards of care we expect from our staff when dealing with visitors," said James Wilson. "We believe these will have a big impact because they will be standards that the staff themselves have developed."

As a result of this training, James Wilson adds that the V&A is now looking at extending the visitor care training and it is also introducing a full front-of-house development programme encompassing wider issues.


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Quote Mark We developed a good working relationship with Steps. Together we evaluated and adjusted the programme to respond to our needs and the sessions were very effective in helping our staff with the training and practical help they needed to give the best possible service at the museum. Quote Mark James Wilson, Training & Development Manager, V&A
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