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Attracting and delighting more visitors

In 1981, Rolls-Royce employees created the Heritage Trust to celebrate and preserve the heritage of the company. It curates thousands of historic artefacts, including several hundred engines.

The Trust exhibited its collection in an old Rolls-Royce factory near the centre of Derby. The museum welcomed 5,000 visitors a year from the company, its customers and supply chain. It ran STEM events and attracted aerospace enthusiasts.  Like many organisations, it had to make its own way in the world and sought more visitors and independent funding streams.

The Chair of the museum planning team and General Secretary of the Trust asked me to assess its Visitor Journey. He wanted recommendations to attract and delight even more people.

Unfortunately, Covid drove a change in plans shortly after my engagement. The RRPPC moved into the Rolls-Royce Learning and Development Centre in 2022.

Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust Logo

My work with the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust is an example of a Customer Experience Project.

We agreed a 'customer eyes' review

To understand visitors I defined the audiences (personas).

I replicated their experience before, during and after a visit.

I made recommendations to the museum planning team and Trust Board of Directors.

The actions I took

Defined existing audiences, creating personas for existing visitors and adding the general public, i.e. people without ties to Rolls-Royce or a passionate interest in Aerospace.

Identified the touchpoints needed by visitors to achieve their goals and assessed each touchpoint for Ease, Effectiveness and Emotion.

Visited the museum with a group of aerospace enthusiasts. I had a brilliant time and left enthused by the experience and the potential for the museum.

Made recommendations for each touchpoint.

Presented interim findings to the museum planning team.

Presented final recommendations to the Trust Board.

A journey map with a difference

Knowing the background of my client and his stakeholders, I decided to present journey maps in a different format so they did not look like process maps.

Choosing four key jobs-to-be-done for each of three stages of the journey – before, during and after their visit – I made the journeys come to life. Now each stakeholder can see the reason and benefits for each recommended change.

rrppcbefore they visit
rrppc during their visit
rrppc after their visit

The results I achieved

My final report included

  • finding the museum
  • deciding to visit
  • the booking experience
  • first impressions
  • education, inspiration and entertainment
  • making the most of the relationship with visitors.

In all I made 43 recommendations across 10 action areas. These included using Google My Business, improving the booking process and engaging a range of visitors using stories inside the museum.

I supported a planning meeting to enhance the booking process.

The museum team accepted all recommendations and prioritised them for implementation. Weaving the actions into existing activities and projects. The teams new understanding of visitor needs supported the creation of a 21st century visitors’ attraction.

Sadly the impact of Covid on their principle funding stream saw the sale of the site and the relocation of the museum to a smaller, private venue in 2022.

Does your team understand your customers?

When we step into other people’s shoes we take our knowledge, experience and enthusiasms with us. Exploring visitor experiences with personas and journey maps, brings them to life. It also engages your team and facilitates change.

Together we can illuminate the thoughts and feelings of your visitors.

Our museum has a strong plan for the future. We are comfortable with the technology, logistics and planning, but felt we needed a steer on how to enhance our customer journey for members of the public. Michelle gave us a thorough assessment of the activities and emotions would-be visitors go through to learn about and visit us. She illustrated her feedback with insightful examples during meetings and detailed her findings and recommendations in a professional report. We couldn’t be more delighted and have built the customer experience into our plans.

Steve Shepherd, Founding Director
Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust

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