20 May 2009

Online reviews of Museums in Hampshire

Hampshire Museums Service has just soft-launched an online service allowing museum visitors to write reviews on their visit in the style of Tripadvisor. 

Until now all comments and criticism, whether favourable or otherwise have been via a closed dialogue. The review service allows our users to feedback to us, but more importantly gives others the opportunity to see what has been said. 

In addition to a written review, the museum visit can be given a star-rating from 1-to-5.  The review will be published online within 48 hours. All comments are moderated before publication. When there have been a sufficient number of reviews, there will be an aggregated list, ranking museums in order of positive reviews. 

So what happens if a museum receives a negative review? Vexatious, non-family-friendly or abusive comments will be wittheld, however all justified negative comments will be posted. 

At the time of writing Milestones Museum in Basingstoke (http://www3.hants.gov.uk/milestones/review-milestones) is the only museum to have received any reviews. Reviews so far have been mainly positive, and we would expect that as we operate to high standards in all our services, that we ought not to receive too many negative reviews. If we do, then clearly this will focus attention on correcting any issues. All evidence from the private sector where this technology has been used indicates that performance improves as a result. 

Hampshire County Council will, I believe, be the first local authority in the UK to offer our customers the opportunity to review our services and have their comments published. It fosters openness, trust and transparency and ensures that our customers feel they're being heard.

This will be rolled out to Hampshire's libraries, arts centres, country parks and other venues over the coming months.

Further information from Ian Edelman ian.edelman@hants.gov.uk

Thanks to Ian for this example.

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