Visitor Experience Manager Job

Visitor Experience Manager Job at Chiltern Open Air Museum

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Visitor Experience and Operations Manager to join the Museum.

Job Title: Visitor Experience and Operations Manager

Hours: 40 hours per week
Usual hours will be Monday to Friday. You will be required to work at least two weekend days a month, during the Museum’s open season as Duty Staff.

Reporting to: Museum Director

Contract: Permanent

Salary: up to £26,000 plus £1000 for inclusion in the Museum’s alarm phone rota.

Holiday entitlement: 28 days including Bank Holidays plus additional Christmas shut down.


Chiltern Open Air Museum is an award-winning independent museum and charity in the Chalfonts, Bucks, with a collection of 37 rescued historic buildings set in 45 acres of beautiful Chilterns landscape. Around 60,000 visitors each year enjoy exploring over 2,000 years of history represented by traditional cottages, rural industries, a tin chapel and a working historic farm with rare breed farm animals.  The Museum has a small team of staff that are supported by around 150 volunteers.

We are recruiting a Visitor Experience and Operations Manager with excellent people, customer service and communication skills.

As Visitor Experience and Operations Manager you will inspire staff and volunteers in establishing high quality standards in visitor experience, audience engagement, operational management and commerciality. You will lead a team of staff and volunteers, having day to day duty management responsibility for the operation of the site.

You will be part of the Museum’s Senior Management Team and will line manage the Museum’s Wedding Coordinator, Cleaners, Visitor Services and Catering Teams. You will take the lead on the Museum’s building collections care and building dressing and presentation.  You will be able to lead, manage and motivate your staff, partners and, where relevant, volunteers in order to get the best out of them.

You will work with the Senior Management Team to deliver excellent standards of service in the operational aspects of the Museum, to assist in achieving financial targets and increasing visitor numbers to the Museum.

The Museum has recently applied for Arts Council Funds to develop a team of costumed stewards and costume makers. If successful you will manage and deliver this project with the help of your colleagues.

The candidate will help to fulfil the daily Duty Manager role on a rotational basis including some weekend work. We’re a small team and are looking for a friendly, flexible candidate who is happy to jump in and support the rest of the team if required.

Key Responsibilities

To deliver excellent standards of service in the visitor experience and operational aspects of the Museum, to assist in achieving the Museum’s financial and visitor number targets

Strategic Operations

  • Manage and deliver an outstanding visitor experience across the museum, including responsibility for how the Museum’s historic buildings and their displays are publicly presented.
  • Work with the Museum Director to set objectives, visitor figure and financial targets, monitor performance against the targets and provide reports as required for Board Meetings and to inform the senior management; contribute to the Museum’s strategic and business planning process.
  • Manage the Museum’s EPOS and Digitickets system and analyse the sales data with the Marketing Manager
  • Oversee and ensure the delivery of appropriate and necessary staff training covering: customer service, visitor experience, first aid, catering, EPOS and Digitickets systems, health and safety, risk assessments, contingency planning
  • Manage and ensure compliance with relevant licensing and/or legislation requirements, including Data Protection/GDPR, Emergency Plans, PRS licensing and similar

Line management responsibilities

  • Manage the Weddings Coordinator and wedding/private hire services
  • Manage the seasonal Visitor Services Officer to deliver on agreed objectives, ensure visitor information is correct and up to date, the buildings are dressed to a consistently high standard and presented appropriately to provide an outstanding visitor experience
  • Manage, with the Retail Manager, front of house seasonal volunteer/Visitor Services Assistant, organise rotas and ensure the service is professional and the visitor welcome warm
  • Manage the Museum’s Catering services with the Catering Supervisor and seasonal catering assistants to meet agreed targets, ensuring a high standard of service and provision while allowing for increased visitor numbers and secondary spend
  • Monitor and manage the agreed budgets for catering, operations, weddings/private hire and visitor experience to make the optimum use of resources without compromising standards

Day to day Museum functions

  • Organise and, with other Duty Staff, participate in monthly duty staff rotas for 7 days a week and, the monthly on-call out-of-hours alarm phone rota for 7 days a week; manage alarm phone contract
  • Manage cleaning and waste contracts, provisions and office supplies for the Museum ensuring a high level of hygiene and housekeeping across the Museum; administer operational team time sheets
  • Work with the Volunteer and Communications Officer to recruit and manage volunteers for the Front of House costumed stewarding team, training and developing the team to provide an excellent visitor experience
  • Manage the Annual Pass scheme, working with the Marketing Manager to develop the scheme, pricing and strategy and setting targets for sales for the seasonal Visitor Services Assistants and ensure that customer feedback and enquiries are reviewed and responded to appropriately and to develop monitoring systems to collate feedback

Operational support for other Museum functions/departments

  • Work closely with the Events Manager to ensure the provision of adequate facilities and support for public events and weekend/evening openings throughout the season
  • Work collaboratively with other teams, in particular Learning, Buildings and Estate to ensure a cohesive approach to Museum operations, facilities and services throughout the whole year
  • Work with the Marketing Manager and the Events Co-ordinator to develop the museum’s audiences and inclusivity and represent COAM at stakeholder events and meetings

Person Specification


  • Minimum of 2 years’ management experience
  • An appreciation of the importance of the role of volunteers in heritage and museum sites
  • Excellent administrative and organisational skills
  • Excellent numeracy, verbal and written skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, sensitivity and discretion
  • Ability to work successfully as part of a team and on own initiative
  • Ability to work with people from different backgrounds
  • Ability to prioritise own workload in order to meet deadlines
  • Good IT skills including the use of Microsoft Office and Outlook, experience of working with databases
  • Flexible, creative and innovative approach to work
  • Car owner with driving licence.

An advantage

  • Experience of working in retail and catering
  • Experience of working with volunteers
  • Experience of Health and Safety and Food Standards regulations
  • Good working knowledge of the Data Protection regulatory environment
  • Interest in historic buildings and environments.

Application Process

Please email applications to Sam Hatfield, Museum Director on using the General Museum Job Application Form

Deadline for applications: 5pm 16 March 2020
Interviews: Currently postponed due to Coronavirus situation.
Start date: ASAP

Search our site

Join our mailing list