Visitor Center SOP

Visitor Center Standard Operating Procedure


These standard operating procedures are intended to provide a basic understanding of key elements of staffing the Visitor Center desk at Cabrillo National Monument. When followed, they will provide a great customer experience and will allow for more efficient operation of the desk.


Opening the Visitor Center

Complete the following tasks to prepare the Visitor Center for operation:

  1. Unlock all doors; activate the electric sliding doors and leave them in the open position, weather permitting.
  2. Change the date on the passport stamps to the current date.
  3. Update the information whiteboard to include, at a minimum:
    1. Today’s date
    2. Tide information
    3. Any special ranger or volunteer-led programs for the day with start times and meeting locations
    4. Recognize any school or other groups scheduled to visit the park
    5. Weather forecast
    6. Any short-term park closures (e.g., auditorium, trails, etc.)
  4. Ensure that all pamphlets, brochures, and newspapers are stocked for the day:
    1. Cabrillo NM Pamphlet
    2. Foreign language pamphlets
    3. Cabrillo Journal/Visitor Guide
    4. Just for Kids Junior Ranger
  5. Check the phone for voice mails (red light on handset will be displayed).
    1. Press “Message” button with envelope icon
    2. When prompted for a password, enter: 0000#
    3. To play messages, press 1
    4. To erase a message, press 3


Normal Operations

To provide excellent customer service:

  1. Greet guests as they enter the Visitor Center
  2. Offer to answer any questions
  3. Suggest activities based on the day’s schedule and/or weather conditions
  4. Be prepared to answer questions using available reference materials:
    1. CNM Reference Manual (E-binder)
    2. Reference binders
    3. File folders with copies of fact sheets (e.g., military guns, birds, etc.)
    4. CNM NPS website
  5. Answer the phone, “Good morning/afternoon. Cabrillo National Monument. This is [NAME], may I help you?”
    1. If caller would like to speak to a ranger or other staff member, transfer the call by:
      1. Pressing the “Transfer” button
      2. Dialing the 4-digit extension number
      3. Pressing the “Transfer” button again
    2. If you are interacting with a guest in person at the desk, let the phone call go to voicemail.
    3. Sometimes callers ask questions that can be answered by visiting our website. Politely direct them to the appropriate page on our website for the information they’re seeking. This may include:
      1. Permits for special events such as weddings, reenlistments, etc.
      2. School field trips
      3. Tidepool group visits
  1. Maintain the desk in a neat and orderly fashion. Return items to their designated locations so that the next person staffing the desk can find them.


Operating the Public Address System

There may be times where it is necessary to make an announcement over the public address system. You should keep PA announcements to an absolute minimum so as not to disrupt the guest experience. Types of announcements include:

  1. Emergency announcements
  2. To announce the beginning or a program, event, or movie
  3. To attempt to reconnect a guest with an important lost item (e.g., wallet, keys, credit card, etc., and not things like hats or jackets)
  4. To provide interpretive information (e.g., identity and type of Navy or other ships passing by)


To operate the PA system:

  1. Before making an announcement, think through and/or write down what you plan on saying so that it’s clear and concise.
  2. Keep announcements short (under 30 seconds).
  3. Select the region in the park where you would like the announcement to be made by using the “Next” or “Previous” buttons at the top right of the control panel.
    1. If you want the announcement to go through the entire park, including the theater even if the moving is playing, select “001 All Call.”
    2. If you want the announcement to go throughout the park except for the theater, select “012 No Theater All Call.”
  4. Press the key on the side of the microphone and wait for a few seconds after the light displays green before attempting to speak (if you use the “001 All Call” setting, there will be an audible bell tone played over the PA system to get the guests’ attention).
  5. Speak clearly and confidently.


Radio Use

Two-way radios are used to communicate between rangers and other park staff. The base station at the Visitor Center desk can be used to call others if you cannot get through to them on their telephones.

  1. Each ranger or staff member has their own 3-digit code or call sign. They are identified on the laminated sheet next to the phone.
  2. The call sign for the Visitor Center is 799. If you hear someone calling 799, you should respond.


Personal Conduct

You should always present a professional, friendly image that represents Cabrillo NM and the NPS well.

  1. Do not use your personal cell phone for texting, Internet surfing, or phone calls.
  2. No eating at the Visitor Center desk.
  3. Keep drinks in sealable containers to avoid spills.
  4. Stand up and talk with the guests when physically able.
  5. Be neat in appearance.
  6. Be friendly, courteous, respectful, and engaging.


Closing the Park

The process of closing the park begins at 4:30 PM with a series of announcements over the PA system.

  1. Closing announcements are scripted and located in the black binder.
  2. Announcements are made at 4:30 PM, 4:45 PM, 4:55 PM, and at park closing at 5:00 PM.
  3. When the closing announcement is made at 5:00 PM, get on the park radio and announce to all rangers that the closing announcement has been made.
  4. Ensure that the laptop computer is powered down and secured.
  5. Straighten up the desk, remove any trash, and restock any brochures or pamphlets.
  6. Return hand-held radios to the Admin building and place them in their chargers.

revised 16-Jul-16