Escape RoomsFebruary 15, 2019

The power of reviews: unlocking the door to great escape rooms

If you run an escape room business, you’ll be well aware of the challenge in getting your customers through the door. Then there’s the much sterner task of persuading them to part with their money in exchange for an experience that is naturally vague and mysterious. This is why reviews on Google and TripAdvisor are critical not just for your business but for the escape room concept in general.

What can reviews do for you?

Positive reviews can impact your escape room in a multitude of ways. Primarily, it helps with search engine optimisation. SEO specialists, Moz, suggest that reviews account for around 10% of a ranking factor. A simple search of ‘escape rooms in London’ proves this, as the escape rooms listed are the ones with the highest ratings.

Reviews help potential customers find you. ‘Google My Business’ is free and easy to set up, and users are 38% more likely to visit your site. If you’re in an area with heavy competition, this is even more important. But how else might reviews work in your favour?

Naturally, it adds credibility to your business. It’s common sense to choose the escape room with a higher review, so a solid bank of 5-star reviews will add trustworthiness. Reviews can also showcase some of your strengths, add intrigue and will, ultimately, lead to more click-throughs to your site and more customers opting to use your escape rooms.

So what makes a good review?

An issue for escape rooms is unfiltered reviews. If a customer uses spoilers or gives away key points to your room, others will feel the mystery is lost already. It’s important you keep an eye out for incoming reviews and ask to change any that give away a little too much.

That being said, a single unique detail can add oodles of interest and is undoubtedly better than a wordless rating that doesn’t offer any specifics. The dilemma is that you’re not in control of what is said. What may have been a wonderful experience for your customer might not be translated properly when your customer comes to writing a review, but there are things you can do to nurture more expansive reviews which we’ll go into later.

More generally, though, a good review describes the service and experience in a sensory way. It should explain the difficulty, fun and the way your staff conducted themselves without giving away too much. Of course, bad reviews can work out well for you. It means you can take any justified criticism on-board and amend where necessary. Likewise, if something truly works well, it’s crucial this is recognised and celebrated.

What about current reviews? What do customers mention?

It makes sense to read up on all reviews that have been left. If you already do this, you’ll probably notice a pattern with your customer feedback. You can use this pattern to help hone the service you provide and the experience you offer.

Escape room reviews reveal a few things;

  • Customers love a challenge, better to be too difficult than too easy
  • They appreciate well-thought out games even when it is simple
  • How your staff interact from the off—from introducing the game, helping when customers are stuck and how they conduct the end and exit—ultimately dictates and determines their experience
  • They simply want to have fun – that’s what they have paid for

Getting the balance of difficult puzzle vs. interfering staff may be a challenge, but using creativity, continuous monitoring and friendly, motivated staff will maximise the fun. If you have more than one room, it also means that if they want an escape room experience in the future, it’s you they will turn to first.

So what can you do to get positive reviews?

Customers who had a bad experience consistently mention the staff’s oversight in not asking for feedback directly. Since the escape room industry is, though growing, still very niche, it’s vital that you ask for reviews from every customer that partakes in your games.

After each game, you can ask directly for feedback and encourage them to leave a review on Google and TripAdvisor. If they’re happy to be contacted for future promotions, it’s worth sending out emails or SMSs to garner reviews. If you don’t have the time yourself, use a review management tool or app that does this for you.

If you offer challenging, fun puzzles delivered by enthusiastic staff, there’s no reason why you won’t see positive reviews come flocking in. In time, these reviews will boost your visibility and traffic, unlocking the door to a successful, sustainable escape room business.

Would you like to talk to us about your escape room insurance? Contact us now to find out how we can help. Simply call 01524 848506.