Customer satisfaction is up to you. Short guide for escape room owners and game masters
During our visits to various escape room businesses, we have observed how they promote themselves and how they use the potential of escape rooms for customer acquisition. Here, we have collected good practices for the promotion of escape rooms in one place.
For starters, you must know that the customer will come to you only as many times as is the number of your rooms.
This means that you do not compete for customers with other escape room owners. Instead, together, you must keep the customers happy so that they never lose interest in this form of entertainment. You must remember that as an escape room you sell an experience, so your service must include both a great escape game and excellent service. Below are a few rules worth using when interacting with customers. Some of them may seem obvious, but it doesn't hurt to get a refresher!
Every room has a different theme. Each escape room business uses a different form of presenting the script. However, there are a few universal rules that you should follow when briefing player groups.
Short and sweet
No one likes long introductions. Your customers also want to enter the room as soon as possible and enjoy the adventure. Keep information to a minimum and if you really have to read the entire room rules – do it interestingly. An introductory video can be a good idea, but it also has to be short and brief. A clip with 5 minutes of special effects will be a waste of money because no one will be paying attention anyway. They will be anxiously waiting to start the game.
Remember — a direct reference to the customer works best. If you see that one of your players is a 2-meter tall goth with black fingernails, do not forget to tell him that he will find several cats to eat in the room :)
Nobody likes to be judged
To many people, a visit to an escape room means mental effort they may feel unable to make. Do not say that their game will be evaluated or that the place in the ranking of the room depends on it. A visit to an escape room is supposed to be a pleasure and entertainment; it is not a race or world championships in logic puzzles.
In the room
For an escape room business, the most important thing is for the teams to exit the rooms with smiles on their faces. Of course, it's not simple because each group has different requirements, but you have to respond directly to their needs.
The most important rule – don’t force them. Don't offer hints if the group hasn’t asked for them. Unwanted hints can ruin the fun and may reduce the satisfaction of some players.
Your response time to group requests is crucial. We have ourselves experienced waiting several dozen minutes for a clue despite the use of an agreed sign (there is no exaggeration here - several dozen minutes!). The fact that the players are inside the room does not mean that they will somehow manage. You have to watch them all the time so that they know they are safe and there is someone keeping an eye on the players.
If you know that something in the room does not work, it is better to say it at the very beginning (before the game). Pretending that something has just broken down and was working a moment before is not the best strategy. Yes, dear business owners — people almost always can tell when they are bullshitted.
Many times it will happen that after exiting the room, players will have some comments or questions. Ideally, you should ask them for feedback yourselves! However, be careful not to fall into one of the worst traps — an argument with a customer. Players will often speak under the influence of emotions, without knowing the entire context or how other groups are doing. For one reason or another — they can be wrong. However, if in such circumstances you will try to put them right, you will only worsen your situation. Smile, thank them for their feedback or suggestion and offer a photo.
It has become a standard to take pictures of groups leaving escape rooms. However, some escape room owners do not pay sufficient attention to get it right. If you decide to offer pictures, below are a few rules:
We all know that every contemporary mobile device can take pictures. Unfortunately, many people forget that not every device should be used for this purpose. The quality of some photographs leaves much to be desired. However, it is very important because your customers will not want to share poor quality, blurred photos. When taking pictures, you should also remember a few simple tricks that will help you improve quality and make the photo more attractive.
- Make sure that you have a uniform contrasting background. It does not necessarily have to be your company's logo — after all, the photo will be on your fanpage anyway.
- In photography, light is everything. You do not necessarily have to use special lamps, but properly set up lighting can work wonders.
- Make sure the image is sharp. There is nothing worse than a blurry photo!
There are two main channels in which you can use group photos. The first one is Facebook. When posting a photo on FB, remember to:
- enable tagging,
- add something from yourself — memories of your escape room will be better and Facebook’s algorithms will prioritize the uploaded photo and increase its reach,
- respond to customer comments under the photos. Sometimes it is worth to start a conversation yourself.
The second channel is a thank you email. You can send each player an email with their photo thanking them for participating in the game. Such an email will also allow you to immediately ask for the customer’s review if the customer liked it — more on that in a moment.
This section is for those of you who have more than one room on your premises. Unfortunately, the customer who has already visited your escape room will not return. They can only encourage their friends to come. However, if you have more than one room — there are several ways in which you can encourage players to return to your escape room.
When booking a room, the customer provides their email which remains in your database. However, this customer comes with other people. It is a good idea to think about a way to get emails from all players. With such emails in your database, you will be able to stay in touch and inform them in the future about the opening of a new room or about a special offer.
You can think about a loyalty program with even two rooms on the premises. It can be as simple as collecting stamps for visits or something more complex, arranged in a partnership with other businesses.
Finally, the most important thing
Nobody will want to come back to you if the atmosphere is not friendly. You may have the best escape room in the world but if you do not like to interact with people and you do not have interpersonal skills, customers will not be returning. In such a case, it is worthwhile to hire someone who can charm the customer, while you can do the tedious work in the back office!