Escape room owners are always looking for ways to improve their escape room and appeal to customers. This involves more than just creating great puzzles–it requires a smooth customer experience from beginning to end. Some of the tips below may sound minor, but they are small details that mean a lot to customers.
1) Make it easy for customers to find you online!
First and foremost, you need to make sure players can find your escape room. A big part of this is ranking highly on search engine results, and for help with this, check out our SEO series on the EscapeFront blog. In addition, you need to give customers multiple ways/places to find you:
- It is essential that you register your escape room business on as many search engine forums as possible, such as Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, and Yahoo Small Business. Make sure your NAP (name, address, phone) citations are accurate and consistent across all of the sites.
- Customers should also be able to find your escape room on social media, so make sure you open as many social media accounts as you can. I understand it takes time/effort to actively post on social media, but you should certainly consider having Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TripAdvisor, and Yelp accounts.
- Some customers, especially escape game enthusiasts, search for rooms on escape room industry directories. Most directories let you list your escape room for free, and it is a great way for players to find you. Search for directories in your local area, but a few good ones include Nowescape, Escape Room Addict, USA Escape Rooms Directory, Escape Room Hub, World of Escapes, Escape Room Source, and Escape Authority.
2) Make your room descriptions clear!
Customers can be very disappointed when the room they choose does not match their expectations/needs. As an escape room owner you can manage customer expectations by providing detailed room descriptions.
In addition to the theme/storyline, consider adding details such as room difficulty, recommended number of players, age requirements, and any special effects that may disturb a customer’s enjoyment of the room (i.e. strobe lights). Those extra details will guide a family with three small children into booking your “Candy Shop” themed room rather than your “Serial Killer” room. Similarly, room difficulty guides can help prevent experienced escape game enthusiasts from booking a beginner room that will likely disappoint them.
3) Make it easy for customers to reach you!
Customers have a better experience if they have convenient ways to contact you. Customers may have general inquiries, concerns about the room, questions about their booking, etc. and want to feel that you are there to provide answers.
You need to provide contact information on your website, search engines, and on each of your social media sites. Customers should also have options for how to contact you, such as email, phone, live chat, etc.
4) Make booking easy and flexible!
The vast majority of customers book escape rooms online, and you want to make the process as user friendly as possible.
- First, make sure you have obvious “book now” buttons on your website. In addition, the layout of your booking system should be clear, so customers can easily choose and pay for their game without having to fill out too many fields.
- Second, it is essential that your booking system is mobile friendly. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to book a room on your phone when the site loads slowly or is unreadable on a small screen.
- Ideally, your booking system should be flexible enough to accommodate different kinds of bookings. For example, you may have open/mixed booking slots where people play with strangers, but it is nice for customers to have the option to make a room private (often for an extra fee) if they want to play with just their friends. Another perk customers appreciate is multiple ticketing options. For example, lower priced tickets for a child, student, veteran, or senior.
- Be sure to outline your cancellation/rescheduling policy at the time of booking. Customers appreciate owners that are understanding about scheduling conflicts, so consider what kind of advance notice you require, and what kind of refund you are willing to offer (if any).
- Finally, do not underestimate the importance of reminder emails! In addition to the initial booking confirmation email, customers really appreciate a reminder closer to the day of their game.
5) Make it easy for customers to find your location!
Even with GPS it can be a struggle to find escape rooms! Many escape room are off the main retail drag, and are located in commercial/industrial buildings, basement units, etc. As such, you should provide your customers with detailed instructions for how to find your escape room.
Be sure to include a map on your website, and consider putting one in your booking confirmation/reminder emails too. You may also need to write out specific instructions pointing out nearby landmarks, and/or describing the layout of your building. Additionally, make sure you have adequate signage. Finally, customers find it helpful if you indicate where they should park when visiting your escape room.
6) Offer extras!
Escape games are great activities for special events—birthday parties, corporate team building events, even proposals! As an escape room owner, you should do whatever you can to make the customer feel special. You may want to consider offering perks like party rooms, catering, multiple room competitions, etc. Some escape room companies even accommodate large groups outside of normal business hours.
Extras may also be little things, like having water available in your lobby, or providing magazines/puzzles/games to play while customers wait for their game to begin.
7) Hire great game masters!
The game master can really affect a customer’s experience. As such, you should hire enthusiastic people, and train them to pay close attention during each game. Game masters must be prepared to give prompt and appropriate hints at a moment’s notice. Most bad reviews about customer service involve inattentive game masters giving useless/misleading hints, or players having to tell the game master what stage of a puzzle they are on.
It is also up to the game master to make sure teams have fun, whether they escape or not. When teams fail to escape, a game master should by empathetic, compliment them on things they did right, explain puzzles they missed, and provide a fun team photo session…all the while encouraging players to try another escape game in the future.
8) Do an appropriate amount of player follow-up!
You want to provide good customer service even after players have completed your game. This often involves sending a friendly follow-up email sending customers their team photo, and politely asking for a review. Occasionally, you may also want to send players promotions or announcements, such as a new room opening at your facility. That being said, constantly “spamming” players will completely destroy the customer experience. Even if they loved your game, customers may think twice about returning if they feel they have been harassed with promotions.
The above are just a few tips for a good customer experience, and feel free to leave some of your own tips in the comments. You should always be on the lookout for ways to make your players’ experiences better!