Every room escape company knows that great products equal great games. They design, build, test, iterate, and maintain their rooms, because that’s where the money comes from. Right?
It’s true: room escape companies live and die based on the quality of their games. However, far too many companies forget that in order to play that brilliant game, players first need to find the company, purchase a ticket, and then get to the facility.
To make sure you don’t cause friction in these pre-game and pre-purchase steps, focus on creating an easy, positive experience for the customer long before they step through your door.
Remember that the customer experience begins as soon as their interest is sparked. A poor booking experience or a weak website can either sour a player’s experience before the game begins or dissuade a player from even booking in the first place.
Sound all too familiar? Here’s a few easy tips to make sure your players are already loving your business before you say ‘Go.’
Your company’s website is the primary customer touchpoint before the game begins. It should inform and comfort potential players and always encourage them to purchase tickets.
Your physical address
This should go without saying, but every single room escape company website needs to have their physical address in a large, readable font on their homepage and contact page. If a player can’t find your facility, that’s the first red flag.
There’s a certain amount of intrigue that comes with hiding details from players before the game begins, but it’s more important to effectively manage expectations.
Is your game scary, sexual (there are a few of them!), or too challenging for players with mobility, hearing, or vision impairments? Make it clear who the game both is and is not for. Define your audience early to help people self-select into the right game.
Tips, comfort, and encouragement
Those of us who spend a lot of time around room escapes aren’t weirded out by the concept of paying strangers to lock us up in a giant puzzle. We’re a bit desensitized to the fact that the basic description of an escape room sounds like what Batman villains create to stop the Caped Crusader.
Understand that people might be afraid of the concept behind your business. Some don’t like the idea of being locked up; others are worried about claustrophobia; still others might be nervous they won’t be smart enough to contribute.
Your website provides a great opportunity to kill some myths about your game. Use it to:
- Explain how your emergency releases and exits work.
- Give players a sense of how open your game is.
- Provide tips and help your players realize that communication and teamwork are far more valuable than math, logic, and booksmarts. (For some ideas, check out Room Escape Artist’s Player Tips.)
“Buy now” buttons
Make purchasing tickets easy and clear. Nothing is more frustrating than having players that want to give you their money, but are too confused by your website to figure out how to pay you.
Every single page on your website should have a “Buy Now” button on it that links directly to the page where players make purchasing decisions.
The Who, What, Where & When
Different customers will always prefer different communication channels. Make sure you’re available for open and easy communication, no matter what their preference. At minimum, you should be easily contacted via email, phone, webpage submission, Facebook, Twitter.
You should check and respond to each of these daily, if not more regularly. After all, you might only have one shot to help your customers with their purchase decision before they turn to another room escape or an entirely different activity.
Map & review sites
Although it might feel like there’s too many to count, it’s important that your business is properly listed on all – yes, all – of the big mapping and review sites. This includes:
- Google Maps
- Apple Maps
- Bing Maps
You should also send your company’s information to the Escape Room Submitter, which will get your company listed on a number of different room escape maps and lists.
Once you’re listed on these sites, verify that the pins are in the correct place. The first puzzle of your game should not be finding your facility.
As teams of players come and go from your facility, it’s easy to forget how much effort it takes to get a group of adults in the same place, at the same time. Do your part to make it as easy as possible for your players to find, book and arrive at your game.
Once they’re there, all the hard work you’ve put into creating an awesome room escape experience will speak for itself. Between a seamless booking experience and exciting room escape, you’ll create a group of passionate repeat players that’ll support long term success.
Make it easy to love booking with your company; then focus on the fun part – the games – and watch your business grow.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This post was written by our friends over at Room Escape Artist, experts in all things room escape, including reviews, products, design and players tips. Visit their site, www.roomescapeartist.com, for helpful posts, recommendations and industry news.
You can also find them on Twitter, @RoomEscapeArt, or Facebook. Give them a follow!