Bad Reviews and the Bhudda

Article by Bill Parslow

At some time most escape rooms will get a less than favourable review - maybe it’s because something went wrong like the A/C failed or maybe it was a slightly off day for your GM.

There it is sitting at the top of all your five star reviews, right in the face of anybody looking up your Tripadvisor status until the next review comes along to push it down the list.

So how do you respond? Private gnashing of teeth or a zen like detachment? - your personal response is between you and your blood pressure.

But your public response - that is important. It’s an interesting exercise to have a look a people’s “bad” reviews and see what the escape room owner’s response is. You can do the same thing with bad feedback on Ebay, where the point I’m going to make is even more pronounced.

If the owner’s response is polite, intelligent, apologetic to the right degree then it tells you an awful lot about how they run their business. Likewise if the response is angry, even insulting it tells you that these are probably people to avoid - yes that strong!

In fact I would almost say that you can tell more about the tenor and professionalism of an escape room from their responses to a poor or average review than you can from their mountain of 5 star reviews.

For example I see responses that thank people for their frank feedback, apologise for whatever went wrong, and then ask for more feedback - these are the owners who are hungry to improve their rooms and make them the best experience possible. They’re not afraid of the odd negative review because they know they’re vastly outnumbered by the positives.

I also see rooms who have a small but significant of “Average” or “ Poor” reviews and there is no owner response at all. That’s not so good. Because a business that can’t even be bothered to address concerns where things were less than optimal isn’t going to be motivated to run the best room possible.

But those people that berate the complainer? In the end it boils down to one of the sayings of the Buddha “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” It’s just not a successful strategy.

Bill Parslow

Author photo for Bill Parslow

Bill Parslow is an escape room GM, writer and storyteller. Being a game master/game show host ticked a number of his boxes and he still rather enjoys it.

Bill is Tom's dad (the Founder of Buzzshot) and it was his experience working in a local Escape Room that led to Tom developing the Buzzshot software.

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