Need More Reviews for Your Escape Room? How to Ask For Them
How did you find the last new restaurant or leisure activity you tried?
Maybe a friend told you about the place, maybe you saw an advertisement, or perhaps, like around 86% of consumers, you read reviews of the place first.
This makes getting reviews very important. According to consumer data, your customers care about the number of reviews you have, what people have said, the star rating you get AND the recency of those reviews. Here are a few quick statistics:
- 40% of customers only take reviews written in the last two weeks into account
- 57% of consumers will only use a business that has four or more stars
- Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling they can trust a local business.
What does this mean for your escape room? Getting reviews and getting them often should be part of your marketing strategy. You can’t rely on a few Google reviews from a year ago, recency counts for your customers.
So how can you get more reviews?
Ask for them...
The first step is probably the most obvious - you need to be asking your customers for reviews. Many people won’t even think to give you a review without being prompted, while others may intend to give you one, but forget about doing so.
How can you ask? In our experience, one of the most reliable ways is to send an email. You can verbally remind people before they leave your escape room to give you a review, but it’s easy for them to say “sure” then forget once they’ve left. An email is something they can come back to later. It’s an electronic prompt when you’re not there to personally ask.
Getting more reviews is often about asking at the right moment. Preferably, that moment is right after a positive experience - when they’ve visited your escape room and had a good time. This means the timing of your email is important too. This isn’t something to send days later, it should be sent at least within hours of their experience.
Getting email addresses
So if a timely email can help to get you more reviews, the next logical question is, how can you get more email addresses? A typical issue for escape rooms is that you might only have the contact details of the person who made the initial booking. You might have a party of ten people and only one email address.
The bottom line is that you should be getting an email address for every person who participates. It’s not just with reviews in mind; if you can get more people onto your email list, you’re able to keep in touch with them, send them special offers or keep them updated with any news (within GDPR boundaries, of course!).
Your initial sign-in process is a great place to start. When people arrive, you may be getting them to sign a waiver, acknowledge the rules of participating, or whatever is required in your particular regulatory environment. Different escape rooms have different systems for doing this, with many simply using paper-based forms.
The issue with paper is that even if you did ask for an email address, you’d then need to manually enter it into your system - there goes a timely reminder to leave a review! With an electronic system that integrates with your email platform, you can gather email addresses and have them loaded into your system straight away. You can get your customers to enter their own email address directly so you’re not left having to interpret a piece of paper.
On more advanced systems, you can automate the follow-up process and send out request-for-review emails within a certain period of the people finishing up at your escape room. Buzzshot is software that allows you to do this automatically.
Sending messages via SMS is a great option if you have it available to you. Most people won’t miss a text message, however they might miss an email. Again, this is something that Buzzshot offers - you can send both SMS and email to request reviews.
While the email provides a more reliable way to follow-up, that doesn’t negate the importance of asking in-person. Teams should always be asked to provide a review, the human connection aspect is always important.
You could include a message requesting a review on the bottom of your receipts and on business cards. You can have a TripAdvisor sticker in your window or put a sign up on your front desk explaining how people can leave a review.
Another idea might be to hand out some kind of cards once people have finished. It might include a coupon for a discount when they come again as well as a reminder to leave a review.
Right at the end of their game, before they leave, remind the players of their Game Master’s name. This helps to strengthen the human connection and means they may remember them by name when they post a review.
Make it easy to leave a review
Have you ever been asked to leave a review for a business, but then found it difficult to do so? For example, some websites use tricky programs where people have to figure them out first - the answer from most people will be “no.”
If you want more reviews, then make it easy for people to leave them. If you want those reviews on your website, then you should use a simple program with an easy user interface (for example, there are WordPress plugins that fit this description). No one should have to jump through hoops just to leave a review.
Consider any other places people might leave a review and make sure your business has “claimed” your listing on those sites. Doing so also allows you to respond to reviews and ensure your profile information is correct. Trip Advisor and Google My Business are examples of places where people typically leave reviews. Facebook is of course another.
People will often go to these third-party sites just to find out more information before trying out a business, so they are key spots to be featured and have reviews. They also tend to rank well in online searches, so if someone were to Google “escape room in [your city]”, then there’s a good chance that listings from Google My Business, Yelp or Facebook will show up near the top.
When you send out your email request after their time in your escape room, provide links to where they can leave a review. You may want to give them a few options, or, if you’re targeting reviews for certain places, send those links.
If you want to make it easy to draw reviews onto your website, you can get plugins for TripAdvisor and Facebook (or other social) reviews. These will show your reviews on your website automatically without you having to use a separate tool or separate request to customers for website reviews.
Reviews are a vital part of drawing in customers for your escape room. People like to see social proof of something before they commit to giving it a go. The challenge is always getting people to leave those reviews. You need more good reviews, more often.
The best way to get reviews is to ask for them, especially if you want more good ones! While there are many people who will leave a bad review of their own volition, people who have had a good time often need reminding to leave a review.
When you ask, timing is everything. Preferably, you should request a review within a very short time of the person having an enjoyable experience. Send them an email (and an SMS if you can!) and include easy ways for them to take action.
The simpler the process, both for your escape room and your customers, the more reviews you will get.