This is Barbara. She’s my best customer. She has brought in 2 large groups and has committed to bringing more. While on a Mission and instructed to text an image of the “operating plan”, she sent this image. I laughed and held the Mission:Fail buzzer extra long. Then we all laughed together.
I talk to every customer after each Mission. I ask what they thought about the experience, what they like, what they think is lame. I encourage everyone to be harsh and to take my business card and email me after if that would be more comfortable. I log all the feedback.
I try to make the best of every interaction and help my customers be as successful as possible. I have divided this strategy into 3 cohorts.
Let your stars work for you. I would hire Barbara to do marketing for me if I could. She sells the product for me. I’m going to reach out to her to see how I can help her enjoy the experience even more.
Look for gems in the masses. Most of my customers have fun and enjoy the experience. They aren’t in love yet. But they have fun, they tell me specific things they liked and I work to enhance them. People tell me they like the app, they like feeling successes and moving from room to room. They make suggestions, like wanting to play in the dark or wanting to restart in the middle of a Mission (it’s coming). I once saw a mom and her adult son hug in one of the rooms when she discovered something that he couldn’t figure out. One family said they liked it more than Boda Borg.
Learn from failures. I’ve had 3 bad customer experiences so far. One showed up without a reservation when we were in the middle of moving. They drove an hour. I felt awful. Another I had to cancel when the town wouldn’t grant my Certificate of Occupancy in time for their reservation. It was a birthday surprise. I felt responsible for ruining it. The last was a birthday party that didn’t go well. I have since changed the birthday format and we had a party last weekend that gave me a 5 star review on Google and they bought T-shirts. I do a better job of communicating and posting our hours. I’m making changes based on every mistake and I try to contact the customer and offer them something for free to make up for it.
One thing I have had to learn is that not everyone will enjoy the experience. Some people come in with preconceived notions of an escape room and are disappointed. One told me the tasks were too obvious but they failed the Mission multiple times. Honestly, I don’t think they liked the idea of ‘failing’. Some want a longer experience, but I really want to stay in the 20-30 minute range.
I hope that all customers will love the experience as much as Barbara. But I know that won’t always happen. We won’t please everyone. We can’t make every interaction delightful. That is hard for me to accept. I want everyone to feel value in what they paid for and come away with a big smile on their face, joking about some part of the Mission and strategizing on how they could have figured something out faster. Not every customer will experience success, but we try really hard to make it the best experience we can.