Escape Room Reviews

Escape rooms are very popular when it comes to reviews. If you look at the Traveller Ranked Top Things to Do in Devon, 5 of the 10 top attractions are all escape rooms. If you look at The Top Things to Do in Exeter on Tripadvisor Prodigy Escapes comes out on top! Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways Escape Room Reviews are displayed and how their use can help improve the customer experience.

Traveller Ranked vs Traveller Favourites on Tripadvisor

Tripadvisor has two different options of sorting attractions. These are Traveller Favourites & Traveller Ranking. If you look at Traveller Ranking you see Escape Rooms feature as the second placed Thing to do in Devon but switch to Traveller Favourites and you won’t see an escape room feature until number 171 (As of 27/04/2024)! The reason behind this is unclear and only Tripadvisor will know for sure. Sadly it does seem that Tripadvisor does not like to feature escape rooms much!

Looking at Traveller Ranked Things to Do in Exeter Prodigy Escapes appears at the top. Switch it to Traveller Favourites though and we sadly fall down to number 27 just behind The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum who have less than 10% of our 5 star reviews with a mixture of feedback. Again we’re unsure exactly what the scoring contributes to this but unfortunately, Tripadvisor is quite the enigma! Sadly I anticipate that perhaps over 90% of visitors to Tripadvisor probably don’t use the Traveller Ranked option.

Traveller Favourites example 27/04/2024

The importance of star rating

Sometimes the traveller ranking works to our advantage when it comes to position. Traveller ranking looks at the frequency of reviews as well as a star rating. Because of this, you can see that in the UK Fun Activities and Games category Prodigy ranks as number 25 despite having far fewer reviews than the lower-ranked escape rooms. This is due to the number of recent reviews and their subsequent star ratings.

A review under 5 stars can have a massive impact on ranking. Our sister site Devon Escape was, at the beginning, of April ranked as 104 in the UK before a 4-star review dropped them to number 117!

Using reviews to improve your business

Before creating an escape room I (Dan) worked for a Chinese Motorcycle Importer. The foundation of my strategy there was based on bad reviews. This approach may sound crazy but hear me out. If we looked at the reasons why people wouldn’t consider a Chinese motorcycle we had a blueprint on what we could do to improve.

I took time to consider the views of the customer and this provided steps that we could take to make a product which people actually wanted.

  • “You can’t get parts for Chinese Motorcycles” – We made an online site where you could get reasonably priced parts for our bikes
  • “No dealers will work on them” – Create a UK Network of dealerships that can support them
  • “They are unreliable” – Demonstrate their durability and support with a warranty

The products and company got better because we worked on what the feedback was from customers. The same is true of Escape Rooms. We have taken into our account our own experience of escape rooms together with feedback from customers to try and offer the best experience possible.

Less than 5 stars is okay

To date, we’ve had mostly 5 star reviews which is fantastic. There have been a few 4 star reviews on our Google account, however. The topics of these reviews are as follows:

  • “The introductions and preamble bit that doesn’t do it for me.
    We found the introduction to the temple room confusing. The host introduced it and then the video introduced it again and it all felt a little convoluted. I felt like I had so much information to process. I couldn’t take it in and then found it hard to engage for the first 10 minutes.” – As a result of this feedback we shortened our video introduction for the room and revised our Games host introduction.
  • “Not the easiest to find if it is literally right beside the labour club with lots of building work taking place.” – Whilst we’re unable to change our location easily or control building work around the building we were able to update our Website and booking emails to make ourselves easier to find.

I’m grateful to the groups for this feedback because they have helped improve the experience for future customers. Whilst personally, I’d have welcomed the feedback in conversation with the group or via email I still appreciate the improvements we’ve been able to make as a result of the reviews.

The reviews that come in as “I had an amazing time – 4 Stars” are challenging as there is no explanation that we can work on to try and achieve that improvement that we crave. Whilst it is lovely that most escape rooms tend to get mostly 5 star reviews it does become important to review venues fairly.

Things we’ve acknowledged from other reviews

We even go as far to consider reviews from other venues to see whether the feedback provides us with an opportunity to improve our own offering. This also combines with our own experience of things that we’ve encountered whilst playing rooms ourselves.

  • We could hear other rooms – We don’t run rooms that neighbour each other simultaneously (Unless your party needs the extra space!). We think you only get one chance to run through a room so choose not to spoil it by hearing another group next door.
  • We were rushed out the door – We leave an hour in between groups to allow for a thorough reset and time to reflect on the room with the group afterwards. This provides a great opportunity to get feedback on the room whilst it’s still fresh in everyone’s minds and explain any puzzles that the group may have struggled with.
  • I couldn’t see what I was doing – We’ve included a selection of reading glasses in the lobby. We have brighter lightbulbs available for our darker room. We include a couple of torches in each of our rooms to help out when things are difficult to see. We have A4 printout of all printed media which can be slipped into the room if required

Different Platforms have different audiences

There are lots of places where reviews can be left for escape rooms. Google and Tripadvisor are our main priorities as they focus on the wider audience that we appeal to. There are many other sites which become more specialised. Sites like Escape the Review are focused around enthusiasts so are generally reviewed by people who have done many rooms. The viewpoint of an enthusiast can be different to a newcomer. This is due to the level of experience that comes from participating in a few rooms. Because of this, you may find an enthusiast group to be more keen to consider different things. Story theming, puzzles and difficulty can often be considered ahead of the general experience.

In Summary

Reviews play a big part in generating additional business for escape rooms, it’s true. As an operator, our goal is always to provide the best experience possible to our guests. Sometimes a review can motivate a change within a business which is a good thing. If you have valid feedback that can help a business it’s always good to share it.

    I mean it says it online so how can we disagree