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Escape room

Escape Room Customer Care: Going That Bit Further

It's interesting to think that if you go back to the days before the internet, businesses did their business and that would be a certain level of customer care incorporated within. It wasn't something that was separate from the main mechanics out the business, and being built-in wasn't something that was ever commented upon. One always assumed that one would receive excellent customer service as
2021.08.09.


It's interesting to think that if you go back to the days before the internet, businesses did their business and that would be a certain level of customer care  incorporated within. It wasn't something that was separate from the main mechanics out the business, and being built-in wasn't something that was ever commented upon. One always assumed that one would receive excellent customer service as part and parcel of the general mechanics of the buying and selling process.

Fast forward to today and we find ourselves living in a dystopian atmosphere created thanks to the horrible intervention of social media into all aspects of our lives. And in particular the cancer of social media reviews. The fact that people can leave a review without having done any business with you, is so ridiculous it's impossible to get your head around the fact that many businesses are in fear of unknown and phantom customers who hold the power to make or break many business ventures. 

It goes without saying that real customer care is going to benefit your business hugely. And that's in today's age we should assume the customer care is something beyond simply being nice and polite, or fair or kind. These are basic customer expectations. Where customer care really comes into its own is dealing with people who are not so kind, or who are wrong in what they're saying. Maybe they are frustrated, and this leads to them being bad mannered, impossibly rude, and generally a difficult pain to deal with. And yet it's customer care that means you'll have to quietly and politely suck it up.

One of the unfortunate sides of running any business that deals with the public that you have to consider that at around the 50% point of all the people you’ll come into contact with, will be pretty stupid. This means that past that 50%, there are many who are even stupider. Quite frankly, any customer support at an escape room business who has to put up with people's lateness, with the lack of understanding, and with what they’re going to do in the escape room, and their rudeness, deserves some sort of medal. But in the day-to-day running of any business there will always be the unforeseen, the awkward and the unfair situations. Of course it is justifiably unfair for in these situations you will have to offer a refund, meaning that the business loses out. But it's how you deal with these in a cool, polite and civilised manner that will decide whether you actually have the ingredients that make up great customer care.

There will always be situations which are beyond your control. Cancel a booking that was made in advance due to unforeseen circumstances occurring at the actual escape room location itself, like a water leak or gas leak, meaning they are unable to play. And again, there will be situations which are even more frustrating. When perhaps a great games master or receptionist managed to fit a late applying team in, but it meant they would miss out on a promised freebie incentive. And then they are more pissed about missing the incentive as opposed to recognizing the effort and extra work needed to fit them into an already tight schedule. 

In the first scenario, the most common response for any escape room would be to offer an instant refund, along with an apology. But in the case like this you shouldn't be surprised if the clients then left a less than positive review. That's because there's a great possibility that, for them being unable to play the game, could have a much deeper context. Maybe it was a going away present for a wedding present for the groom, and by not being able to do it meant that they were unable to book any other adventure in the remaining time. Up to this point there's always a degree that the customer is not thinking about the loss of the booking in the same manner that the escape room owner is.

For the escape room in this situation, it's a lose-lose. Obviously if the room was unavailable due to force majeure, it's hardly the escape rooms fault. Though it ay well sound very “snowflakey” in reality, the owner should recognise that there’s a different level of emotional importance to the cancelled event. He should have understood that the booking was worth much more to today's particular clients than any other regular group of players. So in this situation how could any owner have turned it around and ensured a more positive review?

Well, customer care is about giving that little bit extra to improve any situation. When dealing with a cancellation like this, then the escape room owner should have offered, not just a refund but also a free choice of any escape room event whenever they would so choose. Yes, we know this would not change the fact that they could not play on that particular day. But it sends a message that the business can relate to the level of upset caused by the loss of a planned and important event. One that was to affect the lives of all of those concerned. It would show that a cancellation is sometimes more than just a simple cold everyday cancellation process. That there may possibly be much deeper and more profound reasons for the players to feel upset.

So think about having your customer care do things that people would really appreciate them for. It would be cynical to think of performing certain actions only because you might stand to gain a better social media review. There’s a huge difference in this empathetic approach, and one where you fail to recognise the importance of the emotional lives and desires of your customers. As such, in a situation like this, it’s assumption that is the root cause of many problems. Having a customer care representative, whether a receptionist, a game master, or the actual owner of the business, who can be sympathetic and firm at the same time, will be a bringer of great things to the business overtime. 

Yes, people will still be dicks. But if we can recognise some of the symptoms and then provide the best solutions we can muster, then we can, maybe, turn that dick into a happy customer. 
 

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It's interesting to think that if you go back to the days before the internet, businesses did their business and that would be a certain level of customer care incorporated within. It wasn't something that was separate from the main mechanics out the business, and being built-in wasn't something that was ever commented upon. One always assumed that one would receive excellent customer service as
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