When Cryptology Started
TripAdvisor definitely helps us escape rooms out, there is no doubt.
I recall being number 41 of 41 fun things to do in Nottingham, and I oddly got a booking because they “wanted to try us out”. They had not even done an escape room before!
Now, two years on, things have changed a little.
In the past week alone, we have had 4 quite negative reviews. I can categorically state that one of them is not a genuine review, they also picked on another local escape room with false information. These false reviews do not get taken down by TA, as they comply with their Ts&Cs. It’s a nightmare.
Now, nobody wants to get bad reviews, but if they are genuine they give you a valuable insight into your business and how it can be perceived. More importantly, what you can do to improve!
One gave feedback which helped us explain on our website how our Robin Hood Group Detectives differs completely to our escape rooms.
One review said they really didn’t enjoy it, and I believe this review to be genuine but not a dig at Cryptology, but a dig at the Escape Room genre/industry. So, this was taken on the chin too.
Where TA Is Heading, With Joe Bloggs
The aforementioned dig at ERs in general drew me to a conclusion. As TA grows and starts emailing you to keep reviewing to get yourself more points, I see that some people are reviewing just for that. I find the more reviews (total reviews, not just of ERs) that people have, the more critical they are. This is no bad thing, the majority of escape rooms are so highly rated on TA because the whole industry is quite new. After doing a few you start being more picky, but even the ‘bad’ escape rooms are good experiences!
ER and TA
What is very sad to see, and being involved in a few ER groups I see this being discussed again and again, is that some ER owners/employees set out to sabotage other escape rooms.
We have a great relationship with some of our neighbouring ERs, we know that good escape room experiences mean that more people will visit all of them. We are not in competition with each other, we actually compliment each other.
Some of this sabotage only brings the whole industry into disrepute.
There’s also evidence that many ERs pay for, or create their own false review to keep them high up the charts.
As time goes on, getting good reviews is going to be more and more difficult. More and more people will be doing ERs and therefore getting consistant 5* reviews is going to be a challenge.
As people are hungry for points, they sometime review anything for the sake of it, and appealing to this TA user is going to be more difficult.
Hopefully, TA will ask for some kind of proof for a visit, because right now I can set up a new account and review anything, anywhere, and as long as it is worded OK, it doesn’t matter if I have been or not.
I have spent far too much time in this last week defending my business, or taking time to respond to viewpoints which damage us.
The best conclusion is to focus my time on creating new things, things people will have not seen before. Where they believe they get value for money. Where it gets them talking to people. This is much more positive than hoping a spurious review doesn’t come in, for the sake of your position on the TA leaderboard.
So, watch this Cryptology space, new, exciting things are coming!