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View Full Version : Customers Opinions when they finish the House



farnsworth
10-26-2009, 08:21 AM
Okay, I know you're never going to please everyone, but it still ticks me off a bit when I hear someone say that the House "Sucked" or "wasn't worth the money"..

By and far, I've heard more compliments than complaints, but it seems like this year, the whiners are getting louder and more vocal about their displeasure. Past years, I'd overhear the comments. This year, I've had two seperate groups actually say to my face that the place was disappointing. One guy even tried to get a reaction out of me( I shrugged and said "Sorry." and walk ed away) There was also one group that saw the ticket price and just left. It seems like people are getting more ... retentive... about entertainment venues.

Usually, if someone comes up to me and expresses their opinion in a polite way, I offer them free passes to come out another night, so they can see the House with different actors. This usually pleases the heck out of all of them. But this year, I've only done that with a few people, because the negative ones are getting a lot more rude.

Anyone else seeing this "A-hole" trend?

Note: We've been voted one of the best houses in the area by a guy who goes around to all of them and posts online, and the vast majority of our customers are happy with our house. I'm just focusing on the way the negative comments are being made this year...

robos99
10-26-2009, 10:14 AM
Perhaps the economy being down has made people demand a little more value for their dollar. It's possible that people who would normally never complain are now in a bit tigher financial situation and are getting angry when they feel something was not worth the money. This could be further amplified if your house is one of those that charges upwards of $30 a ticket, which is a bit tough to swallow these days. Since the vast majority still enjoy it, I don't think it's anything you're doing wrong, it's just that those who aren't pleased are becoming a lot more vocal about it. I wouldn't be surprised if people are seeing similar things happening at other entertainment venues.

What you might want to consider doing is offering a free pass even for those who do complain in a negative way. I've found that when people are angry they quickly change their tune when the problem has been rectified. If they went a second time and liked it, odds are they'll keep coming back and spread good word about you. If they tell you that your haunt sucks and you only shrug it off, odds are good they'll never come back and only have bad things to say. If you're already giving free passes to those who express dissapointment in a nice way, what harm is it to give them to the assholes? Sure they don't deserve it, but you know the old saying, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

WelchWitch
10-26-2009, 12:13 PM
To me this is a double edge sword. If you "give away" a lot of tickets to compensate for their displeasure, then it could then go around that whether you like the haunt or not, all you have to say is you don't and you can get more tickets and see it again. If I love a haunt, I will go back and see it again, what better way to do it for free. Unless a patron truly has a issue that is legit then that would be different. But to have someone just say "you suck" I would first never say I am sorry because that would admit something that maybe wasn't needed for me to feel sorry about. I would find out the issues. If they just are one that you can't please, then I would listen, seem like I truly want to hear what they have to say and tell them that you will look into it and maybe change it for next year. I find that most of the time, they just want someone to listen to them because they have something to say and they want to feel important. Nothing more infuriating to have something to say to only have just someone walk away. If you draw flowers around them and make them feel pretty then you will get a lot more in return.

The Forsaken Crypt
10-27-2009, 04:41 AM
I think it's just some people don't care for haunted houses! Some people really enjoy it and get lost in the world of horror you built it to be and others just don't have the imagination that is required to get yourself lost spiritually in your haunt therefore resulting in negative feedback.

Jim Warfield
10-27-2009, 07:43 AM
Via advertising, web site. People have pre-conceived notions about what they are "buying" with that ticket, maybe alittle advance knowledge would help solve the bitchiness problem somewhat?
We have never done any gory displays here.
Never had any strong Hollywood characters represented here .
I expend a vast amount of my own time and effort informing and entertaining the customers as they enter my house. I thank them as they leave my area for being here (because they sure could have stayed home or went someplace else)
We are still at $12.00, $12.00 for everybody, no "group" discounts, and this year more people seem to want to call 3 or 4 people a "group" (Ha-hahahah!)
I try to work at the entertainment strongly enough to erase any negativity from harvesting their wallets...and I usually succeed.
We so far have had more incredible compliments from customers than ever before!
Complaining teenagers who have never accomplished anything yet in their lives should be taken with that old "grain of salt" and the salt should be washed from any open wounds left from their grumpy-ness. Next year they might mature.
Some of these complainers are still trying to re-find their haunted house 'cherry", but this usually won't be happening as more haunt venues seem to duplicate one another and do things that work because they have worked before.(Playing it "safe"?) (Investing time and effort in the "known" versus the experimental?)
If their time in your control is short and quick then it is very hard to make them feel more value for the distractions you provide. You need to get them to focus upon your storyline, show in general, then things will improve.
Most people seem to be pleased if they get at least a strong sense of efforts being spent toward them personally. They will be complimentary if you at least distract them from their own lives and problems, not everybody can get scared but almost anyone can be entertained.
Maybe more customer communication before and during the ticket sale could make you come across as more "human" and someone who really doesn't deserve their crappy demeanor?

Terrorknight
10-27-2009, 07:52 AM
Take it all with a grain of salt. So people are just assholes. I was standing at the back door one night this year something I really never do, but saw a group walk up and a girl in the group said to someone else (never again) well i wanted to ask why she felt that way but I didn't because the very next group that came out looked like they had just been running for there lives from a real zombie or killer. And the next couple of groups I saw had the same deer in the headlights look about them with sweat running down there faces. So hear is my thing some people just don't come out to have fun and there's nothing you can do about them, spend more time talking to the people who went thru and like it , and find out what they liked about it. Those people are the ones that will help you build a better haunted house year after year.

Just as a side note here is a few write ups we had this year on the haunted house that the girl said never again about. The Fright Factory Philadelphia PA

http://www.fangoria.com/features/94-fango-lifestyle/4312-halloween-haunts-fright-factory.html

http://www.baltimorescarecrew.com/Reviews.php

Raycliff Manor
10-28-2009, 01:27 PM
There will always be those who complain, but if the compliments outweigh the complaints, that's a good thing! I do like to hear what people's complaints are though and if I do hear someone complaining, I ask them to tell me specifically what we didn't have that they would have liked to see and what we did have that they didn't care for. Sometimes asking a "negative ned" to be specific changes their tune. They will usually say something like it was actually alright, but they would have liked it to be scarier, longer, darker, louder, etc. Some people just have a disposition to complain no matter what. It's when I can get good constructive criticism that helps improve the show that I might consider offering a free return trip through. For the person who just says it sucks, no return trip for them. They'll probably look for an opportunity to turn up the "negative ned" routine and potentially have a negative impact on others experience. Also, WelchWitch makes a good point. You may have seen an increase in complaints because word may have gotten out that complaining is a way to get free tickets. ;)

Kel

HauntedMemphis
10-29-2009, 10:31 PM
As Kelly said, use complaints as an opportunity to learn. Although I believe you will never make everyone happy, every customer is a learning opportunity. I had one haunt that although they put on a good show in 2008, I had a number of complaints and learnings about it I'd put in my blog. (I always look for 3 positive and 3 negatives I can learn from every haunt I go to, no matter what haunt it's at.) This haunt read the 3 "don'ts" from my blog, and addressed all 3 of them in 2009. Let's just say I was totally blown away when I went this year. Things I considered weaknesses quickly became strengths, and I had to really rack my brain to come up with my 3 "don'ts" for this year in that haunt. I never expected any of the haunts I talked about to actually read my blog let alone use the information from it, but the big learning that came from it was that as a haunt owner, you should take all the positive and negative feedback you can, since you might just hear something you hadn't thought about before.

MeyerPointManor
10-30-2009, 12:20 AM
A lot of people say things like "that sucked" and "that wasn't scary" because they are trying to hide the fact that THEY ARE SCARED!!!

I build haunted houses at an amusement park and I also act in them. This year I am in the cage room. When guests walk into this room they see a lunatic going crazy inside of a giant 9 feet tall by 15 feet wide cage. The guests walk along the 15 foot perimeter of this cage and then turn a dark corner which leads them right into the cage with the lunatic! They never see it coming! This room brings out the truth in our guests.

EVER NIGHT there is always a number of people who, right when they enter the room (thinking that I am locked in the cage), say to me (the lunatic) phrases such as "you are not scary" "this is stupid" "you look stupid" and then right when they turn the corner into the cage with me I step towards them and they SCREAM LIKE CRAZY and CRASH into the wall behind them. Most of the time they freeze in place and wont even pass me. I actually end up having to move AWAY from them so that they can pass by me, or else a bottle neck will occur.
The point is, people say things in front of there friends to hide the fact that they are scared!
-Meyer Point Manor

HauntedMemphis
10-30-2009, 06:12 PM
A lot of people say things like "that sucked" and "that wasn't scary" because they are trying to hide the fact that THEY ARE SCARED!!!


I hear this line from haunters so much and it makes me laugh. I think thinking that people who didn't like it must just be too scared seems to be a common defense mechanism in the industry. I can't even count the variations I've heard, but it seems to be very common in both actors and owners.

John Coen
10-30-2009, 08:16 PM
I think that any haunt should strive to be the best they can be, and set your price according to your show. If you can't provide a mega show with $10,000 animatronics, don't price your haunt like those who do.
I have gone to $15 haunts and seen an $8 show there. I won't be a repeat customer.
However, if I pay $10 and see a $14 show , I will be happy and return next year.
If you have customers next year, that is the proof that you are doing a good job. If your haunt truly "sucks", you won't be drawing an audience after a couple of years.
Disney's philosophy to "exceed the customer's expectation" is the rule I always try to attain.

If you have a rinky dink haunt and slick advertising by Brainstorm Studios you will not exceed their expectations. Your promotional material should reflect the quality of show people will see. Some friends of mine were diappointed when they went to a haunt whose website made it out to be a swamp with shacks and evil rednecks but when they arrived (after traveling several hours) at a tent in a mall parking lot, their expectations were shot down before they even bought their tickets.

MeyerPointManor
10-31-2009, 02:23 AM
Hey HauntedMemphis,

Did you read my whole post?

Of course there are people who say "that sucked" and "that wasn't scary" who mean it and truly feel that way....If you read on, you would see that I am NOT talking about those people. I am talking about the people who say such phrases to me when I am in a cage ( like "you are not scary, this isn't scary") then when, to there surprise, they end up in the cage with me and they FREAK OUT and CRASH into a wall.

Do those people sound like they truly felt that I wasn't scary?

OR do they sound like people who are trying to hide the fact that THEY ARE SCARED from there friends by saying remarks such as "you are not scary, this isn't scary"?

Do you think I am someone who thinks "that people who didn't like it must just be too scared"? I do not think that. I take what the guests say very seriously. But when a guest claims that an actor in a cage is not scary and then, when they come in contact with that actor they FREAK OUT proves that there are people out there (not everyone) who say things to hide the fact that they are scared.

What do you think HauntedMemphis?

HauntedMemphis
10-31-2009, 11:19 AM
Hey HauntedMemphis,

Did you read my whole post?

Of course there are people who say "that sucked" and "that wasn't scary" who mean it and truly feel that way....If you read on, you would see that I am NOT talking about those people. I am talking about the people who say such phrases to me when I am in a cage ( like "you are not scary, this isn't scary") then when, to there surprise, they end up in the cage with me and they FREAK OUT and CRASH into a wall.

Do those people sound like they truly felt that I wasn't scary?

OR do they sound like people who are trying to hide the fact that THEY ARE SCARED from there friends by saying remarks such as "you are not scary, this isn't scary"?

Do you think I am someone who thinks "that people who didn't like it must just be too scared"? I do not think that. I take what the guests say very seriously. But when a guest claims that an actor in a cage is not scary and then, when they come in contact with that actor they FREAK OUT proves that there are people out there (not everyone) who say things to hide the fact that they are scared.

What do you think HauntedMemphis?

My post s very general. I hear the same story over and over about people who say they aren't scared or that something sucks are really too scared to admit it and are trying to be macho. As I said, anytime I hear that now, it makes me laugh or roll my eyes.

Jim Warfield
10-31-2009, 11:38 PM
I scare them at the ticket window. (not with a high price either)
They scream, jump, twitch, right infront of their friends and relatives!
Some sort of watch and know what's coming ..and I Still get them!
Use that old "country" philosophy, Stink outside the box, outhouse philosophy, obviously.
Nobody wanted to breathe in there right afterwards.