Source: Robinson & Associates, Inc
Martin R. Baird
April 13th, 2002
needs to tell casino managers that the gaming industry is incredibly competitive
these days. They do need to know, however, that they canít compete by giving
away the farm. Instead of focusing on the one thing that can keep players
coming back on a long-term basis Ė outstanding guest service Ė many casinos
are trying to rent short-term guests.
how it works. Many properties are making offers today that are so amazing
they border on obscene. Theyíre offering double and triple points. Their
food options are bigger and better than ever, and the prices guests pay
are dropping like a dot-com stock..
When casinos embrace a price war, only the players win. When casinos duke it out with pricing, they end up buying guests, not building a loyal customer following. When casinos buy a guest, theyíre just renting them for the brief time of the promotion. Guess what happens when the promotion ends? These short-term guests drift away to the next amazing offer. And that new offer may be right across the street. How convenient!
things away may Ė and I do mean may Ė generate trail (encouraging people
to try you out) and thatís very important from a marketing perspective.
One of the golden rules of marketing is that by generating trial, you give
people the opportunity to experience the benefits of your new product or
service. Hereís one drawback to that approach. If youíre selling the same
thing as the rest of your competition, youíve gained nothing.
can generate trial with their outlandish offerings, but itís not likely
they will create more long-term revenue for the property. It takes trail
to start the ball rolling but without a superior product or service, thatís
as far as it goes.
away the farm enough to win this war of competition? I donít think so.
Casinos need to deliver such an amazing guest experience that they have
a basic shift in strategy: from renting the guest to long-term ownership
of that guest.
Outstanding guest service is no longer an option. There was a time when it was enough to have bright lights, beautiful women, free drinks, a huge buffet and, of course, gaming. Itís scary, but that is not enough today. Guests want everything AND more. They want it all plus great service or they will go to the competition or simply log onto the Internet and test their luck.
the successful casino must provide an amazing experience that keeps guests
coming back even as the competition offers more to try to entice them to
give their property a try.
you try to generate trial, you need to supercharge your guest service so
that guests are thrilled with the experience they have. The guest needs
to see that the propertyís employees truly care about them and want them
to come back because theyíre appreciated.
of appreciation, I think itís a lost art in the gaming industry. That astounds
me because this is such a basic element of good service. Not showing appreciation
is a missed opportunity thatís costing many properties a lot of money.
Once a guest is on the property, you want them to feel like each employee
they meet appreciates them. Most people are looking for even the smallest
form of recognition and appreciation. And itís so easy to provide it!
advertising created trial for this little establishment. But could it turn
that opportunity into repeat business by offering something better than
was great, just like good food at most casinos, but it paled in comparison
to the service. The service was just amazing. I mentioned that I like hot,
spicy food and the waiter said they had a spicy special that night. It
was the least of it. When we were in Bossier City again 90 days later,
we became repeat customers and ate at that restaurant again. The same server
remembered us and asked if we wanted the spicy dinner. Out of all the couples
that ate there the past three months, that waiter remembered us and gave
us recognition and appreciation. This little restaurant won us over as
permanent, long-term customers on our second visit.
How many casinos offer that kind of service today in their own special
way? How many are surprising and amazing their guests instead of
offering them the same costly specials that are available across the street?
Not nearly enough
and in todayís brutally competitive gaming market, who can afford that
kind of strategy?
& Associates, Inc., is a customer service consulting firm that
provides specialty customer service training, management skills training,
presentation skills training, team building programs and employee incentive
and recognition programs for casinos. Baird has a Web site, www.casinocustomerservice.com,
thatís devoted to helping casinos improve their customer service so they
can compete and increase revenues. Robinson & Associates may
be reached at 480-991-6421. Baird may be reached by e-mail
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