Source: Robinson & Associates, Inc

Savvy Casino Managers Are On to Something: Great Guest Service Contributes to the Bottom Line

By Martin R. Baird
15th August, 2002

    No matter what’s happening in the world, casino guests want one thing – an outstanding gaming experience.  Casinos that understand the significance of stellar guest service are on to something.

    “Guests want an experience that is so memorable that it keeps them coming back even if they leave with less money in their pocket,” says Martin R. Baird, president of Phoenix, Ariz.-based Robinson & Associates, Inc., a guest service consulting firm for the gaming industry.  “Guests who enjoy themselves will come back and play again and that contributes to a casino’s bottom line.”

     Baird offers the following seven keys to improving casino guest service.

  1. Change Is Difficult.  Improving guest service starts with changing how employees provide the service.  They must step outside their comfort zone and they will find the process difficult.  “You must identify what will motivate your people to perform the desired behaviors you’re looking for,” Baird says.  “You must overcome the hurdle of getting a critical mass of employees to see that this guest service culture is good for them as well as the casino.”
  2. Hiring the Best Is Not Enough.  Even if you hire the best employees, you will discover they still need improvement.  “Guest service training is critical,” Baird says.  “The alternative is to hire people and then fire them for not providing the guest service you need.”
  3. Be Picky About the Training.  Hire a training company that makes the experience enjoyable, that encourages participation.  The trainers need to know the industry and they should understand that most casino employees only make money when they offer their guests a great experience.  Hire a company that specializes in guest service training for the gaming industry.
  4. Make It Fun.  Inject a lot of fun into the training.  “Learning is fun and if you start guest service training with that premise, you will increase both retention and application,” Baird notes.  “Children learn when they’re having fun and the same goes for adults.”
  5. Training Is An Investment.  Training is an investment in your staff.  In turn, that investment creates opportunities to generate more revenue.  “Guest service training ultimately will increase a property’s play,” Baird says.  “Guests who have a good time will come back.  It can be eight to 10 times more expensive to get a guest to visit once than it is to get them to return.”
  6. Start With An Accurate Perspective.  Before you embark upon improving guest service, get a 360-degree view of your existing level of service. “You need to see things from the guest’s perspective, from management’s viewpoint and from the employees’ standpoint,” Baird points out.  “When you do this, you have a clear view of what is really happening.  Training must start from this perspective.”
  7. Great Service Is An Acquired Skill.  Few people inherently know how to provide great service.  Good service is built over time with training.  “You need to offer training that shows employees that they and your property will be rewarded if they adopt these new, better behaviors,” Baird says.  “I’m talking about training that creates skills that are an investment in your employees’ future.”

    Owned by Lydia and Martin Baird, Robinson & Associates, Inc., is a guest service consulting firm that provides specialty guest service training, management skills training, presentation skills training, team building programs and employee incentive and recognition programs for the gaming industry.  The Bairds have a Web site,, that’s devoted to helping casinos improve their guest service so they can compete and increase revenues.

    Robinson & Associates may be reached by contacting Lydia at 480-991-6421 or at  Robinson & Associates is an associate member of the National Indian Gaming Association.

Tom Ellis
Ellis Communications, L.L.C.
Phone (623) 780-4558
An online resource for casino trade and industry news