Casino Managers Should Win Guests' Hearts In Big Way
by By Martin R. Baird

Casino Managers Should Win Guests' Hearts In Big Way
By Martin R. Baird

Industries outside gaming have learned something that casino managers and supervisors should adopt as an integral part of their professional lives. They realize that in order to succeed – perhaps even to survive – they must win their customers' hearts in a big way.

I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill satisfied customer and stellar customer service. I’m talking about something that goes way beyond that. It seems that just about every industry except gaming is emphasizing the creation of customer advocates. Major corporations such as Dell, Harley Davidson, Intuit and Symantec have created a huge customer base which is not just loyal; it is, in fact, the unpaid sales force for the company.

Casino managers and supervisors should strive to achieve the same thing – guest advocates. Why? Because guest advocates return to play again and again (that’s called repeat business) and possibly generate new business by spreading positive word-of-mouth advertising about your casino among friends and colleagues. In other words, guest advocates risk their own reputation to endorse your casino. And as long as guests walk through your door, you and your employees will have jobs.

Consider the following three typical guest scenarios in a casino:
Scenario 1: Guest arrives for the first time, wins money, likes the experience and comes again as he is satisfied by his gaming experience.
Scenario 2: Guest is habitual gamer and will come to casino irrespective of the fact that he wins or loses. Such a guest needs to be satisfied in order to be loyal to the casino. However, he will not contribute much to the property’s revenue growth as he will win/lose in a certain range or he may have a bad experience and switch to another casino or his preferences may change. (By the way, habitual gamer in no way references people that cannot control their gambling, i.e. problem gamblers.)
Scenario 3: Guest is not only loyal but also speaks highly of the casino. This guest tells others about his exceptional experience when at the casino and then, in turn, those people visit the casino. Those people then tell others and thereby business grows.

I guarantee you have no tools or data at hand that will help you and your employees bring your guests from Scenario 1 to Scenario 3. However, if you and your employees provide guests with a wonderful gaming experience through outstanding service and other means, then senior management measures the degree to which you have guest advocates and expresses it in terms of an index, you have a valuable tool. The index is one simple number and the higher the number, the more guest advocates you have.

Casino managers and supervisors need to follow a customer-centric model, just like any other service industry. Your ultimate goal should be to make an advocate of every guest who visits your casino. Although the index I describe is not a marketing tool, you should strive to turn your guests into “marketers” for the casino.

The wonderful thing about guest advocacy and the index is that they are very easy to communicate internally to employees. And employees are the people who make it all happen. Once advocacy and the index are understood, all anyone has to do is track the index over time to know where the casino stands. The higher the index goes the better.

This article first appeared in Casino Connection.

Date Posted: 01-Feb-2007

Martin R. Baird is author of “Advocate Index™: An Operational Tool” and chief executive officer of Robinson & Associates, Inc., a global customer service consulting firm for the gaming industry. Robinson & Associates helps casinos worldwide determine their Advocate Index, a number that indicates the extent to which properties have guests who are willing to be advocates, and then implements its Advocate Development System to help casinos create more guest advocates. The Advocate Development System uses the proven methodology of Advocate Index in combination with best business practices to chart a course for growth and profitability. More information about the Advocate Development System and Robinson and Associates is available at the company’s Web sites at www.advocatedevelopmentsystem.com and www.casinocustomerservice.com. A copy of “Advocate Index: An Operational Tool” may be obtained by calling 206-774-8856. Robinson & Associates may be reached by phone at 480-991-6420 or by e-mail at mbaird@casinocustomerservice.com. Based in Annapolis, Maryland, Robinson & Associates is a member of the Casino Management Association and an associate member of the National Indian Gaming Association.

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