Is Your Casino’s Valet Service Driving Guests Away?
by Martin R Baird

Is Your Casino’s Valet Service Driving Guests Away?
By Martin R. Baird

The old adage that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression is true. And it couldn’t be more true for casinos when guests drive up to their property and use the valet service.

For many guests, valet employees provide that first important impression that can play an important role in a customer’s decision to return and play again. Here are some areas to monitor in the valet department.

Provide Fast Service. We all know that some people arrive at a casino filled with eternal hope that this will be the big one, the day they hit the jackpot and never have to work again. That could be the mind-set when a guest drives up. They want valet service in the worst way. All that stands between them and glory is that little ticket for their car. So they want the service to be FAST and that is what they should get. Monitoring how quickly and efficiently valet employees do their jobs might be a good idea.

Polish Appearance, Greetings. How do valet employees dress? They should look – and behave – like someone a guest can entrust with their $67,000 SUV. Valet employees should keep their appearance impeccable at all times. How do they greet guests? Guests should be greeted as if they are soon-to-be millionaires, not like the valet is doing them a favor. Employees should flash a smile and offer a warm welcome. This business of mumbling with a hand outstretched for a tip simply won’t do. It never hurts to make a flattering comment about the guest’s vehicle – that car or truck they love. And use the guest’s name if they are a regular customer. Guests like to be recognized.
Create A Positive Feeling. Here’s a key question. Do valet employees make such a positive impression that the guest has a better “feeling” about the casino? Valet service can actually affect how a person feels when they walk in the door. If management wants guests to step into the casino smiling, valet service can make a huge contribution to that cause. Valets are ambassadors of the casino at all times.

Be Fast Second Time Around. People want to get into the casino fast. The same is true when it’s time to leave. Most people know the odds are not in their favor that they will win when they play at a casino. But some have inflated expectations, and it’s a sad feeling for them to hang around outside waiting for their car. Valet service should always be quick.

Make Overall Impression Upbeat. First impressions are important, but so are last impressions. It’s entirely possible that guests remember their last impression the longest. Those final minutes getting a car can play back in a guest’s head for hours after they leave. They see the person that didn’t smile at them. They think about the empty cans they had to step over when they entered their car. They lament about valet employees talking to each other instead of doing their jobs. Win or lose, every casino guest should go home with a positive overall impression of the casino and the staff based on the experiences they had with the valet department.
Valet service is important. If valet employees don’t provide exceptional service to each and every guest, they could, in fact, be driving customers away.

Date Posted: 24-Aug-2013

Martin R. Baird is chief executive officer of Robinson & Associates, Inc., a Boise, Idaho-based consulting firm to the global gaming industry that is dedicated to helping casinos improve their guest service so they can compete and generate future growth and profitability. Robinson & Associates is the world leader in casino guest experience measurement, management and improvement. For more information, visit the company’s Web sites at www.casinocustomerservice.com and www.advocatedevelopmentsystem.com or contact the company at 208-991-2037. Robinson & Associates is a member of the Casino Management Association and an associate member of the National Indian Gaming Association.

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