by Vic Taucer
CASINO CUSTOMER SERVICE TRAINING FOR TABLE GAMES STAFF:
We offer a great deal of training under the customer service label, all designed to get more interactivity in table games with the customer…
Maybe its time to change tacks here, if the result is interactivity lets try:
SALES AND MARKETING TRAINING FOR TABLE GAMES STAFF!!
How much time, effort and money do us as casino operations put into customer service training? A relative figure I guess, depends on the property size, the objectives, the area and so forth. Whatever the amount is in time and money, I am sure it is a large figure. From what I am seeing, at least when it is in reflection on the Table Games side of our business, we are sure wasting a lot of money! You are not getting what you need in table games from most of the casino customer service training being offered out there!
Whoa, take it easy out there all you trainers who are delivering customer service training currently! All you in-house training personnel or all you professional trainers that works as consultants brought in by casinos, take it easy! I am not saying that you are not delivering the goods. Most who offer customer service training in casinos are formidable in their presentation skills, content and viability of the customer service training product they are presenting. All (for the most part) offer a great customer training program.
The problem is simply this. In delivering any form of customer service training program to Table Games staff, the normal generic type customer service courses that are delivered industry wide are having little, sometimes no effect on dealers or supervisors in table games! Table Games staff generally do not buy into generic type customer service training. Unless the material and presenter create some kind of relativity to table games, dealers and supervisors aren’t going for it!!
The problem with customer service speakers and presenters that try to work with casino groups is the audience (dealers and supervisors) does not buy into the program. They see the speaker and his thoughts on customer service to have no relativity to them because “what does this speaker know about the casino business?” The presenter of this casino customer service program must be “one of us”, so to speak to create the relativity needed to make inroads in this vein.
A great many of the standard if you will customer service programs are not table games relative. Most are the same, a lot of touchy-feely customer service topics presented generally by using a bunch of acronyms to relate to basic customer related tasks. You know like C.A.R.E or A.C.T or any of the many of these. All deliver a message generically speaking customer service wise. Table games staff react differently to these acronyms, not positively. How do these acronyms and cute sayings help me interact with customers better in a gaming environment? Dealers (being primarily wise-guys) don’t see the relativity.
Even worse is when the presenter of these type programs gives their background to the audience. When they find out that the presenters background is from the hotel industry for example or even worse from retail, the turn-off is even more dramatic. Your table games dealer says to himself, “Great, I have to sit through another all day customer service program where the presenter is from Nordstrom’s Department store! What does this person know about my job? While some of these programs are really fun and interactive is the goal of the training to entertain the staff?
Interactivity between the staff and the players is the ultimate goal in table games. The results of any training of this type have to be more time on game by the player with an increased tip rate by the dealer. The old standard customer service training isn’t working here!
I am not addressing eliminating basic customer service training. I am saying that the problem is we need to train our dealers and supervisor in not just simply customer service traits but we need to deliver training in player entertainment, communication, sales and, marketing. I am speaking of a new type customer service program that trains the dealer to market our product better by entertaining the customer.
Maybe place less emphasis on training for basic customer service traits (we better already get this concept!), how about a different type customer service related training….
SALES TRAINING FOR TABLE GAMES STAFF:
THE DEALER AS SALESPERSON!
We are at the point in casino world today where we need to make some kind of concentrated effort to train our table games staff in sales and marketing. That’s right; I said you need to train your dealers and floor supervisors to be sales people. You have to train your staff on how to market the product. That generic customer service stuff is basic and mandatory, it is a given.
We are in the entertainment business, the casino entertainment business. Dealers are entertainers (how many times have I said this one!), more so than factory workers. To win the audience, the staff in the casino must get the audience to like them. Just like an entertainer, they must sell themselves and their personality to the audience!
With so many casinos and so many table games available, you can’t expect volume to increase or even stay constant. There are more casinos and tables than there are qualified players. Too many games and not enough players mean only one thing:
You better train your people in table games to sell the product better!
In table games the product isn’t only the game. In table games, the product is also the dealer or the supervisor, especially if this person is a tip earner.
In table games, the staff has to be trained in how to sell themselves (and the games) to the player. We can’t just put the games on the floor and hope they sell themselves.
The problem is we do not deliver this type of training to our table games staff. I am not talking about that requisite customer service training you offer your staff. That training (smiling, greeting, etc), the basic customer service stuff is mandatory just to get them to the door. If your staff is not at this point yet your casino is in a world of trouble anyway.
I am talking about here is actual sales and marketing training in a customer service based content for your staff. Sales training to consist of:
1. How to sell the product*
2. Communicating with the customer
3. Developing interactive skills just like sales people.
If the whole idea of table games play is based on the social activity part of this form of gambling, maybe we have to train our staffs in social interaction with an emphasis on sales. In table games the players have to like the atmosphere and especially the staff if we expect them to play in our casinos for any length of time. Maybe we have to train our staff in how to get the customer to like them. Isn’t that sales training?
This whole thought process makes me think of other businesses and the methods they use for this type training. I have been around other businesses that use seminars, courses and books, all designed to train how to make people “like you”, in a sales related concept.
Our table game staff, dealers and supervisors, spends 100 percent of their time in direct communication with your table games players. Yet this group gets no training on how to effectively communicate with the customer in a sales context. Isn’t this a little strange? What’s the matter; don’t we want them to sell the product?
Some casino operators are frightened by this thought. They say that if we give this type training the dealers that their tip rate will increase. Well you know what, that’s the idea here. Their tip rate will increase, so will your drop!
Over the last few years I have been delivering a number of training courses to my casino clients. Predominantly table game related, my training courses are defiantly need based, meaning I
Date Posted: 13-Sep-2006
Vic Taucer is president of Casino Creations; a Las Vegas based casino educational, training and consulting company. Casino Creations specializes in table game evaluations, customer service training, dealer training and managerial training for table games operations.A former professor of casino management for the University & Community College System of Nevada and long time casino manager at many resorts, Vic can be reached at 702-595-7800 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Look for Vic Taucer’s new book, Table Game Management, available at www.casinocreations.com and at booksellers nationwide.