Casino Consultants Reveal Yelp and Yahoo Deal Will Significantly Impact Casino Customer Service Training

USA Today reported over the weekend that Yahoo and Yelp will work together to improve search results by incorporating Yelp’s consumer business reviews into Yahoo search results.  As casino consultants for more than 20 years, we at Robinson & Associates, Inc., believe this will significantly impact casino customer service training.

Now that Yahoo is working with Yelp when it comes to search results, it will make casino customer service training more important than ever.  Potential casino guests will see Yelp’s so-called reviews when they do a Yahoo search.  So if the casino is not providing amazing casino customer service, it will clearly and painfully show in these reviews.

Following are key tips about Internet search, online reviews, Yahoo and Google.

Deal between Yahoo and Yelp means casino customer service training must ramp up

Negative Reviews Can Be Maddening but Stellar Casino Customer Service Training Is the Answer, Casino Consultants Say

Google Initiated the Reviews Trend in Search Results

Google already uses reviews as part of its new search algorithms.  All a person has to do is enter the word “casino” and a city name in Google and they will see the list of local casinos as well as reviews about them and their star ratings.  Google has been doing this for a while now.  With Yahoo joining in, casino online reviews will become more influential than ever.  For casinos, that means these reviews are becoming increasingly important.

A Large Percentage of Reviews Are Negative

Research shows that 46 percent of people use reviews sites like Yelp to share negative feedback.  This means that major search engines like Google and Yahoo will be sharing those negative reviews with more people and more often.  For years, I’ve said that Yelp is not a review site, but instead a place for people to rant and complain.  If they have a problem with a casino that they want solved, the best place to go is back to the casino in real time.  Posting on Yelp to get attention or sympathy doesn’t solve anything.

Quality Service is the Key to Counteracting Bad Reviews

Casinos need to provide better service now that review sites are connected at the hip with search engines.  It’s natural that these casinos will need to provide better casino customer service training and development if they want to generate a better guest experience and more positive reviews.  It’s human nature that people like sharing the bad more than the good, so great service will be required.

Real-Time Customer Feedback Is the Key to Quality Service

Casinos have real-time customer feedback platforms at their disposal now.  Right now, the technology exists for casinos to make it easier for guests to share their thoughts with them rather than with online review sites.  But not enough properties are using it yet.  Some casinos are still using comment cards.  More and more guests now have smartphones and are comfortable using them to share on Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google+.  This is a strategic change in the customer-feedback loop that casinos must embrace going forward.  Casinos must give customers the option of real-time feedback.

Casinos Must Embrace These Changes Quickly

Casinos that are slow to embrace the new relationship between search and reviews will be left behind in more ways than one.  When a guest uses Google or Yahoo to find a casino and sees low scores from reviews, that will affect the guest’s buying decision.  Search engines also will use those negative results to drive down a casino’s search rankings, again negatively affecting the casino.

One last point:  If casinos aren’t careful, they will get Scroogled!

Marty Baird

Lydia Baird

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