Casino Customer Service Culture – Most Casinos Want It and It Can Happen With Guiding Principles and Commitment, Robinson & Associates, Inc., Announced Today
The buzz word of the year for Robinson & Associates, Inc., is “culture.” As in casino customer service culture.
“Every gaming property we meet with doesn’t want a ‘program,’” said Martin R. Baird, chief executive officer of Robinson & Associates, a casino consulting firm to the global gaming industry. “It wants to create a casino customer service culture. We could be talking with management about a custom casino Train the Trainer session or a comprehensive program that includes everything from casino mystery shopping to casino customer service training and the discussion always turns to culture.”
Casino executives are tired of “spray-and-pray” programs where all the casino employees attend training and management prays that it takes hold and customer service improves, Baird said. “I always say that casino customer service training isn’t like weed killer,” Baird noted. “Just because team members were touched by the training doesn’t mean it will radically change them.”
Creating a culture of service excellence requires so much more than just training, according to Baird.
“The graphic with this press release asks casinos to identify their three guiding service principles,” Baird said. “This is a great place to start. To develop a culture, you need to have guiding principles that all team members understand and use when making decisions. But don’t go crazy about the phrase ‘guiding principles.’ It could just as effectively be called ‘values’ or ‘purpose.’ The term is not as important as how clearly it’s articulated. Yes, it needs to be clearly and consistently communicated at all levels by each and every department in the casino.”
Following are two common mistakes Baird said his company see when it comes to creating a casino customer service culture.
Talk Is Cheap. First, key decision makers frequently talk about service and creating a culture, Baird said.
“They talk and talk and talk,” Baird noted. “But talk is cheap. Casino associates don’t believe what you say. They believe what you do.
“Think about it this way. If EBITDA and head count are the topics the executive team invests the most time and attention to in meetings, then what are the casino’s guiding principles? Guiding principles are the alpha and the omega of all decisions at the casino. So if you want to create a service culture, you need to make sure service values are at the forefront of meetings and decisions.”
Culture Is Not Systemic. The second mistake Robinson & Associates sees all too often is that service culture is not systemic, Baird said.
“We see that service culture is for some departments or some people, but not all,” Baird explained. “I hate to break it to you, but guests don’t read the fine print on a badge to see if the employee they are talking to is from the ‘right’ department. To a guest, an employee badge means that the team member’s number-one job is to help them. Guests don’t care if they’re asking a beverage server about black jack limits or an EVS team member what time the buffet opens. If the employee wears a badge, he must be part of the service culture.”
If a casino has a goal of creating a culture of customer service excellence, that is great, Baird said, adding that this is a goal that can be achieved and the benefits of creating the culture will have a long-term positive impact on the property.
“The key point to remember is that creating a culture is an investment in your people,” Baird said. “It’s an investment of time and money to reach your goal. It also takes strong leadership with the ability to stay the course when it would be easier or more popular to do what is fun or cool.
“When you are ready to commit to a culture of service excellence, please give us a call so we can help you do it successfully. Please note that I said ‘you do it.’ We help, but it ultimately comes down to you and your team.”
About Robinson & Associates, Inc.
Martin R. Baird is a casino consultant and chief executive officer of Robinson & Associates, Inc. For 20 years, Robinson & Associates has been dedicated to helping casinos improve their guest service so they can compete and generate future growth and profitability. A Boise, Idaho-based casino consulting firm to the global gaming industry, Robinson & Associates is the world leader in casino guest experience measurement, management and improvement. Recently, it announced Simply Share, a real-time customer feedback platform that makes it fast and easy for casino customers to share their experience directly with casinos instead of posting comments online at social media sites.
For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://casinocustomerservice.com/casino_reputation.htm or contact Lydia Baird, director of business development, at 208-991-2037 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read about a variety of topics at Martin Baird’s blog at http://casinocustomerservice.com/casino_news.htm/, including casino-related articles, casino customer service training, mystery shopping, casino reputation measurement, casino training, service gap analysis and more. Robinson & Associates is a member of the Casino Management Association and an associate member of the National Indian Gaming Association.
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