Don’t Be A Casino Grinch for Guests, Employees This Holiday Season

If there’s one thing casinos should avoid this holiday season, it’s being a Grinch for customers and employees.  How can casinos be a Grinch?  It’s not that difficult.  All they have to do is fail to deliver on promises perceived or actual.

Following are some tips on how casinos can fail to deliver on expectations.

Tip No. 1.  Marketing messages don’t always match reality.  If your advertisements show customers and employees laughing and having extraordinary fun and your guests walk in and decide the place is incredibly dull, they will feel as though you did not honor your promise.  If your marketing talks about winners and they lose and don’t see a single person winning, you again have failed on your promise.
Tip No. 2.  Effective marketing exacerbates the problem.  Ample repetition of a key message is critical to effective marketing.  If your marketing department is doing its job, it is probably beating people over the head with a rosy promise.

Tip No. 3.  Promises also are created through guests and their experiences.  When a guest goes back to their friends and explains what an amazing time they had at your property, that is the promise their acquaintances will expect you to deliver.  That’s right, your guests can establish a promise for others.  People often put more faith in their friends and the message they share than they do in your marketing.  That’s not a problem if a guest’s direct experience and your advertising are a match.

Tip No. 4.  Hard work may be in order.  If your promise doesn’t match your guests’ perception, you need to do some hard work.  Finding a problem is often easy.  But investing time and energy to fix it is where most projects fail.  You need to fix the situation so you deliver the promise that either your marketing department is spreading or that your guests expect so they will come back more often and tell friends to come visit.

Tip No. 5.  Evaluate promises made to people who apply to work at the casino.  When they were hired, did you sell them only on the glamour of gaming?  Did you promise an open-door policy and opportunities for advancement?  Or did you explain that some guests become angry and mean when they lose money?  Did you say they will work crazy hours and every holiday without overtime?  A realistic job preview should be standard procedure.

Tip No. 6.  The outside world also offers a promise to casino employees.  When television sets show casinos and all the happy employees, that is what your new hires think it will be.  When they see the lights and excitement on TV, that is what they will expect.  I have yet to see a TV show about casinos that gives a realistic view of the “back of the house.”
There’s a price to pay for being a Grinch.  If you don’t invest in making your promise to customers and employees match their actual experience, you could have fewer guests to celebrate with next year and that revolving employee door will just keep spinning.
Martin R. Baird
Robinson & Associates, Inc.