Four Casino Customer Service Improvement Mistakes

Casinos that strive to overcome intense competition must not put themselves at a competitive disadvantage by making four guest service improvement mistakes.

Today’s gaming market is growing more competitive with each passing month as new casinos open and plans are announced for even more new properties and expanded gaming opportunities.  This environment offers little flexibility for mistakes in one of the few areas where casinos can make themselves stand out from the pack – stellar customer service.

Here are the four mistakes casinos must not make in improving their guest service and overall gaming experience.

Thinking Guest Satisfaction Is What Should Be Measured.  Measuring guest satisfaction is a waste of time, energy and money.  Customer satisfaction is a worthless gauge of how well a casino provides superior service.  Satisfaction means nothing because casino guests are fickle.  A customer can be happy on Tuesday because he won some money and grumpy on Friday because the buffet wasn’t up to par.  So is that guest satisfied or not?  There’s no way to know.

Casinos should measure something far more valuable than satisfaction.  They need to generate data on customers’ willingness to recommend the casino to friends and family.  If a casino is truly providing great service, its guests will happily tell other people about it without being asked to do so.  They’re like unpaid marketers for the casino.  They’re advocates for the casino.  Advocacy is what should be measured.

Giving Improvement Lip Service.  Every gaming conference has its share of casino representatives who claim that service and the gaming experience are their top priorities, but they are just blowing smoke.  If you visit their property, you likely won’t feel like service and experience are top of mind with employees and management.  Creating stellar service takes long-term commitment and significant resources.  Just talking about it or handing it off to the training department is not enough.

Not Knowing the Gap.  Casinos face the challenge of not knowing what the real “gap” is between the service they provide and the service they think they provide.  Casinos use mystery shoppers and think that is all they need.  Mystery shoppers provide a snap shot, but casinos need to have a service gap analysis done to know what the difference is between their service standards and what is actually being delivered.

Many customer service improvement programs fail because they don’t have the people and processes in place to make them a success.  Doing the research is only the first step.  The real work starts when a turnkey system is rolled out and improvement and cultural change begin to occur.

Falling Victim to Silos of Power.  When everyone in the casino wants to hold onto their power, the property is not functioning as a team.  Marketing wants its power.  Human resources wants to be responsible for training.  Training thinks it’s doing a good job.  The general manager thinks he knows what’s going on.  Casinos will struggle to succeed as long as everyone thinks there have to be winners and losers within staff ranks.  Everyone must pull together to offer great service.

To read other articles by Martin Baird, go to

Martin R. Baird
Robinson & Associates, Inc.


Lydia Baird

Tom Ellis

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