It’s Not Too Late to Roll Out Better Casino Customer Service in 2007

Casinos that vowed to improve their guest service in 2007 may have broken that New Year’s resolution by now, but it’s not too late to get back on track and achieve stellar service.        

Many of us started 2007 with the best of intentions and some of you may have resolved to improve the service your property provides to its guests.  If that vow is gathering dust on the shelf, there are five things you can do breathe life into it.

No. 1.  Review service standards.  Take a hard look at guests’ service standards, not your own.  For you to improve your customer service and your guests’ gaming experience, you need know where you are today in this important area and where your patrons want you to be.  Too often, casino employees think they know what’s best for a guest without taking the customer’s desires into account.

No. 2.  All aboard, executives and managers!  Outstanding service rolls downhill because it starts with executives and managers who expect their employees to provide nothing less than stellar service.  Managers not only need to endorse the concept, they must support its execution on a daily basis.  I’ve worked with casinos worldwide and only once did this idea of management commitment to service fail to generate the outcome we expected.  What was the reason?  Managers did not truly back the program.  When customer service training sessions were held, none of the managers attended.  I don’t know if they felt they didn’t need the training or if they thought it was beneath them.  But they succeeded in sending a very clear message to the troops:  great guest service is not important!

No. 3.  Sharpen those skills.  Casino management must be sure their employees have the skills they need to provide great service, and staff members should eagerly seek training.  Not many people are born with the customer service gene.  Few people are naturals at providing stellar service.   Just because your employees know how to deal cards, fill a slot machine or make an amazing dinner doesn’t mean they know how to treat a guest.  The way people learn new skills is through organized training.  And training can actually be fun when it’s done properly and employees are fully engaged.  That’s right, learning can be enjoyable.

No. 4.  Training should be seen as a reward.  Those on the receiving end should view training as a way to improve themselves, make more money and help the guest have a great time.  I know casino employees care a great deal about what goes into their pockets.  Training leads to better service that can create guest advocates and advocates give better tips.

No. 5.  Create a reason for using skills.  Management needs to give employees a reason to use their newly acquired customer service skills.  Provide rewards when learned skills are actually used.  Having a reward and incentive program that employees understand makes it easier for them to do what is expected of them.  And it makes it easier for managers to do the right thing for their employees.

Martin R. Baird
Robinson & Associates, Inc.