No Myth: Size and Length Do Matter In Casino Customer Service Training
Size and length do matter – when it comes to providing only the best in casino customer service training.
“Simple things like the size of the group of people being trained and the length of the presentations are critical to creating a successful training experience for casino employees,” says Martin R. Baird, chief executive officer of Annapolis, Md.-based Robinson & Associates, Inc., a global customer service consulting firm for the gaming industry.
Baird offers the following seven tips on making sure size and length are given due consideration in employee training.
Tip No. 1. For training to be successful, attendees must actively participate and that’s difficult when the group being trained is too large. “The size of the group has a direct effect on the number of people who will become actively involved in the training,” Baird says. “With a group of 40 attendees, people have an opportunity to express their opinions and have their voices heard.”
Tip No. 2. The size of the training room also can affect attendee participation. “If you have a group of 30 and your training is held in a showroom that seats 500, people feel lost and intimidated by the size of the room,” Baird notes. “Likewise, when you pack 50 people into a room that’s designed to hold 35, they can’t get comfortable and they actually find it difficult to participate.”
Tip No. 3. Training sessions should be long enough to get the information across without becoming repetitive. “Any longer than that and the attendees will just sit there,” Baird says. “People zone out if the training is too long.”
Tip No. 4. Avoid eight-hour sessions. “Some people think training should be done in eight-hour increments to match the workday,” Baird points out. “But a workday and a training day are two very different animals. You should base the length of the training on what you want people to learn, not on what is simple for the payroll department.”
Tip No. 5. Avoid sessions that are too short. “If you try to cover three hours of material in two hours, you’re wasting everyone’s time,” Baird says. “It can take 45 minutes to an hour for a group to get warmed up and start taking part in the training. If that only leaves an hour to cover the material, you could end up accomplishing nothing.”
Tip. No. 6. Avoid lengthy modules. “Modules are organized sections of the training and some casinos think it’s OK to have one module for eight hours of training,” Baird explains. “This is very difficult for the participants. People who go through training need to see progress and that requires a beginning, middle and end. Modules give participants a feeling of progress so they know that they are reaching the goal.”
Tip No. 7. Keep lectures relatively short. There’s an old saying in the training profession that the mind can only absorb as much as the backside can endure,” Baird says. “If a trainer stands at the front of the room and drones on and one, they will lose the participants very quickly. Studies show that people tolerate only eight to 10 minutes of lecture before they tune out and start thinking about other things.”
So are size and length really that important to a casino’s customer service training?
“They are more than important, they are critical,” Baird says. “They can have an amazing effect on the outcome of the training and how much information will be retained and used. After all, if the lessons learned in training aren’t used in the real world of the casino, it was all just a waste of time, energy and money.”
Robinson & Associates, Inc., is a global customer service consulting firm that provides specialty customer service training, management skills training, presentation skills training, team building programs and employee incentive and recognition programs for the gaming industry. The company’s Web site, www.casinocustomerservice.com, is devoted to helping casinos worldwide improve their customer service so they can compete and increase revenues. The company may be reached by phone at 480-991-6420 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Robinson & Associates is a member of the Casino Management Association and an associate member of the National Indian Gaming Association.
Martin R. Baird
Robinson & Associates, Inc.