Stellar Service Eases Big Squeeze

Casinos need to start coping with the big squeeze.  The economy is squeezing the wallets of casino guests.  That problem most likely has trickled down to front-line casino employees and put the squeeze on them, too.  In the end, the casino as a whole gets pinched.

So how do you cope?  Give guests a reason to come to your property and return to play again and again by providing the most amazing customer service your casino has ever had.  Pull out all the guest service stops.

Our ravaged economy puts financial stress on the average casino guest and that is the person gaming management must focus on via service.  Sure, some players have mountains of cash, but they are not most people.  The average American lives paycheck to paycheck, and the only cash they have is what came out of an ATM a few moments ago. Gassing up the car is a painful experience for the typical casino guest.  As they drive away from the service station, do they make a conscious decision to cut back on visits to their favorite casino?  Or do they remember what a truly wonderful time they have at your property and decide instead that they want to feel that experience again regardless of the economy?  Stellar service can bring them back to you.

Casino management also must focus on its front-line employees because they have been hurt as guests have changed their playing habits.  Casino employees are in the same economic situation as everyone else, except they have a reasonable amount of cash from last night’s tips.  Or do they?  When your guests see inflation drill through their pocketbooks, they are not as loose with their tips.  Has their usual $5 tip dropped to $1? 

There’s an old saying that a recession is when your neighbor loses his job and a depression is when you lose your job.  I’m not sure what it’s called when an employee still has a job but struggles with rising expenses and declining weekly income.  Casino employees face the very real prospect of moribund tipping even if good service keeps guests coming.  However, employees who deliver truly exceptional service just might hold their own with tips.  Thus, guest service is important for employees on a highly personal level.

Managers, please be sensitive to your employees.  These may be difficult times for them.  They’re the ones who provide the quality service, but it’s hard for them to be motivated to do that when it seems they’re under attack from every direction.

By now, it should be clear why guest service can be the key to coping with the economy and its ripple effect..  Now is the time to crank up your property’s guest service to the highest possible level.  Now is the time to give guests such an amazing gaming experience that they forget about their worries and are happy to play and tip.  This will not be easy, but it is a necessity.  If your casino and it’s employees are providing only fair service, you could see an amazing drop in business – on top of the business you’ve already lost. 

Challenge EVERY person at your property to operate at a higher service level.  This could be tough because it may mean asking employees to do more while they are earning less and that is not easy for most people over the long haul.  There’s a big difference between working harder for more money and working harder on faith.  It would be easy to just get hard nosed and simply tell people they should be happy they even have a job, but that will not generate the desired results.  

Do whatever it takes to improve your guest service.  Make today the first day of important changes that could help your casino and its employees survive the big squeeze.  I don’t know how long this mess will last, but the sooner casinos start coping, the better.  The sooner they do what must be done, the stronger they will be when the economy turns around.

To read other articles by Martin Baird, go to

Martin R. Baird
Robinson & Associates, Inc.

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