Stop Worrying About Satisfaction; Focus On Creating More Advocates

Casinos that want to effectively manage their future growth need to stop worrying about guest and employee satisfaction and focus more on measuring how many customer and employee advocates they have and creating more of them.

A study in Harvard Business Review found that there is zero correlation between customer and employee satisfaction and the future growth of any business.  That’s right, absolutely no correlation between satisfaction and growth.

How can this be?  All casino employees are told in guest service training that guest satisfaction is THE most important thing.  Yes, guests want to be satisfied with their gaming experience, just as employees want to be satisfied with their work.  But measuring satisfaction in either camp is a very poor way to predict future growth. 

Following are seven tips on satisfaction, advocacy and casino growth.

Tip No. 1.  It’s pointless to conduct guest satisfaction surveys.  Guests can be very satisfied the day you do the survey and extremely dissatisfied the next day.  They are fickle and their level of satisfaction shifts with the wind.  Thus, their degree of satisfaction on any particular day means nothing about a casino’s future growth.

Tip No. 2.  It also is a waste of time to roll out employee satisfaction surveys.  Employees are just as fickle as guests, if not more so.  Besides, if you learn that your employees are dissatisfied, what are you going to do about it?  Probably nothing, making employee satisfaction surveys a waste of time and money.  They have no bearing on a casino’s growth.

Tip No. 3.  Get out of the satisfaction rut and focus instead on creating guest and employee advocates.  An advocate is a person who will do something for someone else without hope of personal gain.  Thus, guest advocates spread positive word-of-mouth advertising about a casino among friends and family members without the property asking them to do so.  Employee advocates also have positive things to say about the casino where they work.  Because they are advocates, they are likely to remain at the casino, thus reducing turnover, and they encourage friends to apply to work there, expanding the casino’s applicant pool.

Tip No. 4.  Guest and employee advocates both contribute to the bottom line over time.  Guest advocates return to a casino again and again to play and that is repeat business.  Their positive comments about a casino may encourage other people to play there and that’s new business.  Employee advocates are not looking to jump ship at the first opportunity.  They are committed to the casino’s long-term growth.

Tip No. 5.  Measure advocates.  Because advocates are so important to a casino’s future, properties should measure the degree to which they have advocates.  Determining if people are advocates is an extremely accurate yardstick of future growth.

Tip No. 6.  Create more advocates.   The more advocates a casino has, the more successful it will be.  The first step toward creating advocates is knowing what guests and employees want.

Tip No. 7.  Go beyond satisfaction.  Using customers as an example, look for ways to more than just satisfy your guests.  Look for ways to move them to the level of freely sharing with others how great your casino, restaurant or resort is.

Martin R. Baird
Robinson & Associates, Inc.