Tag Archives for " casino customer service "

What If What You Thought You Knew About Casino Customer Service Training Was Wrong?

 

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“3 Ways to Make Learning Stick” Wednesday, April 1, at  2 p.m. at NIGA 2015 Trade Show

At the 2015 NIGA Trade Show, we will be all over the topic of casino customer service training but in a new way.

Ready to reduce training time and increase retention by correcting this costly learning “dis-order”?  Watch This

3 ways to make training stick!  Once again, we are so proud to share how to improve your training results at the NIGA Trade Show.  Our  presentation will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 1.  LEARN MORE

Our presentation will focus on PRE Learning.  PRE Learning replaces the “blah blah blah blah blah” of traditional learning with a fun, interactive, engaging and multi-sensory experience while also eliminating traditional learning “dis-order.”  By putting the learning process in the right order, training participants walk in prepared to engage, apply and assimilate the new information they receive that day.

Because they work with prepared participants, trainers can focus on areas where improvement is needed.  Pre Learning helps trainers identify participants’ strengths and weaknesses before training even starts.  Because they are prepared to learn, participants can actually look forward to their training.

PRE Learning builds enthusiasm and engagement among employees and can even give them a sense of ownership in their skills and performance.

Time is money.  By reducing training time, PRE Learning saves casinos money and can improve their financial performance.

Marty

Martin R. Baird has more than 20 years of experience helping casinos measure, manage and improve their customer service so they can compete and generate future growth and profitability.  Martin is passionate about casino customer service.  As a casino consultant, he is recognized around the world for helping casinos take their guest service experience to higher levels through outstanding casino customer service training.

BUSINESS INQUIRIES FOR ROBINSON & ASSOCIATES, INC.:
Lydia Baird
lbaird@raresults.com

2015 Casino Predictions: Be Smart As You Do More With Less

OK, so this is a little late, but it’s still January!  Here are my thoughts and casino predictions for 2015 and the gaming industry.

2015

Last year was a catastrophic year for gaming in Atlantic City and other markets that were ravaged by intense competition and a consistently slow economy.  Years ago, I wrote about what I saw as the end of “build it and they will come.”  Well, 2014 proved that out.

So what is going to happen in 2015?

The good news is that, as I see it, the economy is flatish and that means people will soon start to feel like they can have a little fun again.  This attitude will also be supported by lower unemployment rates and people feeling better when they have a job and steady income.  Those are both great news for all casinos because when people have money, they want to spend it!

This also means that people will take a risk and hope to have a life-changing event at a casino.

The other positive news is the plunge in oil prices.  That means cheap gas!  (Or what passes for cheap gas these days.)  For those of you that have casinos a little off the beaten path, it will only cost a few extra dollars to get to your property.  This likely will translate into more visits to your property.

Unfortunately, the world is in a state of turmoil.  Oil prices could be WILDLY volatile.  All it would take is one incident any place in the world and prices could go through the roof.

What does all this mean?  It means you need to take advantage of these situations now.

Competition in 2015

In 2015, Casinos Will Need to Think Smarter to Meet Even Greater Competition and the Demands of Customers

On the other side of the coin, we see casino leadership pushing all departments to do more with less.  Thus, some people are making questionable decisions.  Cutting marketing to save money just leads to fewer guests and less revenue.  (It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.)  The really bad news is that we see casinos doing the same thing with training.  This leads to lower levels of service execution and that gives your competition an opportunity to acquire your guests.

Speaking of competition, 2015 will be the most competitive year in gaming history in the U.S. and around the world.  As more and more markets have gaming options, guests will require more to earn their business.  States are behind the curve and are trying to catch a falling knife by adding casinos to reduce state debt.  It’s too late.  They are cannibalizing other casinos and not expanding the player pool.

FYI – This is great for players because they can demand better customer service and more generous offers.  But that will put immense pressure on casinos to operate at a higher level!

Successful casinos in 2015 will work smarter and find ways to do more.  They will not just make across-the-board cuts.  Instead, they will identify areas that didn’t perform and reduce them while working to find new ways to do important tasks better with less cost.  (By the way – Any day now, we’ll announce a way to reduce training costs.  No, it’s not staff reductions.  It’s a learning “dis-order” that negatively affects training.)

Well, those are my amazing thoughts for 2015!

Take a moment and share your thoughts.  What do you see happening this year?

Marty

BUSINESS INQUIRIES FOR ROBINSON & ASSOCIATES, INC.:
Lydia Baird
lbaird@raresults.com

 

Zombie Guest Rants Drive Customers to Competing Casinos

 

Video Shows — Negative Rants Rip Casinos

YOU NEED TO KNOW

This Just In…

The zombie apocalypse is coming

Learn how to SURVIVE AND THRIVE



This just-released video shows how negative guest rants are tearing down casinos’ online reputation.  These tirades are sending guests to your competitors.  Our brief video shares how to keep online reviews from eating your casino alive.  WATCH NOW!

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Survival Guide

Just Released


Zombie Survival with Simply Share+
4 Simple Steps for Your Casino’s Survival
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There’s More..

3 Real-Time Zombie Secrets Just Released


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Learn MORE.  IMPORTANT!  There is a way to deal with zombies!
Download HERE

Research has found a way to reduce zombie attacks by more than 40%.  LEARN MORESPOOKTACULAR OFFERCall to get our OCTOBER SPECIAL — 208.991.2037Do it before your competition does!Let the zombies rip them to shreds.
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Zombie Apocalypse – Learn How to Survive and Thrive

 

Video – Breaking Casino News

BREAKING NEWS

This Just In…

The apocalypse is coming

Learn how to SURVIVE



Just released video from Z News breaks story of coming casino zombie attacks and how to survive them.  Will you survive?  Zombie rants about your service rip the flesh from your casino’s reputation.  MUST SEE!

Read Now

Survival Guide

Just Released


Zombie Survival with Simply Share+
This might save your reputation!
Download NOW

Just In..

Flesh-Eating Zombie Casino Attacks Reported… 


Learn More HERE
Learn MORE.  IMPORTANT!  These attacks last FOREVER!
Download HERE

Savage online attacks are no joking matter. Negative rants and posts last forever and that means they are driving away customers. Having a real-time feedback platform reduces negative online reviews by 40%. Get started now with the real-time solution. Simply Share+ gives your casino the tools you need to survive the apocalypse.Call NOW 208.991.2037Do it before your competition does!  Let the zombies rip them to shreds.
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Casino Customer Service Lessons from An iPhone6 Purchase

I’m Tom Ellis and for many years, I have helped Marty and Lydia Baird share their stories and ideas about outstanding casino customer service.  I recently had an amazing experience purchasing the new iPhone6 and we decided to share my story because of the great lessons it offers to all casinos.

What does an iPhone have to do with casino service?  Well, it’s not about the hardware.  It’s all about the amazing young lady, Sarah, who sold my wife and me our new phones.  Every gaming property in the land should have an army of Sarahs on the casino floor!

Casino customer service -- a missed opportunity

Great Casino Customer Service Deserves A Positive Review Online

I went to the AT&T store near our home Friday, Sept. 26, to see what kind of deal we could get on upgrades for our existing iPhones.  By the luck of the draw, I ended up with Sarah.  She knew I wasn’t going to make a purchase until my wife and I could be there together to trade in our old phones.  Nevertheless, she made sure I had all the information I needed.  There was no guarantee I would even return to an AT&T store.  After all, there are competitors selling iPhones.  But my wife and I returned to that AT&T store the next morning because Sarah had truly impressed me.

When we arrived at the store, I asked for Sarah.  We had to wait a while for her but it was worth it.  Our upgrade was a bit complicated and there was a lot of data to transfer from our old phones.  It took three hours and Sarah amazed us the entire time.  She consistently delivered high-quality service for three solid hours.

Do you have employees who can do what Sarah did?

Sarah was friendly and engaging.  She smiled a lot.  Sarah was very knowledgeable and accurately answered all our questions.  There was a lot of digital paperwork for her to do on her iPad and she just zipped right along.  Amazingly, she did all that paperwork while also listening to us to understand what we wanted.  She is the best listener I’ve ever encountered.  Sarah had great ideas and suggestions.  On top of all that, she gave us a good deal.  It was hands down the best customer service experience of my life.

What a shame AT&T doesn’t have a real-time customer feedback platform like Marty and Lydia’s SimplyShare+ for casinos.  I would have been happy to use such a platform to praise Sarah and our service experience while we were still in the store.  My comments would have been instantly posted on social media sites as a VERY positive review, before I even walked out the door!  Apple has been struggling the past week with negative online comments about iPhone6s that bend and an operating system download that messed up people’s phones.  Here was a missed opportunity for both Apple and AT&T to garner something highly positive.

In the meantime, how many Sarahs do you have on your staff?

Tom

BUSINESS INQUIRIES FOR ROBINSON & ASSOCIATES, INC.:
Lydia Baird
lbaird@raresults.com

Read About These Reasons for Real-Time Customer Feedback At Your Casino

Below, you will find a recent post from Seth Godin’s blog.  It’s brief but very strong.  In fact, it’s powerful.

But first, I have a few comments.

In the fourth paragraph, Seth writes, “If you know what’s broken, you can fix it for all the customers that follow.”  The challenge most casinos face is they have NO IDEA what is broken with their customer service.  They think they know or they guess, but they don’t have a real-time guest feedback platform.  Thus, they are left in the dark. You read every day about casinos closing or asking the state for financial help.  I’m convinced most casinos would prefer to avoid such drastic measures.  Knowing what customers do and don’t like is a great step toward avoiding these pitfalls.

So how do you find out what’s broken?  The first place to look is current customers.  Find out in real time what they like and what they want done differently.

Real-time customer feedback helps casinos succeed

Don’t Let Yelp Be Your Source of Real-Time Customer Feedback

All casinos use mystery shoppers.  I know because we do it for our clients.  But shoppers are not real guests.  They are being paid to gather data that shows how actual service compares to the casino’s service standards.  Real-time customer feedback is real guests telling you about issues NOW, not a few weeks from now in a report.

Seth goes on to write that people want to be “heard.”  They really do want someone to hear them and help them.  Sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor make it easier for a customer to share with the world online than it is to share with most casinos directly.  The real tragedy of this is that a poor gaming experience goes from being a service recovery opportunity to an online reputation recovery.  I want guests to share with the casino so the casino can make things better with the guest.

At the end of his post, Seth writes, “Pick up the phone and listen.”  This is a great idea, but it’s not realistic for casinos.  Most casino guests would rather email or text than call a live person and interact.  I wish guests would pick up the phone, but they are much more likely to share via a text or email if you make the process easy and you respond quickly!

Research shows that more than 90 percent of people will do business with a company again if the problem is quickly resolved.  That is why casinos need to move to real-time guest feedback so they can provide real-time service solutions and recovery.

Marty

BUSINESS INQUIRIES FOR ROBINSON & ASSOCIATES, INC.:
Lydia Baird
lbaird@raresults.com

What Do You Think? Share Your Opinion!

I’d like your thoughts about what real-time customer feedback could do for your casino. Let’s all share our thoughts and ideas in the comment section. Also, we encourage you to visit our Google+ page for more information on how to make your casino competitive and successful.

Here Is Seth’s Post

What’s a customer worth?

A customer at the local supermarket or at the corner FedEx Print shop might spend $10,000 or even $25,000 over the course of a few years. That’s why marketers are so willing to spend so much time and money on coupons, promos and ads getting people to start doing business with us.

But what happens when it goes wrong? What if a service slip or a policy choice threatens that long-term relationship?

If you know what’s broken, you can fix it for all the customers that follow. It seems obvious, but you want to hear what customers have to say. After all, if people in charge realize what’s not working, the thinking is that they might want to change it.

At the same time, a critical but often overlooked benefit of open customer communication is that individuals want to be heard. Your disgruntled customer doesn’t want to hear you to make excuses, and possibly doesn’t even want you to fix yesterday’s problem (probably too late for that), but she does want to know that you know, that you care, and that it’s not going to happen again. Merely listening, really listening, might be enough.

Big organizations (and smaller, unenlightened ones) grab onto the data benefit and tend to ignore the “listening” one. Worse still, in their desire to isolate themselves from customers, they industrialize and mechanize the process of gathering data (in the name of scale) and squeeze all the juiciness out of it.

If you live in the US, you might try calling 800-398-0242. That’s the number FedEx Print lists on all their receipts, hoping for customer feedback. It’s hard to imagine a happy customer working her way through all of these menus and buttons and clicks, and harder still to imagine an annoyed customer being happy to do all of this data processing for them.

The alternative is pretty simple: if you’re about to lose a $10,000 customer, put the cell phone number of the regional manager on the receipt. That’s what you and I would do if we owned the place, wouldn’t we?

Answer the phone and listen. It’s an essay test, not multiple choice.

When in doubt, be human.

(Click here to go directly to Seth’s post.)

Negative Review Epidemic Solution — Real-Time Casino Customer Feedback

CNBC.com reported in a recent article titled “Hot New Trends in the Restaurant World” that real-time customer feedback has reduced negative online restaurant reviews by as much as 40 percent.  I know that this will hold true for casinos, too, with real-time casino customer feedback.

As a matter of fact, we are working on a new white paper that highlights what we have learned from one of the casinos using our Simply Share+ service.  (Not all of the research is complete, but we do know this — in the first 90 days, the number of online reviews doubled and 90 percent of them were 5-star ratings.)  LEARN More About Simply Share+

Real-time casino customer feedback

Real-Time Guest Feedback Is Critical to Every Casino’s Success

For a real-world look at the problems casinos face with online reviews and how real-time guest feedback can be an effective solution, read one of my earlier blog posts here.

For more than 20 years, we have helped casinos measure, manage and improve casino customer service.  Now there’s a new challenge.  One frustrated guest with a smartphone can make your casino look terrible online.  Here is an actual quote from a casino review I read recently:  ”The casino is a tiny cesspool…”  The bad news is that research shows more than 70 percent of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Simply Share+ gives your casino control over reviews and feedback in real time.  A guest has the opportunity to share with you and your team first so you can have real-time service recovery. Think about it.  People who give a casino 1 star have a problem that they’d like fixed.  If they share it with you instead of Yelp or Google+, you can often correct the situation immediately.  In case you missed it, leading research found that resolving customer problems increases player retention.

Think about how hard you and your team work.  It must be painful when you read negative reviews online.  It’s also a huge waste of time and money as you struggle to track unhappy guests down and (in a public forum, no less) post follow-ups trying to explain what happened or solve the problem.

There is a simple solution for reducing the number of negative online reviews while intelligently generating more 5-star reviews.  I can’t guarantee that you’ll reduce negative reviews by 40 percent, but even a 20-percent reduction will have a huge impact on your casino.

Your real-time customer feedback solution is here.  Simply Share+

For now, we are limiting the number of casinos that we add to the Simply Share+ system each month.  Please call 208.991.2037 to check availability.

CNBC has it right.  Real-time customer feedback is a hot trend that casinos need to roll out before the competition does.

Marty

BUSINESS INQUIRIES FOR ROBINSON & ASSOCIATES, INC.:
Lydia Baird
lbaird@raresults.com

 

Casino Competition in Overdrive: The Stench of the Saturated, Rotting Casino Industry in the United States

Casino competition in the United States is in overdrive and the resulting market saturation is roiling the industry.

It sounds like a bad scene from the newest “Sharknado” movie, but this is not some Hollyweird concept.  This is the reality that is affecting people from Atlantic City to Indianapolis and beyond – casino cash cows are dead and dying at an alarming rate.  And they stink.

This is why I have been writing even more about the importance of casino customer service and casino customer service training.  They are the only real answer to what’s happening.

For years, people have said that casinos are recession proof and even grow during tough economic times.  That might have been the case in the past, but those days are long gone.  The Great Recession and market saturation have created a death spiral for casinos.

Casino competition has driven the casino industry into oversaturation

Casino Competition and A Saturated Industry Are Killing the Casino Cash Cow

You can easily look at Atlantic City as the poster child for the new reality of the overbuilt casino industry.  It looks like 25 percent of the casinos in Atlantic City will close this year.  Oh, how far the city’s casino industry has fallen!  For decades, Atlantic City was the second largest gaming market in the U.S. behind Nevada.

Not too long ago, if someone had suggested this situation would come to pass, they would have been see as a laughing stock.  (I guess I really stuck my neck out in 2002 during another economic downturn when I made the case that casinos are no longer recession proof, no longer countercyclical.)  But today’s gaming industry is being shaken to its very core and it’s not going to end any time soon.

The root of this tectonic shift is an anemic economy and states starving for tax revenue.

Back in the day, if you wanted to go to a casino and you lived in the eastern U.S, your only real choice was Atlantic City.  Now there are casinos from New York to Maryland.  This means that potential players have more choices that require less travel and offer the lure of a newer property.  Why would anyone drive from Baltimore to Atlantic City when they have sparkling casinos a few miles away?  The answer is they wouldn’t and they aren’t.

There also is a systemic problem that most people are not thinking about – states that use casinos as an ATM to pay for schools and roads and to keep taxes low will soon face very tough decisions.  For quite some time, people from Maryland drove to Delaware to gamble.  The casinos’ parking lots were packed with cars from Maryland.  This meant more tax revenue for Delaware without raising taxes for the general public.

Casino competition and the saturated casino industry

Casino Competition Has Led to Market Saturation

Last week, the Delaware state senate announced a $10 million bailout for the state’s casinos. That is a serious change in fortune.  In seemingly the blink of an eye, those casinos have morphed from a profit center to an expense for the Delaware treasury.  Also last week, Indiana casinos announced substantial losses to properties in Ohio.

If you are a state representative or senator and you ran on (1) not raising taxes and (2) adding programs funded by the gush of casino tax revenue, what are you going to do now?  You have two very bad choices.  Either you reduce or eliminate programs or you raise taxes.  FYI, those are not platforms that get people re-elected.

By now, it is abundantly clear that the casino industry is reaching maturity and saturation.  That means that the glory days of “build it and they will come” are a fading memory.  In order for any casino to grow, it will need to take revenue from another casino.  There’s no other source for the money.

This problem is not limited to the eastern seaboard.  When Florida opens pending mega resorts around the state, the one in the panhandle will be very disruptive to casinos in Alabama and Mississippi, markets that have long lived off Florida guests coming over for entertainment.  A Tunica, Miss., casino has already closed.  What will happen to the casinos in Oklahoma and Louisiana if Texas sees a need for more tax revenue?  Why drive from Dallas or Houston to a neighboring state when you can take the short drive across town?

These putrid cash-cow casinos will have an immense impact on states.  The loss of tax revenue is only part of the picture.  Casinos that close employ lots of people, sometimes thousands.  Most people think these are low-paying service jobs, but they are sorely mistaken.  With “tokes,” casino employees often make significant income that won’t be replaced by “would you like fries with that” jobs.

Blackjack dealers can make significant tips working just part time. This allows them to take care of their children and still afford homes and cars.  There are not many jobs that will give them that flexibility and revenue potential.

Now is the time for casino owners and states to come together and make intelligent decisions. They must work together so that casinos can remain open and profitable and offer guests an amazing entertainment experience.  Both sides need to team up if they hope to survive for the long term.  It is inevitable that more casinos will close because some states have made it too difficult to make a profit and compete.  Casino owners will use their capital where they can generate a return on their investment and they pull assets out of markets that are just too onerous and competitive.

If you think the stench is bad now, just wait a little while.  More states are still looking at entering the casino market or allowing more casinos to open.  There is no doubt this will kill even more casino cash cows and leave a very putrid mess.

Marty

BUSINESS INQUIRIES FOR ROBINSON & ASSOCIATES, INC.:
Lydia Baird
lbaird@raresults.com

 

Casino Customer Service Training Benefit – Long Shelf Life for Positive Guest Memories

Recently, I was reminded about one of the greatest benefits of casino customer service training.  The outstanding casino customer service it creates can have a long, positive shelf life in guests’ minds.  I was also reminded that lack of training can have lasting repercussions.

I was reading an article about a company’s very public social media struggles with its customers.  This company was actually fighting with customers on the Internet.  Then I was hit by a blast from the past.  The article stated that this was one of the more noticeable cases of social media meltdown since Amy’s Baking Co.  And there you have it.  Amy’s Baking Co. is so notorious for its poor customer dining experience and online fisticuffs with customers that it has become essentially a gold standard for how NOT to treat the very people who are its only chance of staying in business.

Casino customer service requires training

Experience the Amazing Benefits of Casino Customer Service Training

I’ve written about Amy’s before.  The husband-and-wife couple who own and operate this Scottsdale, Ariz., establishment need training, training, training!  And then more training!  But don’t take my word for it.  Just watch bits and pieces of this “Kitchen Nightmares” episode about Amy’s and you’ll see what I mean.  In fact, all you have to do is watch the intro.  By the way, this episode aired in May 2013 and generated quite a bit of negative media coverage.  There is absolutely a long shelf life involved here if Amy’s is still being referenced a year later.

So what is it about casino customer service training that’s so beneficial?  There’s not enough room here to cover it all, so I’ll focus on one thing.  Associates – the very people who shape and cultivate the guest gaming experience – learn how to become service superstars.  The things they learn are not complicated, but because these keys to service success don’t come to them naturally, employees must go through training.

Here are a few examples of simple, but effective, service techniques.  Ask your employees to answer “yes” or “no” to these statements:

  • When a guest asks for something, I respond immediately.
  • I am kind to my guests.
  • I help co-workers who are struggling to provide good service.
  • I am patient with guests who are older.
  • When talking with guests, I make sure my voice has a calm, friendly and welcoming tone.
  • I maintain a positive, can-do attitude as I perform my job.
  • When a guest walks in the door, I smile and welcome them.
  • I consider each guest to be of the utmost importance to my casino’s success.

As you can see, great service does not have to be a struggle.  And yet, most associates need training to make it a reality on the casino floor.  I promise you, when associates with stellar customer service skills work their magic on your customers, that experience will be fondly remembered for a very long time.

Marty

BUSINESS INQUIRIES FOR ROBINSON & ASSOCIATES, INC.:
Lydia Baird
lbaird@raresults.com

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