A casino resort customer checks into his hotel room and discovers that it’s not quite as clean as he would like. After that unhappy surprise, he goes to the spa to relax and his experience there is underwhelming. He could have received better service at a spa close to home 1,500 miles away.
Another guest goes to the restaurant and the medium-rare steak she orders is served up well done and tough. Another guest drives up to valet service and it is painfully obvious the only thing the bored staff there cares about is tips.
These kinds of problems happen at casino resorts and gaming properties all the time and for decades many of them have gotten away with it. In other words, they have survived in spite of themselves. But times have changed. REALLY changed. Thanks to the Internet and social media, casinos will suffer greatly at the hands of zombie guests if they don’t get a handle on the quality of their service. And they need to do it in real time because zombies are eating the flesh off casinos’ online reputation.
Zombie Secret #1: Technology Has Changed the World
What am I talking about? Let’s take the examples of poor service outlined above. It wasn’t so long ago that those customers had limited options in how they could respond. They could complain to a supervisor or put up with the situation and choose to patronize a different property for their next outing. Today, those customers are zombies and they have the world at their fingertips and they are talking very loudly to other people who are potential customers. The guest who discovered a dirty room sits down on the bed, opens the Twitter app on his smartphone and within seconds posts a zombie rant telling thousands of people what he just experienced. But a zombie doesn’t stop there. He posts an uncomplimentary Facebook status update before he even leaves the spa. The customer who could barely cut her overdone steak posts a negative review of the restaurant on Yelp while she is still sitting at the table.
What’s changed is that people have cheap technology at their disposal that allows them to rant incessantly to the world about the poor service they receive. And if you read the previous paragraph carefully, you likely noticed that this can happen very quickly. Add to that the fact that communication via the Internet can be anonymous and potentially nasty.
Zombie Secret #2: Real-Time Customer feedback
Casinos simply must get ahead of the zombies by using the same technology to collect real-time customer feedback. Without it, they are at a competitive disadvantage. Unhappy guests should be able to use their smartphones, for example, to communicate how they feel to management first and the world second. After expressing their dissatisfaction to the property, perhaps they won’t even need to turn to Twitter, Facebook or Yelp. A problem could be resolved before a guest leaves the property. Yes, the customer’s room should have been sparkling clean when he walked in, but a quick resolution, well, that’s impressive!
Zombie Secret #3: Real-Time Service Recovery
Real-time feedback offers other benefits, including increased guest retention and repeat purchases, improved guest satisfaction, long-term customer relationships and positive word-of-mouth advertising.
But my favorite is real-time service recovery. Every casino should want that. With real-time guest feedback, casinos can respond quickly to a service problem and have the matter resolved before the guest even leaves the property. I can’t think of a better way to impress a customer. And that customer is less likely to turn into a zombie who posts a rant online.
Real-time customer feedback is what casinos need now if they want to survive the zombie apocalypse. Having that capability shows that the property is caring and innovative. But more important, it allows customers to tell a property how they feel about their experience as they feel it. This can turn the tables and put Twitter, Facebook and Yelp at a disadvantage while giving you the opportunity to make things right with your customers, improve your service and set the stage for future success. It’s far better if the zombies gnaw on competitors instead of you.
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