Win Guests’ Hearts in Big Way

Casinos that want to succeed – perhaps even survive – must learn to win their guests’ hearts in a big way and turn them into advocates.   

It seems that just about every industry except gaming is emphasizing the creation of customer advocates.  Major corporations such as Dell, Harley Davidson, Intuit and Symantec have created a huge customer base which is not just loyal; it is, in fact, the unpaid sales force for the company.

Here are some tips casinos should consider concerning the importance of guest advocates.

Tip No. 1.  Advocates engage in a positive form of risk.  Guest advocates risk their own personal reputation by endorsing their favorite casino.  They recommend the casino to friends, associates and relatives.

Tip No. 2.  Advocates create repeat business.  Guest advocates return to play again and again.  And when they are at the casino, they stay and play longer than other guests.

Tip No. 3.  Advocates can create new business.  By spreading positive word-of-mouth advertising about a casino, guest advocates encourage others to give the casino a try and that possibly generates new business.

Tip No. 4.  Measuring advocates is a sound business practice.  If a casino provides guests with a wonderful gaming experience through outstanding service and other means and then senior management measures the degree to which the property has guest advocates and expresses it in terms of an index, the management team a valuable tool.  The more advocates the casino has, the more successful it will be.  The higher the index, the more advocates there are and the casino can take steps to push the index ever higher. 

Tip No. 5.  A customer-centric model is the key.  Casinos should follow a customer-centric model, just like any other service industry.  The ultimate goal should be to make an advocate of every guest who walks through the door.  Although the index described in tip four is not a marketing tool, the casino should strive to turn guests into “marketers” for the property.

Tip No. 6.  Advocacy and the index are easy to communicate internally.  Employees are the people who make it all happen.  Once advocacy and the index are understood, all anyone has to do is track the index over time to know where the casino stands.  The higher the index goes the better.

Martin R. Baird
Robinson & Associates, Inc.