Getting Back to Basics: ABCs of Great Casino Customer Service

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No doubt every casino employee can recite the alphabet, but gaming industry consultant Robinson & Associates, Inc., wonders if they know the ABCs of outstanding customer service.

No doubt every casino employee can recite the alphabet, but gaming industry consultant Robinson & Associates, Inc., wonders if they know the ABCs of outstanding customer service.

“I mean the ABCs literally,” says Martin R. Baird, chief executive officer of Annapolis, Md.-based Robinson & Associates, a global customer service consulting firm for the gaming industry. “There are numerous words that start with the letter A, the letter B and the letter C that can help casino employees do a better job of taking care of the most important people who walk through their casino’s door – the guests.”

Baird offers the following explanations for words that can get casino employees back to the basics of great guest service.

Letter A – Advocates, Appreciation, Attention and Awareness.

“These five simple things should be top of mind for casino employees as they go about their day and provide guests with the service they deserve,” Baird says.

Advocates. Every casino’s top priority this year should be creating guest advocates. “Customers who are advocates for your casino are way beyond satisfied and loyal,” Baird notes. “Of their own free will, they spread positive comments about your casino to friends and family members. They loyally patronize your casino and bring in new business by spreading the word. Top-notch service helps create advocates.”

Appreciation. One of the most important elements of guest service is showing appreciation for the guest. “If the guest chooses your property and doesn’t feel appreciated for the decision they made, most likely the guest will not return,” Baird says. “They’ll spend their time and money elsewhere.”

Attention. Giving the guest personal attention could mean just smiling and walking by because that’s what the guest prefers. “It could mean using their name or remembering how they like a sandwich,” Baird points out. “This tells them you care about them and want them to come back.”

Awareness. Guest service is based on awareness. “You must be aware of your guests – their facial expressions, the way they sit and what they’re doing,” Baird says. “By being aware of those things, you put yourself in a position to help them.”

Letter B – Believe, Be Prepared and Best.

“These little gems will give casinos a leg up on the competition by helping them provide stellar guest service,” Baird says.

Believe. Casino employees must believe that the guest they’re talking to and interacting with is the most important person on the property at that given moment. “If you don’t, the guest will know it,” Baird explains. “Believe in what you do because when you believe in the importance of guest service, it shows.”

Be Prepared. When it comes to helping guests have a better experience, one of the problems gaming employees run into is their own lack of preparation. “They haven’t thought about the different wants, needs and desires of their guests at any given moment,” Baird notes. “They haven’t put any real thought into making sure that each guest has a great experience.”

Best. Every casino employee should want to be the best. “You want to be better than just good,” Baird points out. “Give it all you’ve got whenever you’re at work, because on the property you’re part of the entertainment. You are on duty 100 percent of the time.”

Letter C – Cha-Ching, Challenge, Communication, Confidence and Consistency.

“Casino guest service can be challenging but it’s fun when it’s done right and it can mean money in the pockets of casino employees,” Baird says. “Guest service also relies heavily on communication, confidence, consistency and courtesy.”

Cha-Ching. When employees provide great guest service, it means money in their pocket. “Guests are willing to pay for a great experience,” Baird says. “After all, they’re visiting your property to be entertained and have fun. You are compensated for being part of the entertainment.”

Challenge. Guest service can be extremely challenging. “Dealing with these challenges is not easy,” Baird explains. “See them as an opportunity to provide better service, as an opportunity for you to show your property in the best possible light and help even the most challenging guests have a great experience.”

Communication. Many times, guests believe they did not receive good service because of poor communication. “If there had been better communication up front – more questions asked, more listening – the whole process might have gone more smoothly and the guest probably would have walked out feeling like they had been heard and appreciated,” Baird says.

Confidence. People who provide great guest service do so with confidence. “Smile, make eye contact and know you’re going to help a guest in any way you possibly can,” Baird suggests. “When a guest sees that, they let down some of their defenses.”

Consistency. Casino employees should write this word in capital letters and underline it because inconsistency is a killer. “People want a consistent experience,” Baird notes. “If I come to your property, order my steak medium rare and it comes out perfect, I’ll expect that same perfection every time. You and everyone else on the staff must have consistency in the exceptional service you provide.”

Robinson & Associates, Inc., is a global customer service consulting firm for the gaming industry. It helps casinos determine their Advocate Index, a number that indicates the extent to which properties have guests who are willing to be advocates. The company then implements its Advocate Development System in combination with the proven methodology of Advocate Index and best business practices to help casinos create more guest advocates and chart a course for growth and profitability. Robinson & Associates may be reached by phone at 480-991-6420, by e-mail at or via its Web sites at and Robinson & Associates is a member of the Casino Management Association and an associate member of the National Indian Gaming Association.


Martin R. Baird

Robinson & Associates, Inc.



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