It's Not Too Late to Roll Out Better Casino Guest Service in 2007, Says Robinson & Associates, Inc.

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Casinos that vowed to improve their guest service in 2007 may have broken that New Year's resolution by now, but it's not too late to get back on track and achieve stellar service.

Casinos that vowed to improve their guest service in 2007 may have broken that New Year's resolution by now, but it's not too late to get back on track and achieve stellar service, according to Robinson & Associates, Inc., a gaming industry consulting firm.    

"Many of us started 2007 with the best of intentions and some of you may have resolved to improve the service your property provides to its guests," says Martin R. Baird, chief executive officer of Annapolis, Maryland-based Robinson & Associates. "If that vow is gathering dust on the shelf, there are five things you can do breathe life into it."

Baird offers the following tips on how to improve customer service for the remainder of 2007.

Tip No. 1. Review service standards. Take a hard look at guests' service standards, not your own, Baird suggests. "For you to improve your customer service and your guests' gaming experience, you need know where you are today in this important area and where your patrons want you to be," Baird says. "Too often, casino employees think they know what's best for a guest without taking the customer's desires into account."

Tip No. 2. All aboard, executives and managers! Outstanding service rolls downhill because it starts with executives and managers who expect their employees to provide nothing less than stellar service, Baird notes. "Managers not only need to endorse the concept, they must support its execution on a daily basis," Baird says. "I've worked with casinos worldwide and only once did this idea of management commitment to service fail to generate the outcome we expected. What was the reason? Managers did not truly back the program. When customer service training sessions were held, none of the managers attended. I don't know if they felt they didn't need the training or if they thought it was beneath them. But they succeeded in sending a very clear message to the troops: great guest service is not important!"

Tip No. 3. Sharpen those skills. Casino management must be sure their employees have the skills they need to provide great service, and staff members should eagerly seek training, Baird says. "Not many people are born with the customer service gene," Baird explains. "Few people are naturals at providing stellar service. Just because your employees know how to deal cards, fill a slot machine or make an amazing dinner doesn't mean they know how to treat a guest. The way people learn new skills is through organized training. And training can actually be fun when it's done properly and employees are fully engaged. That's right, learning can be enjoyable."

Tip No. 4. Training should be seen as a reward. Those on the receiving end should view training as a way to improve themselves, make more money and help the guest have a great time, according to Baird. "I know casino employees care a great deal about what goes into their pockets," Baird says. "Training leads to better service that can create guest advocates and advocates give better tips."

Tip No. 5. Create a reason for using skills. Management needs to give employees a reason to use their newly acquired customer service skills, Baird says. "Provide rewards when learned skills are actually used," Baird explains. "Having a reward and incentive program that employees understand makes it easier for them to do what is expected of them. And it makes it easier for managers to do the right thing for their employees."

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 or via its Web sites at http://www.advocatedevelopmentsystem.com and http://www.casinocustomerservice.com.

Robinson & Associates is a member of the Casino Management Association and an associate member of the National Indian Gaming Association.

Contact:

Martin R. Baird

Robinson & Associates, Inc.

http://www.advocatedevelopmentsystem.com
http://www.casinocustomerservice.com
480-991-6420

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Martin R. Baird