Boise, Idaho (PRWEB) August 07, 2012
Robinson & Associates, Inc., today announced six examples of how simple things make all the difference in providing outstanding casino customer service.
“It’s a shame that good customer service is so uncommon it rates high-profile coverage in a major media outlet when it happens,” says Martin R. Baird, chief executive officer of Robinson & Associates, a guest service consulting firm to the global gaming industry. “Great service should be so ubiquitous that poor service becomes the exception.”
Baird says he was recently astounded by Forbes.com blogger Erika Andersen and the headline over one of her posts: "I Love JetBlue – Customer Service Done Right.”
“I was amazed and pleased when I read the first sentence in her blog: ‘The difference between great customer service and terrible customer service is often so simple,’” Baird says. “How many years have I been saying this to casinos? Nearly 20. And I keep saying it because it’s true.”
Andersen blogged about her customer-service experience on a JetBlue flight and Baird has translated Andersen’s key points into the following lessons for casinos as they strive to polish their guest service.
Andersen watched as a flight attendant was unfailingly kind and respectful to every passenger. At casinos, the customer is king and guests simply must be treated with respect and in a kind manner at all times, Baird says. “Guests just want to be treated the way everyone else wants to be treated,” he notes. “ Offering this common courtesy to guests makes them feel comfortable and at home. And that is precisely what casinos should want to achieve because they are as much in the hospitality business as they are in the entertainment business.”
An attendant handed Andersen her computer bag and gave the woman next to Andersen her purse, all without being asked and with a smile. Attendants anticipated what customers would need and fulfilled that need before passengers even spoke up, Baird says. “Thinking ahead for guests is a hallmark of outstanding casino customer service,” Baird explains. “Employees should be observant and quick to serve when they put two and two together.”
The other key component of great service is the word “smile,” according to Baird. “It may be little, but it is powerful,” Baird says. “A friendly smile always makes a casino guest feel good. It always brightens their day. Smiles are appreciated and they are extremely important.”
The difference between Andersen’s JetBlue experience and an unpleasant experience she had on another airline was 100 percent in the attitude of the customer-facing employee. “Attitude makes all the difference,” Baird says. “Casino employees can’t be observant, anticipate, think ahead, serve quickly, smile and do all the other things that create memorable service if they show up for work with a poor attitude. Think positive thoughts, practice deep breathing, meditate, play with the kids or the dog before you leave for work – do whatever is necessary to get into a happy frame of mind before you start your shift.”
Andersen says JetBlue has built a positive, friendly, respectful way of interacting with customers into the DNA of the company. It’s important to build a customer-service culture at a casino, weaving service into the very fiber of the property’s being, Baird states. “That takes serious, never-ending commitment,” Baird adds. “The kind of service Andersen experienced evolves over time and becomes ingrained with all employees. Everyone buys in. Everyone adheres to it day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.”
Andersen suspects JetBlue hires for great service, trains for it and rewards it. “Andersen refers to the three fundamentals of rolling out quality service,” Baird says, “and I apply them here to gaming properties: (1) casinos should hire good people and match them with appropriate jobs (2) even though they hire talented employees, casinos still need to train them to provide great service and (3) reward employees when they demonstrate the desired behavior. Everyone loves to be recognized for a job well done. Positive feedback is a strong motivator for future behavior.”
Andersen instructs her assistant to look first for JetBlue flights. “Casinos always want to know the ROI for their customer service training investment,” Baird says. “Andersen cut to the chase by pointing out that service contributes to the bottom line. When someone decides they want to play at a casino, you want them to think of your property FIRST. Memorable service contributes to a fun gaming experience and a fun gaming experience puts you top of mind. Top of mind means guests return to your casino again and again. Need I say more?”
For nearly 20 years, Robinson & Associates, Inc., has been dedicated to helping casinos improve their guest service so they can compete and generate future growth and profitability. A Boise, Idaho-based consulting firm to the global gaming industry, Robinson & Associates is the world leader in casino guest experience measurement and improvement. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.casinocustomerservice.com or contact Lydia Baird, director of business development, at 208-991-2037 or lbaird(at)raresults(dot)com. Robinson & Associates is a member of the Casino Management Association and an associate member of the National Indian Gaming Association.