Foxwoods looks to retail stores, the state of Florida wants to open more doors, while New Hampshire plans to be on the map quickly. This is only along the Northeast corridor. Gaming “shake-outs” continue everywhere else, and we do not even know about the impact of on-line gambling, but we do know that our players have more choices, and loyalty may be fleeting.
Slots and table games are no longer the only draw. Your players want the entire experience – gaming plus. They seek dining, lodging choices, recreation, spa treatments, entertainment and retail stores. They seek a one-stop shop, a full destination of activities, an oasis of options for their disposable dollars. Although slots may be the cushion, most executives understand the benefit of non-gaming revenue from these Destination enterprises.
The last few years have seen a rash of refreshes, renovation and expansion. These tidy investments have been oriented to an improved market posture and presence. How do you know if you have “nailed” it with you marketing. Hoping for a ROI is not enough. You need to measure and constantly ask how you are doing, much like one of New York’s finest, former mayor Ed Koch.
Hopefully, by now you have performance standards in place, from an operations and service point of view. If not, you have no means to deliver a consistent product. This is how Brands become devalued. Your players and guests expect a certain level of excellence in their Experience. You deviate, you disappear. This is where the value of a Mystery Shop Program or more in-depth Quality Assurance initiative can support your goals.
Research must be ongoing, from your current players and most certainly your Player Club members, as well as what your immediate local market can tell you. This includes lapsed players, as well. You need that feedback and insight. You want to learn why players visit, what you are doing well, what you need to improve upon, and certainly how you compare to the competition, which may be going through the same steps as you. There are so many choices out there; you cannot stand still.
Some operations still approach this monitoring aspect of the business internally, using excel spread sheets and assigned staff. Better than nothing, but probably not good enough. Time to elevate the effort, for you cannot afford to lose market share. The gaming landscape is just too volatile now.
John Hendrie is the author of the LRA blog 'A Guy Walks In'. LRA is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability. We have built a range of quality assurance, mystery shopping, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so.
Today, we are a growing company operating in more than 120 countries throughout the world, servicing our clients from offices and resources in the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific regions and helping clients such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the National Football League, Avis Budget Group, Madison Square Garden, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group deliver exceptional customer experiences. Every touch. Every time. For more information, visit www.LRAworldwide.com.
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