CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of Martin R Baird

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Learning from IPhone 6 Customer Service

14 February 2015

I’ve been helping casinos improve the quality of their customer service for more than 20 years and I’ve been writing about the topic of customer service just as long. Occasionally, I like to let other people speak for me just so readers can see that I’m not making all this stuff up.

This is one of those occasions. A friend recently bent my ear about his customer service experience at an AT&T store when he and his wife upgraded their iPhones. He knows what I do for a living, so he knew I would be interested. Thankfully, it was a positive experience. He told me all about Sarah, the AT&T employee who handled the upgrade. When he finished, I was amazed. I want every employee at every casino on the planet to be like Sarah. Her customer service style draws heavily from what I have been training casino employees to do all the years I have consulted in the gaming industry.

But there’s more. Lately, I have been talking with gaming executives about the urgent need for a real-time customer feedback platform on their casino floor. AT&T doesn’t have such a platform and it really missed out on a golden opportunity to create positive buzz about the company at social media sites. Many casinos are missing out as well, not only for positive reviews but for real-time service recovery when something goes wrong.

Enough from me. I asked my friend to put his service experience in words. So, let’s hear it from him. I have put his story in quotation marks.

“I went to the AT&T store near our home to see what kind of deal we could get on upgrades for our existing iPhones. My wife and I wanted the new iPhone6. By the luck of the draw, I ended up with Sarah. She knew I wasn’t going to make a purchase until my wife and I could be there together to trade in our old phones. Nevertheless, she made sure I had all the information I needed. There was no guarantee I would even return to an AT&T store. After all, there are competing retailers selling iPhones. But my wife and I returned to that AT&T store the next morning because Sarah had truly impressed me.

“When we arrived at the store, I asked for Sarah. We had to wait for her, but it was worth it. Our upgrade was a bit complicated and there was a lot of data to transfer from our old phones. It took quite a while, but Sarah amazed us the entire time. She consistently delivered high-quality service for three solid hours. Let me say that again. For THREE HOURS, she helped us, educated us and entertained us.

“Sarah was friendly and engaging in a thoroughly genuine way. She smiled a lot. She was patient with us. Sarah was very knowledgeable and accurately answered all our questions. There was a lot of electronic paperwork for her to do on her iPad and she just zipped right along. Amazingly, she did all that paperwork while also listening my wife and I talk to each other. While blazing away on her iPad, she picked up on what we needed and she responded. Sarah is the best listener I’ve ever encountered. She had great ideas and suggestions. On top of all that, Sarah gave us a good deal. It was hands down the best customer service experience of my life.”


Wow! Maybe I should hire Sarah as a trainer for my company. Anyway, I want to highlight all the things Sarah does that make her a top-notch service ambassador for AT&T. It bears repeating. I love it that Sarah is friendly, engaging, genuine, smiling, knowledgeable about her job, patient with her customers and a great listener.

It likely will be a couple of years before my friend updates his iPhone again, but I feel strongly he will return to that AT&T store to do it. Think about your employees and your casino. If your employees are like Sarah, you will have what all casinos crave – repeat customers (who will certainly come back more than once every two years).

Now I want to turn my attention to real-time customer feedback and AT&T’s missed opportunity. Like I said, the AT&T store does not have such a feedback platform. It should! My friend would have been happy to give AT&T on-the-spot feedback about his customer service experience via his iPhone. Properly configured, such a platform would have instantly posted his praise on social media sites.

Casinos are at a serious disadvantage with unhappy customers who go to such sites as TripAdvisor and Yelp to rant about their terrible gaming experience. Customers no longer ask for a manager to complain about poor service. They just use their smartphones to post tirades online. And those negative reviews are on the Internet forever. Wouldn’t it be better if customers could use the casino’s real-time feedback platform to communicate directly with the casino first?

There are valuable lessons in my friend’s iPhone purchase story. First, give customers an amazing experience and they won’t have a reason to post negative online reviews. Second, deploy a real-time customer feedback platform and you will have a system for instantly gathering customer comments. The positive comments can be forwarded to social media sites for the world to see (and they can be used to thank the customer immediately face to face). The negative ones can be addressed before the guest even leaves the property. That’s real-time service recovery.


Martin R. Baird is chief executive officer of Robinson & Associates, Inc., a consulting firm to the global gaming industry. Robinson & Associates is a member of the Casino Management Association and an associate member of the National Indian Gaming Association.
Martin R Baird

Martin R. Baird is chief executive officer of Robinson & Associates, Inc., a Boise, Idaho-based consulting firm to the global gaming industry that is dedicated to helping casinos improve their guest service so they can compete and generate future growth and profitability. Robinson & Associates is the world leader in casino guest experience measurement, management and improvement.

For more information, visit the company’s Web sites listed below or contact the company at 208-991-2037. Robinson & Associates is a member of the Casino Management Association and an associate member of the National Indian Gaming Association.

Martin R Baird Websites:

www.casinocustomerservice.com
www.advocatedevelopmentsystem.com
Martin R Baird
Martin R. Baird is chief executive officer of Robinson & Associates, Inc., a Boise, Idaho-based consulting firm to the global gaming industry that is dedicated to helping casinos improve their guest service so they can compete and generate future growth and profitability. Robinson & Associates is the world leader in casino guest experience measurement, management and improvement.

For more information, visit the company’s Web sites listed below or contact the company at 208-991-2037. Robinson & Associates is a member of the Casino Management Association and an associate member of the National Indian Gaming Association.

Martin R Baird Websites:

www.casinocustomerservice.com
www.advocatedevelopmentsystem.com