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Good Customer Service Equals Survival

13 September 2014

By Martin R Baird
Casinos need to focus on exceptional casino customer service if they want to survive. Yes, I said survive.

Recently, I watched an entire hour on a major cable news channel devoted exclusively to “Internet gambling.” I also recently read that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts needs to rethink its budget because it is not receiving anticipated casino revenue. In other words, the state is not getting those casino dollars from heaven. Lastly, there was this gem in USA Today about casino points for frequent-flier miles.

When I was growing up, my aunt and uncle would go to Las Vegas and that was a big deal. They came back with boxes of candy and ash trays from the casino. Their stories of free drinks, all-you-can-eat buffets and 99-cent shrimp cocktails dazzled my family.

Those days are gone!

Looking back at the USA Today article, the idea that a casino has partnered with an airline to use casino points as part of a frequent-flier program just shows that casinos are doing whatever they can to compete. Here is a news flash … instead of looking for things to give away, how about focusing on offering guests an amazing entertainment experience by providing exceptional casino customer service?

Online casino gambling has not taken off yet in the United States. But it will and when it does, local casinos that don’t provide a great entertainment experience will be left wondering what happened. Some of you may remember that at one time people didn’t flock to tribal casinos, but that has all changed, too.

There are only two defensible positions in business – you either compete on price or you compete on service. We all know “low-price” leaders that do very well. The challenge is that low-price leaders in the casino world will either need to have a lower cost structure or be ready to survive on much lower margins.

Gaming properties that are smart enough to stake a claim on casino customer service will need to do more than simply beef up service. They will need to take service to an entirely new level. “Good enough” will not be acceptable going forward. Now is the time to invest in developing your people with casino customer service training that explains why you are creating a service culture. It should also help team members understand that their jobs depend on this culture.

I’m sure the gimmicks will continue rolling out like trick ponies at the circus. Ploys and promotions will come and go. The customers they attract will come and go.

Casino customer service is the only advantage that will last long term. It is your best option for creating an entertainment experience that will keep guests coming back to play again and again. It is your best option for survival.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at


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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.

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