Overcoming the Service Gap – First Steps

Interview with TG&H, Mason Gray, and Jeff Gray, Raving Partners, Business Optimization

Chris Faria (CF): Today we’re talking about ways to overcome the service gap and really talk about the financial impact of poor-quality service. Thank you, Jeff and Mason Gray, for joining us, as our Business Optimization partners for Raving.

As specialists in this area, how do you help the gaming and hospitality industry, or really any industry, assess the service quality of their organizations and the true impact that has on them?

Jeff Gray (JG): When we work with organizations, we often see that they overlook a lot of the business impact and the cost that they’re experiencing when they’re fixing the same problems over and over and over, fighting those fires, managing that chaos. We come in and we help them understand their systems, their procedures, their processes. When they have those challenges that they’re constantly tackling, they begin to identify those issues, break them down and assess the cost of that impact, the resources, their finance, their operating capital. Once we do that, that helps them begin to understand, align, and improve projects to start eliminating those areas where they’re bleeding. That’s a high-level view in a nutshell.

CF: Are you saying that some of these basic things get overlooked a lot of times because folks are busy managing their business, they’re reacting to fires, and they might have the mindset that this “is a way it’s always been done here”?

Mason Gray (MG): Oh yes, Chris, we hear that quite often. It’s kind of like basketball. You have to focus on the fundamentals, right? What Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, in my opinion, he was the best at focusing on the fundamentals and the fundamentals of business are the same thing when you’re looking at processes.

You have to make sure you’re doing the easy things consistently all the time to make sure that you can accomplish those big things. And when you do approach those fires or you run into those fires, you’re actually able to put them out once and for all, not just keep repeating the same processes and finding those problems over and over again. Also, people don’t realize that some of those small things over time can really build up and that’s where you’re bleeding a lot of resources and wasting time and impacting the customer experience too.

CF: Okay, let’s get down into the nitty gritty. Give us a very specific examples, especially within the gaming and hospitality industry, how you’ve helped an organization identify their issue and help them bridge that service gap.

MG: Let’s talk hotel check-in. I think anytime you go to a property, one of the first things, if it’s not the valet, you’re checking in at the front desk.  You want that hotel check-in time to be swift, you want it to be smooth, you want all their questions to be answered before they go to their room or go to the gaming floor or go to the restaurant, whatever it may be. When those simple things like having their room ready when they get there, maybe having that food voucher they asked for, emailed to them ahead of time, it shows that you are ready for the. All these simple things can actually add up to, like Jeff said, larger problems over time. We like to identify those key inputs or those key critical things the customer is asking for and make sure that they are ready, and they are consistent.

JG: One project we did that was very specific was just cutting down the hotel check-in time from about five minutes to two and a half minutes, improving that time by 50%. Actually, the organization earned about $700,000 more revenue over the year. That’s because when you have someone in there faster, it’s called door to floor, right? They’re able to get their wallet open no matter what they’re spending money on, whether it’s something in the gift shop, whether it’s the restaurant first or the gaming floor. So we assess those things and we put numbers and money to the outcomes that our guests and our properties are looking for.

CF: Door to floor, I like that! To our audience, if you are interested in chatting with Jeff and Mason, please reach out to Kristine Woods, 775-329-7864 or email her at kristine@betravingknows.com.

Mason and Jeff are also presenting a really great workshop at Raving Next: Indian Gaming Strategic Operations and Leadership Conference  at Choctaw Casino Resort this January. The small group workshop is called, Overcoming the Service Gap: Creating a roadmap for Saving Money and Growing Revenue. So, we look forward to seeing both of you there, and thank you for joining us, Jeff and Mason on TG&H on Air!