Your Five-Step Service Walkabout

Enhancing Guest Experience and Improving Optics

It’s that time of the year again – the moment to swap those loafers for sneakers or opt for snazzy running shoes, or whatever suits your style. Step out of that office chair and onto the floor. You’re embarking on a journey of observation, immersing yourself in the frontline operations to witness firsthand how your guests are being treated. I used to call this the annual walkabout – but honestly, this should be done often and by different team members on a regular basis and for all shifts.

Here’s five steps for your playbook:

Step #1: Mastering the Art of Queues

Whether it’s the line at the cage, the players club, the hotel check-in/out, or the buffet – lines are commonplace in our industry. How do your lines fare? Are they stretching on forever, sluggish, or even borderline unbearable? More importantly, are they efficiently managed during critical times like pre-promotion rushes or hotel check-in? Scrutinize the flow and consider solutions to tame the lines. Could a dash of entertainment, such as a line-side comic or magician, or thoughtful amenities like complimentary fruit and bottled water, ease the waiting grumps? Better yet, is it time to invest in technology to keep players on the floor and not waiting in line?

Step #2: Greetings That Truly Welcome

Scan your staff’s demeanor – are they keeping their heads up, seeking opportunities to greet passing guests with genuine smiles? This extends to your counter staff, whether at the club or tables, and encompasses the valet and security teams. Are they immersed in the surroundings or actively acknowledging guests’ presence? An emphasis on warm greetings can greatly enhance the guest experience. When’s the last time you trained on the 10-5 rule?

Step #3: Pursuit of Pristine Spaces

Kick off your inspection with the bathrooms … if there is any space that can wrinkle a guest’s nose and impression, the bathroom is that space. After that, move on to hallways and floors. For a more thorough examination, delve into the hidden nooks and crannies. Does your staff uphold their obsession with cleanliness or are standards slipping? Take a critical look at signage – are hastily scribbled notes held up with tape marring your property’s appearance? Are ashtrays overflowing, discouraging guests from sitting down at a machine? A polished, professional environment speaks volumes and impacts how comfortable a player is.

Step #4: Leading by Example

Leadership shouldn’t be confined to offices. During crunch times, are your managers and supervisors rolling up their sleeves and stepping onto the floor? What about directors – are they invisible or prominently engaged? A notable and memorable leadership presence is crucial, particularly during pivotal moments. How do you inspire frontline team members … walking the walk!

Step #5: Unwrapping the Gift of Complaints

As you wander, seize the opportunity to empty the comment card bins and tap into the feedback left by your guests. Engage frontline team members in discussions about guest feedback as well. What sentiments are guests expressing? Are they content or irked by specific issues? While you’re at it, strike up conversations with guests themselves. In line with the Five-in/Five-out standard, interact with at least five employees and five guests during your walkabout to truly grasp the pulse of the operation.

These are the key focal points for your walkabout, equipping you to become a more involved, impactful, and authoritative service leader within your organization. Even if your jurisdiction extends over a specific department or area, tailor your walkabout accordingly to ensure it embodies your standards and aspirations.

Creating a lasting guest service program that will withstand the changes of time and the changes in leadership can be a very big project. If you’re interested in reviving your guest service program or creating a new one that you can measure, contact Raving today at 775-329-7864 or set up an appointment to chat with Kristine Woods, kristine@betravingknows.com.

Steve Browne 19 Articles