Today we are going to explore and discuss some fundamental processes and interactions of a casino/property that guests rely on for a grand experience, thus, them being able to answer the posed question, “How was your stay?” in a positive light. You have the latest technology, the hottest game, the best restaurant, the most exclusive show; but is that enough? Is that the overall goal of your property? To be the latest and greatest, or is it to serve your gaming community best – striving to meet the needs of team members, regular gamers, and first-time visitors alike.
As a common secret shopper of the industry, I don’t judge my experiences on “wow factors” alone, but rather, how I was treated and respected as a guest: Did the amenities create a sense of connectivity? Did I enjoy my overall stay? What components of the facility was I able to utilize best as a consumer?
As someone who studies processes for a living, my main goal is to enhance the guest experience, and I do that through defining the guest’s journey, first and foremost. Each casino is going to have a different definition of that (it could be a destination property, a locals property, or even a nonprofit property), meaning you’re going to have different situations.
The Guest Journey
Okay, so let’s talk about the definition of a guest journey. It’s the process that guides the experience of each and every one of your unique guests. It’s the designed, marketed, and desired path of enjoyment you’ve laid out for them to follow.
You have set a process and a road map for them to follow. But are they really enjoying that journey? What about their experience? How are you measuring and monitoring that they’re engaging? That they’re coming back and having fun? Or are they, you know, ready to walk out the door?
We also want to turn that into something we can measure and monitor, ensuring that the experience is one that they tell their friends, family, and acquaintances about. As operators, a lot of times we don’t even ask the consumer what they would like: We walk them in, we have promotions, we have membership-exclusive opportunities, but is that really what they want? Is that really what they came for?
Asking them is a sure-fire way to hear a lot of improvement ideas that your guests want to see. And though you will get the occasional outlier or two who spouts, “I want a jetpack to fly around the resort …” You will get the serious participant who simply doesn’t want the bathroom signs obstructed from any view, or a guest seeking more of the popular games in the non-smoking sections. Over time your unique demographic will render itself clear as day, and then it is your choice to partner with their desired guest journeys and meet their expressed needs, or hold steadfast to a competitor’s status quo. Nobody said Keeping up with the Joneses doesn’t enthrall businesses too.
Back to Basics
Why is Michael Jordan considered the greatest basketball player by so many? Fundamentals. Flashy doesn’t win games, consistency does. If you measure and listen to the voice of your guest, and get the fundamentals of their journey right, it will set you apart, even if you have ten competing casinos within 20 miles.
What makes you different doesn’t have to be costly, just innovative, creative, and engaging. Your guests want to be engaged with and feel valued. They came to have a memorable experience, whether they’re losing their money or taking the casino’s. They want that experience to be fun, engaging, and long lasting. There are all kinds of different games and adventures that they could be spending their time on, but no matter what, they want to feel comfortable and have fun.
Gaming is a two-way street, it’s sometimes just hard to see when you’re driving so fast in one direction. Take a step back, evaluate the possibilities, and together with your guests, build the most amazing opportunities.