Rewarding our loyal customers … doesn’t have to be about hard dollars, but creating a more “thoughtful” experience with us.
Sometimes the best solution is the simplest. It is as old school as talking face-to-face, instead of texting or emailing to resolve a situation. It’s looking through our customers’ eyes and realizing that they don’t see things the same way that we do. Sometimes we get so caught up in technology and “fancy,” that we forget that thoughtfulness is the best tool for relationship-building.
I wrote this with casino clients of Raving in mind. But really the following service ideas I came across that can be applied at almost any place of business and make it easier for your customers to stay engaged.
“Timberlake Tuesday” — Young blue eyes invigorates some hardcore regulars
At Freestyle Fitness/Martial Arts, where I work out, most students ground and pound, kick, jab and cross 5-6 mornings a week at 6 AM. Although the instructors try to freshen up the workouts, there is attrition, even for the most motivated.
Recently, one of the instructors, Brittany Mixie-Noble, posted on the Freestyle Facebook page, “It’s Timberlake Tuesday tomorrow! Justin for a whole hour. Wear your
blue because that’s his favorite color and the color of his eyes.”
Cheesy — sure! But it ended up being a crowded class, with lots of laughter (typically it is grunts and heavy breathing) from gals in blue. I heard comments like, “I’m going to poke my eye out if I hear another one of his songs” and “I remember this *NSYNC song from high school!” It was silly, but there was a different energy in the class while doing all those burpees, planks, and jump roping.
When the same music is played and the same routines done, it is very easy to think about
what needs to be done at home or work, instead of fully physically engaging 110%. And, if they start doing more of these, I’d certainly hate to miss a special class.
Application at your casino: You’re going to have guests who come in every day — it is part of their routine. But there are times that routine may start to feel boring and they might just consider driving down the street to that “other” casino. Why not surprise them with something that only you can provide? Remind them how special they are, no matter where they end up on that fancy spreadsheet.
I’m not advocating rewarding them monetarily for “normal” behavior, but acknowledging them with a thank you and a chocolate; or walking them out to their car when they are done for the day; or escorting them to the restaurant and asking the hostess to give them the best seat in the house. Remember, you don’t need to buy your customer to build true loyalty. And if you continue to surprise them, just like me, they won’t want to miss it.
Feel-good charity donations made easy through the players club
Jeff Connor, Director of Sales and Marketing, TableTrac/CasinoTrac, recently shared a new feature for CasinoTrac system customers. It’s called “Points for a point” and it is a way for properties to allow their guests to donate their players club points to various charities. Jeff said, “We were going to launch this new product in July, but the recent events in Oklahoma, specifically tornados in Shawnee, Moore and Metro Oklahoma City, prompted us, at the behest of Chris Derenzo, the Vice President of Gaming for the Cheyenne and Arapaho Lucky Star Casinos, to release the information early.”
The “Points for a point” program allows players to donate their points, which are in turn donated to the Red Cross of Oklahoma in the form of cash. Mr. Derenzo and the Lucky Star properties will be matching donations made by the community as well. The CasinoTrac built-in digital signage displays messages thanking the participants and showing the tally of total donations in “reel” time.
A CasinoTrac client, Jason Larney, GM, Golden Pony Casino, Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, Okemah, OK, shared, “This is extremely powerful, as I have never seen this capability before. Since the disaster occurred, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how Golden Pony Casino could help … This will be very rewarding for our players and the Golden Pony Casino to offer any assistance to those affected by the multiple tornados.”
Application at your casino: A lot of folks are hesitant about donating money. Reasons vary, such as a lack of trust with using a credit card for online donations. Sometimes it is just disinterest. A lot of times it is just a hassle — go find a check, or go figure out how to do it online.
However, when it comes to their own communities, people are often more inspired to help. And when crisis hits close to home, they see how donations can make a difference — even if it’s not in their own backyard. Making it easy and unobtrusive is key, and players club points, how brilliant is that? And giving feels good.
Not just a hotel key card — a valuable reminder as to why they stay with you
The last time I stayed at The Sofia Hotel in downtown San Diego, CA, my room key had a discount code for Macy’s just a block away. I could have used this on a previous visit since I needed to buy a gift! John Maclean, a former casino gaming guy and Assistant General Manager of The Sofia, shared, “We’ve partnered with Macy’s on packages due to their location next to the hotel. We used to provide guests with a discount card to Macy’s, as it was a perceived value for us and for them. Macy’s stepped up and provided the room keys for us so that we save on the cost of the same, and the guests will carry the key/discount card with them when out and about, and hopefully at the Horton Plaza Shopping Center across the street.”
Application at your casino: It really bugs me when I’m at a casino resort and find out after my purchase that I could have received a discount — say at the restaurant, gas station, or other resort outlet. It gives me a bad feeling, not a good one. Employees don’t always remember to ask guests.
The Sofia’s card gave me an idea: why not list some of the outlets that provide discounts to players club members right on the card? Or make sure you have consistent signage or a logo posted at all of the outlets, the same as on your card, to identify that a discount is available. It would be a terrific reminder, especially for new guests to your casino.
And some of you already use your hotel keys as players club cards. Why hide your benefits? Some properties have also built a program of community discounts … those do change a lot, but someone at your casino has put a lot of time in building it to benefit your players. Use that card to promote it, and like John at The Sofia, get them to sponsor printing the card.