MARKETING: A letter (hopefully) never sent
by Dennis Conrad
May 11, 2011
To whom it may
I regret to inform you that after many years of providing my services (and money) as a casino customer at your establishment, I am quitting, effective immediately.
It was a very difficult decision to make, as I have enjoyed my tenure at your establishment and have several close relationships with your employees. Some of your dice dealers are among the best I’ve seen in my 35 year career of shooting craps and one of your pit managers is one of the most exceptional and customer focused casino executives I have encountered in my job as a player.
While your casino may never have felt like home to me, it does have a comfortable, familiar feel and the gaming value you provide gives me a good sense that I am getting a fair shake and a good gamble, certainly better than your competitors. Your generous odds on the craps table and your liberal video poker pay schedules have spoken directly to the main reason I have plied my craft as a casino customer for so many years at your business.
That’s why it is so hard for me to inform you that I am quitting.
I suppose I should tell you why I am resigning. You’d probably expect it to be some big thing, some major misunderstanding or a nasty incident with an employee having a bad day. No, it’s nothing like that (although I should tell you that one of your cashiers is probably the most consistently unhappy individual I have ever dealt with at a casino).
No, the reason I am quitting my job as your casino customer is that, after ignoring it for a long time, I have come to the unsettling but inescapable conclusion that you don’t care about me and my job as your customer. If you did, I think many of my experiences at your casino would be very different, focused on my needs more than yours.
For instance, when I come up to your craps table, I don’t need any fanfare or great welcoming scene; after all, I’ve probably come up to your craps table hundreds of times over the years. But what astonishes me is the number of times that I am never greeted--where a dice floorperson I may not know never bothers to introduce him or herself and focuses only on “how much I am in,” or the amount of chips I have bought for cash. It makes me feel like a statistic instead of a loyal player.
But what upsets me the most at your casino is how you sweat the money with certain dice player behaviors. I can’t believe there are still casinos that change the dice after a lucky run for the players. (Shouldn’t you be celebrating their good fortune?) I can’t believe the militant glee your dice staff sometimes takes in scolding offending dice players (some of them being impressionable “newbies”) who short roll the dice, take the dice off the table or make late or incorrect bets. Yes, I know that you are “in charge” of the game, but I think you forget that I am in charge of where I choose to spend my dice playing dollars.
If you really cared about my experience at your casino, I also don’t think you’d make me wait so long at your cashier’s cage to transact my business. Do you have to cash so many payroll checks with such time consuming procedures, while I’m waiting with simpler transactions? Do your employees and customers have to use the same cashier windows? Can’t you have more windows open at busy times?
And while I like your video poker games and the several video poker bars where I can watch TV sports while I play, why would you combine that great experience with cheap bar drinks that attract drinkers who rarely gamble? I guess you don’t care that often I can’t find a video poker seat where I can spend my money with you.
The other reasons I am resigning as your customer probably seem minor to you, but when you add them to everything else, they’re probably the tipping point for me. You have too few ATM machines that are out of service too often. While your restrooms are typically and impressively clean, they are terribly inconvenient to get to. And while your parking is plentiful and pretty convenient, I’d have thought that someone would have offered me a VIP parking pass by now.
So yes, it is with great regret that I am resigning my job as your casino customer. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I am a difficult customer. I just know what I find important when I visit you. I’m sorry you don’t see it the same, because I’d happily keep losing my money at your casino for many more years if you did.
Dennis Conrad is the president and chief Relationship Officer of Raving Consulting Company, a full service marketing company specializing in assisting gaming organizations. He can be reached at (775) 329-7864. Visit Raving’s Web site at www.ravingconsulting.com.
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