MARKETING: My kind of thank you card
by Dennis Conrad
November 10, 2011
And most executives in the gaming industry don’t hand out near enough business cards.
With all that having been said, I have seen a few casino executives’ business cards that have accomplished more than sharing contact information. One or two have doubled as a free room offer, using the back of the card as a sort of coupon. I’ve seen a couple that tout their company’s mission statement or service promise. Some have playful titles for the main muckety-muck like “Head Coach,” “Cheerleader” or “Chief Bottle Washer.” One particularly innovative “business card” involved a gaming chip with the GM’s likeness on it, which was redeemable for a free drink—I particularly liked that one. Give out your “card,” drive a return trip, loosen inhibitions, and you get your business card chip back!
But the gaming business card which I have seen with the greatest immediate impact, as well as the greatest potential impact, is the card that I have carried around with me now for the past 16 years, through my last three executive roles. The card is one that folds open. On the front of the card is the standard contact information for me, nothing exceptional, although I do think the embossed red “Raving” foil is pretty cool.
As you can imagine, I hand out this card when I receive exceptional customer service. Not just in casinos, but anywhere I am receiving services of any kind. Sadly, I don’t hand out my “special” business card all that often. And I don’t believe that my definition of “great customer service” is any different from yours. We all know it when we see it.
But rather than rail away on why service generally sucks, or how more employees of organizations could earn my card, I thought I’d share some of the reactions when I have handed out my special “I noticed you delivering great service” business card. I have done this now probably 500 or so times throughout North America, at businesses large and small.
A dozen or so of my outstanding service business card recipients had tears in their eyes, with one particular outstanding food waitress openly crying. Several immediately went to proudly show their boss or co-worker. Most just gave a genuine, appreciative smile. A couple immediately confided that they rarely get recognized like that from their boss or company. And yes, a few glance at it as they busily attend to their business and then quickly put it in their pocket (remember, these are great service providers). I can only imagine for them that my card might give a warm glow later.
Of all the “good deeds” that I have tried to do at various times in my life—fundraising for a worthy charity, mentoring an eager gaming newbie, helping out a friend—none have made me feel as good as when I hand out my special business card. I’m not sure why that is.
I guess it surprises me that more people don’t hand out a business card recognizing truly great customer service. Several of my company colleagues liked the idea. A few even had the cards made and handed them out for awhile. I heard of a gaming company in Australia whose executives have “Thank you for your exceptional and professional service” business cards and use them as employee recruitment tools. But for the most part, this seems like my own personal, one man crusade to recognize the underappreciated—maybe most feel that a generous gratuity is recognition enough.
But the next time a casino employee truly wows you, or goes above and beyond to fulfill a special request, or makes a personal connection that makes you feel just a little better about yourself, or your day, or your casino experience—ask yourself what might make their day as well.
It might not be a business card. But make it something. Thousands of true casino service heroes could use it.
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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