Predictive analytics helps Hard Rock casino-hotel deliver unparalleled customer service

Hard Rock Casino-Hotel in Las Vegas.

Sustainable profitability and growth in the gaming industry are being fueled by analytics and business intelligence software more than ever before.

While gaming is a key contributor to revenue, rooms, retail, food and beverage, spas and entertainment are quickly growing as sources of income. For example, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas offers a unique entertainment and gaming experience with dozens of services and amenities normally associated with a boutique luxury resort hotel. Guests can choose from the hotel and casino, pool, the nightclub, rock venue, restaurants, cocktail lounges; retail stores; spas, salon and fitness center.

Hard Rock executives already had a wealth of information about its patrons and prospects. But bringing gaming and nongaming data together from all of these different sources to create a total patron view was a major challenge to marketing executives.

SAS, a business intelligence software provider, is helping Hard Rock constructively use all of its data and that’s paying off big time. Using SAS for “patron value optimization,” decision makers can draw insights from data to understand total patron spend in order to enhance customer experience and build loyalty.

“In customer intelligence, SAS is king,” said Dean Boswell, chief financial officer of Hard Rock. “SAS for Patron Value Optimization enables better, faster decisions so we can proactively service guests while they are on property.  We are working to know our customers better so we can deliver unparalleled customer service-giving priority to the most profitable patrons across our property.”

Boswell noted that SAS’ solutions are paying off.

“We’re onto something big with SAS,” he said. “Early on, we used SAS for an email campaign to VIP customers-carving up lists was fast and effective.  In early marketing campaigns, SAS also helped uncovered data quality issues. SAS makes quick work of highlighting missing data on a customer and reporting that so staff can gather the missing information-an email address or a cell phone number that’s needed to text message them, for example. As a result, our data accuracy improved 15 percent since the beginning of the year. That’s a big win. We need good data to be able to reach out to customers.”

Percentage game

In the gaming industry, as little as 1 percent of overall customers can be driving as much as 20 percent of company revenue. Historical data shows how often a customer visits Hard Rock, but predictive models reveal which customers are best to invite back.

“Predictive analytics is absolutely a game changer,” Boswell said. “A few customers can make or break you. If we don’t have the right guests, we’re gambling on making a profit. Understanding how people spend, we can work to ensure that enough of the best customers are here at any given time. Using SAS to automate campaigns will help us ensure that enough of those customers continue to walk into the property each day.”

Segmenting patrons by booking trends, behavioral factors and other relevant business patterns allows decision makers to gain valuable business insights, including guests’ preferences, likelihood to respond to promotions and emerging travel trends. With SAS, Hard Rock can automate and personalize marketing campaigns that are less costly and more successful.

SAS reporting and data visualization tools are poised to ease information sharing across the enterprise, among guest-facing personnel, decision makers and business analysts.

“SAS for Patron Value Optimization arms Hard Rock decision makers with fact-based insights so they don’t have to rely on intuition only,” said Rory Fagan, sales manager for hospitality and gaming. “With SAS, Hard Rock can measure, track and predict patron activity and spend across the property, providing a total patron view at a glance. Hard Rock is becoming more competitive through targeted marketing and by making the changes needed to enhance customer experience. Nothing surfaces customer intelligence better than SAS for Patron Value Optimization.”

Smarter growth

With the softening of the economy, the gaming industry is growing at a slower rate than years before. Always forward thinking, Hard Rock is in the midst of expansion that will continue through 2009 – doubling the size of casino space, tripling the room number and adding 50,000 square feet of meeting space. Competition is growing too, but SAS for Patron Value Optimization is helping Hard Rock earn the customer loyalty it needs to gain a growing share of wallet.

Working with WhiteSand Consulting and Qualex Consulting Services, SAS delivers gaming specific enterprise intelligence to casinos through the SAS Enterprise Intelligence Platform. By integrating individual technology components in the company’s existing information technology infrastructure into a single, unified system, the information flow transcends organizational silos and delivers new insights that help drive growth and profitability.

Optimizing resources by drawing the most profitable patrons into the hotel, casino floor, events and spa is maximizing patron profit and loss and helping Hard Rock executives meet their growth goals. And, the company’s best guests are finding more reasons to come back more often.