I’ve said more than once that relationships are a casino host’s stock in trade. As in life, hosts tend to talk most often with the people with whom they’ve established a connection. This tendency, however, can be detrimental to both the host’s achievement of his or her goals as well as the company’s bottom line. Fortunately, there are ways to re-focus your associates and ensure everyone is taken care of accordingly.

Think about your host team for a minute. Can you say definitively that they are driving visits from potentially valuable new members of your club? Do you know for certain that they are getting strong players who haven’t visited recently to return to your property? Do you always see the same faces at your VIP events, and hardly any new ones? 

Now think about the strongest attributes of the individuals who make up your host team. Do you have someone who is awesome at connecting with players over the phone? How about a “life of the party” host who is like the Pied Piper on your gaming floor?  Is there a host who is able to effortlessly engage people in conversation? Take a look at the team in terms of what each individual does best and set them up for success based on those strengths.

Each of the attributes you’ve identified can be leveraged to ensure that your team is balanced in its approach to player contact and the subsequent activity it generates. 

Anyone who is a solid communicator on the telephone should be spending some quality time contacting players who are making fewer recent visits to your property. The ability to establish a rapport over a phone line is the best tool to use when getting return trips is the objective. (If it were my team, I’d have the other hosts listen to anyone who has the natural ability to connect within a few minutes on the phone and tell me what they learned from the observance.)

If you’ve got a host who can easily talk with just about anyone, he or she should be gathering new sign-ups and talking with brand-new players of worth to give them the “inside person” connection to your property.  Ideally, this host will learn from the telemarketing guru on your team how to follow up via telephone or electronic communication to get those players back.

Any associate who is the life of the party should be invited whenever you have one, to maintain solid relationships with your best and most loyal players. This work can be shared amongst all your guest-facing associates to deepen the bonds and allow the hosts more time to work on their acquisition and reactivation targets. Hosts who engage people can increase their success by building relationships across your player base so guests drive visits from one another.

Understanding your guests and what makes them return to your property more often than they visit a competitor is one of the advantages of having a solid host team. Understanding your hosts and how they can be most successful is the best way to ensure their solidarity. Understanding the balance that each host needs to find (and maintain) among greeting players on property, connecting with them in person and from afar will allow you to more deeply mine the database you already have.

Let’s face it; every property in the U.S. has competitive pressures and needs to drive as much revenue as possible. That has to be done effectively and it can’t cost a ton of money, particularly in this economy. Casino hosts, properly trained and focused, can drive revenue without increasing expenses beyond your means.  Players who used to visit you regularly and who don’t anymore are far more likely to return if they get a call from a host who is interested in why they’ve been away. Make sure you have hosts doing this work, and set for each the balance that will make him more successful, which translates to more revenue for the property. 

Build relationships with your hosts and some of those “maintainers” yourself.  Understand what’s going on among your best customers and make sure everyone is happy, just like your hosts do.  Because relationships matter; it’s a player development person’s stock in trade, after all.