We all know that most casino guests are going to leave the casino with fewer dollars than they brought. But, if your property is like most others, your guests can still walk away satisfied with their experience.
However, there’s no guarantee that will happen. Even at the “best” properties, some guests will be truly dissatisfied. Even more will be less than satisfied.
Face it, with the number of guests you have—and the added complications of COVID-19—there will be restroom stalls that are less than pristine, payouts that take too much time, lines that are too long, surfaces that are not clean, etc. And, fair or not, these breakdowns may lead to guests being dissatisfied or simply lacking satisfaction.
The most successful properties aggressively monitor guest satisfaction to see where they are falling short of excellence—and to focus attention on improving those areas.
Once a survey process is in place, the first step in an effective guest satisfaction tracking program is to establish a baseline. What we call key metrics (overall satisfaction, overall customer service satisfaction, willingness to recommend, return intent) are obviously important; but the real value—what you can more readily impact and what may lead to improved key metrics—comes from measuring how satisfied guests are with each touchpoint they experience. Touchpoint satisfaction for most attributes boils down to two issues: friendliness and helpfulness of service and time it takes to get served.
Having baselines for these touchpoints enables you to track performance: month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter and over longer periods. We have seen situations where changes, both up and down, have been very small in the short term but significant over time.
If you’re tracking guest satisfaction, you can identify and correct anything that goes wrong. If you’re not tracking guest satisfaction, the best you can do is guess.
There are other benefits too:
Prioritizing efforts: With sufficient sample sizes, you can identify the specific attributes most highly correlated with the aforementioned key metrics, enabling you to focus improvement efforts in the most productive areas. Don’t ignore other touchpoints, but improve what matters most.
Guest retention: You can identify specific guests who have had an unpleasant experience, ask for permission to contact them and help them resolve any concerns they may have. Research has shown that customers whose problems have been resolved exhibit above average levels of brand loyalty.
Staff engagement: Share results with your staff so they know how well they are performing. Consider incentivizing staff by including guest satisfaction scores as part of a rewards program. Rewards work for your guests—they’ll work for your associates as well.
- Exploring topical issues: With limitations—you don’t want to turn your guest satisfaction survey into a guest “dissatisfier”—you can obtain player input on important topical issues. Indeed, on several occasions, we’ve used this approach instead of conducting an ad hoc survey.
Currently our surveys include two questions pertaining to COVID-19, plus the opportunity to provide comments. Our clients have also addressed entertainment preferences, desired benefits, restaurant options and a host of other issues.
Based on the hundreds of thousands of casino guest satisfaction surveys we have collected across dozens of properties, we know that different attributes tend to score very differently. Simply put, some touchpoints are more challenging to casinos than others. Further, scores for individual attributes may vary sharply from one property to another.
Knowing where your property stands on specific attribute satisfaction will enable you to meet or exceed guest expectations. If you’re working with a vendor experienced in measuring casino guest satisfaction, you may be able to compare your results for various metrics with those from similar casinos.
High guest satisfaction scores are not the only factor that will drive your property’s profitability, but they certainly will contribute to it. The only way to know that your property is consistently performing at high levels is to track it. It matters.