Casinos as an entertainment and experience provider are one of the areas where surprise and delight as a customer service art form can excel. It’s a high touch point location, where players interact with staff at the cashier desk, slots, restaurants, hotels, spas, valet, security… and the interesting thing about all this is how often the customer experiences fall short.
I vividly remember about a year ago listening to a slot tech and her manager talking in a relatively empty part of the casino about how bad things were working at the casino. I found it turning my experience sour as the complaining went on and on, and they were oblivious to the fact that they were having this very loud conversation within earshot of other people.
I compare this to a recent experience where when my car came out after a hotel valet check (which I rarely do, but opted to this time), I found two cold bottles of water waiting for me in my console when I got into the car. Nothing was said, they just were placed there for my benefit.
The opportunity for casinos to provide top-notch experiences, and to surprise and delight, is one of the ways they can stand out from one another. Some resorts are particularly well known for their focus on the customer experience.
I’d certainly heard my share about the Wynn, for instance, and the last time they stayed there, they noticed at check-in I had stayed on the top floor before, and wondered if I’d like to do so again. It was one of many good customer service moments I encountered there over the years, and so often they’d happen unexpectedly and unprompted – I didn’t have to ask for an upgrade.
At a couple of casinos, when I ask for a bottle of water they’d ask if I’d like a second, or if I ordered a soda if I’d like a bottle of water as well. At one casino, on multiple occasions when I needed directions to some other place in the casino, the staff simply walked me there instead of attempting to give me directions.
What surprises me though is how often the customer service falls short. Casinos are comfortable with very long lines and keeping customers away from spending money or availing themselves of services by waiting for a players card or checking in to a hotel room when there are so many ways to reduce those lines counts nowadays.
There has been discussion about staff shortages, hiring difficulties and the challenges of keeping up the quality of customer service in a post-pandemic world. But every single one of these examples took place since the onset of the pandemic, meaning there’s still an element of control in the casinos’ hands.
Casinos often make efforts to position themselves as luxurious and high end experiences, with prices to match. But only a select few truly deliver on the customer experience to complete the picture. When they do, it’s memorable and makes players want to return more often. I only wish more casinos took notice of this direction.