It’s time to ask yourself a simple question: are you doing business, or are you hurting business?
The answer might depend on if you’re making one of these four tactical mistakes. Read on – and if something hits home, it’s time to make a change.
1. Relying too much on free play.
- Free play has come to be seen as the magic bullet to boost player spend. But here’s the one thing we all know about magic: it doesn’t exist. Make no mistake – if used judiciously, free play can be highly effective. But for too many destinations, it becomes the default marketing tool. This shotgun approach is largely ineffective in building true player loyalty. And it’s really expensive, too. That makes it a high cost/low benefit strategy.
2. Giving away what should be earned.
- The special offer is the cousin of free play. And like its relative, it can be highly effective when used with restraint. But consider what happens when too much is given away freely: its perceived value is diminished. So paradoxically, the more you give away, the less you’re giving away – the diminished value of your offers makes them less meaningful. Even worse, an offer-driven player culture means destinations are literally participating in a race to the bottom, where more and more giveaways are extended in the hopes of securing a guest who’s on the hunt for the best deal, not the best experience. The over-use of offers has turned the casino business into the coupon business.
3. Making it about the transaction, not the experience.
- As a sophisticated operator, you probably have metrics in place to gauge customer service. For instance, maybe you measure the amount of time it takes your guest’s meal to get from kitchen to table. Here’s the surprising thing: your servers may consistently meet or exceed their benchmarks, and your guests may still be unhappy. That’s because an “experience” isn’t built on speed alone. Presentation of food, interaction with the server, ambience of the restaurant and more will all factor into what differentiates a food-for-money transaction vs. an incredible dining experience. Simple metrics can’t measure the totality of an experience – only a more comprehensive approach can.
4. Ignoring how the customer feels.
- The hospitality business boils down to one simple objective: sending the customer home feeling better than they did when they arrived. So how do we do this in gaming? Well, we certainly can’t ensure a win for everybody, every time. And besides, that would be missing the point – most gamblers gamble for the entertainment value, not only for the occasional jackpot or royal flush. As operators, we must continue to focus on that experience, and find ways to make sure it’s a gratifying one…even during a session when the player loses money. This is critical. A wager entails a gamble; a good time should never have to.
Are you making one of these mistakes? It’s okay – we’ve developed the technology to make things right. That means becoming less offer-centric and more experience-driven. Delivering entertainment with empathy. And knowing that your only customer should be your long-term customer. That’s not gaming of the future. That’s gaming as it should be now.