Monthly Archives: December 2013

Player Development Job Descriptions

Back when I got my first director’s job, I was asked to review and revise the job descriptions for everyone in my areas of responsibility.  I thought at first that the task would be easy: read through the documents sent to me, make sure they reflected what the team was supposed to do, change what didn’t make sense, then send them back to HR.  Done!
As it turns out, some of them were a little more difficult to quantify.  To save you the trouble, I’ve compiled here a list of the most basic and important responsibilities in Player Development.  I left them generic, so you can use them anywhere.  Many of them could be used for other roles, too.  Feel free to copy, paste, add, revise, or none of the above.

Summary of Responsibilities

The main responsibility of a Player Development professional, regardless of title, is to develop and maintain effective working relationships with a casino property’s very best players and provide services to them to build player loyalty and increase the number of visits or amount played (or both) from among those guests.  In order to do this, a PD pro must also develop and maintain strong working relationships with key allies throughout the property and in the community to ensure players have the experience they expect while gaming and to generate leads for new business.

A Player Development Manager is, in addition, expected to set and monitor achievement of goals and measurable metrics for the team in alignment with the property’s business objectives.  Providing information relevant to the operation in a 360 degree direction is part of the manager’s role, so analysis and report preparation is imperative.  A manager is also a resource for guests whose issues must be escalated for satisfactory resolution and hosts who are having trouble finding their own way to goal achievement.

Here are the basic job functions in for everyone in Player Development (not necessarily in order of importance):

  • Establish and maintain positive customer relationships with players who meet property criteria (and with those identified to have the potential to reach that level of play)
  • Maintain contact with coded players as appropriate to generate return visits and provide exemplary service.
  • Interact with players in person on property, as well as via telephone, e-mail, text message, and written correspondence
  • Learn about and tailor services to guests’ preferences, likes and dislikes
  • Resolve player issues, whether real or perceived, to the guest’s satisfaction
  • Strive to achieve goals and metrics/objectives provided
  • Find the right balance in every situation between the guest’s desires and the property’s rules, regulations and guidelines  (Amy’s note: There is always a way.)
  • Invite players to events, tournaments, shows, etc.,  according to their interests
  • Make hotel, show, dining and other reservations and communicate same to guest
  • Issue complimentaries or other offers to guests as play and property guidelines warrant
  • Host special events, player parties, property promotions and other activities as needed
  • Provide information to team and property leadership related to guest feedback, suggestions, concerns or issues
  • Maintain confidentiality of information about both customers and property; share carefully
  • Represent the property as a role model of customer service and professionalism
  • Participate in brainstorming and planning sessions for Player Development program
  • Network among coded players to build relationships among the best customers and to generate leads for new high-worth players
  • Prepare and submit reports on activities as directed, complete and on time

If you are a Player Development Manager (or other team leader) you are also responsible for:

  • Setting SMART (with a stretch!) goals and metrics for each host and for the team
  • Monitoring pace toward goal achievement
  • Analysis of coded and potential high-worth player data
  • Assigning/coding players to hosts
  • Coaching staff as needed
  • Regular and consistent communication with all direct reports
  • Preparing and submitting activity and departmental reports as assigned
  • Attending meetings as a representative of the Player Development team
  • Participating in brainstorming and planning sessions for marketing
  • Implementing programs, events, promotions, etc. for the Player Development team
  • Providing assistance for marketing events as required
  • Resolving player issues, real or perceived, when host is unable to do so
  • Setting an example of excellent customer service

Tell me what you think.  Did I miss something?


Grow Your Casino Host Program and Improve Goal Setting

Grow Your Casino Host Program and Improve Goal Setting

Player Development can already use the Daily Action Plan from Harvest Trends to enable each casino host to reach and exceed their goals. Now Harvest Trends adds affordable, focused, 1:1 consulting to Player Development Executives on setting Casino Host Goals and coaching each Host to Success.

Press Release: Biloxi, MS (PRWEB) Dec 2013

Harvest Trends now offers the consulting, 1:1 coaching, and tools that you need to grow your casino host program. The coaching series covers everything from “Setting Host Goals” to “Coaching a Casino Host for Success”.

“Every General Manager and CFO has an interest in the structure of the casino host goal program, and should consider offering the “Setting Host Goals” program to their PD manager/director” said Susan Kesel, CEO. “The casino host goals must align with the overall property revenue goals and have the appropriate focus on acquisition, retention and reactivation, within the broader context of profitability. A General Manager is prepared to pay a bonus for a well-designed casino host program that drives results to the bottom line”.

“I know what it’s like to set goals, stay on top of the results each day, coach your hosts, run your events and respond to guest needs” says Amy J. Hudson of Harvest Trends. “We’ve designed these 1:1 phone/Skype based coaching programs to fit into the rush of the working week while helping the manager to grow the program and coach the hosts to success”

Amy has 17+ years experience in the player development and marketing arena including Delaware North Companies and Ameristar’s Cactus Petes Resort Casino, and she brings this experience to bear in this coaching program.

Setting goals for casino hosts is both an art and a science. The creative side of setting goals is to think outside of the box and create a program that provides an incentive for each host to focus on the activities that will bring results to the bottom line. The scientific side of setting goals is to create a measurable program with supporting assumptions and metrics, and without any loop holes!

“Every new skill is wasted unless you have the tools to do the job”, said Jackie Parker, President of Harvest Trends. “We already send a Daily Action Plan to each casino host, with the daily results and their pace to goals. More importantly, the Daily Action Plan is sliced and diced so each Host knows exactly who to call and why! Now we have added the skills training”. Travis J. Hankins, Senior Director of Marketing, Jumer’s Casino & Hotel, said “This is cool. I wish I had the player development daily stats and action plan when I was a host!”.

With the Daily Action Plan, the manager can quickly and easily identify coaching opportunities and proactively reach goals. Curtis Patnode, Player Development Manager at Clearwater Casino Resort said “This is a very exciting time for me, I enjoy going to work every day and looking at my daily action plan to see what is happening with my players and hosts.”

Curtis has leveraged the Daily Action Plan as a daily opportunity to monitor and coach the host team to success based on individualized results before it is too late. Under his leadership, Clearwater Casino Resort have implemented a rolling 90 day acquisition program with great success. On a daily basis, Curtis allocates high potential guests to individual hosts. The host has 90 days to qualify the player. Because the manager is alerted to the status of a player who is not pacing sufficiently, they can coach the host, or reassign the player if needed to assure success in activating the player before they are lost.

The latest innovation from Harvest Trends is the creation of these 1:1 coaching programs for “Developing Player Development” because they add that layer of interpretation and structured approach that comes from many years of experience in managing casino host programs. Because the structured coaching is offered via phone/Skype, a new Player Development manager or director, can participate as soon as they take on their role, and not have to leave the property for training or wait for a conference. This saves the cost of travel and conference fees. Amy sees particular value for a Director of Marketing who is assigned Player Development, or for an individual contributor who is promoted into management of casino hosts.

In most teams, there are some hosts that consistently beat their goals and others that under-perform. The Coaching a Host to Success is a unique 1:1 coaching program that helps the Manager to coach a host to success. It takes the Player Development leadership through the detailed steps of addressing and improving casino host performance with practical management experience and based on detailed metrics that they just don’t have the time to prepare. In addition to improving host performance, they learn new tips and techniques to enhance their own effectiveness as a manager.

Each coaching program is laid out in a structured approach over a number of weeks, but there is flexibility to meet the property’s specific needs. The program also includes the use of the HostMAPP tool kit during the course of the coaching program, to analyze the daily results and refine the goals.

“I am thrilled,” says Amy Hudson, “because for the first time, managers of Player Development can have the infrastructure to actively manage their book of business and take proactive steps to coach their casino hosts to meet and exceed their goals.” Amy writes daily about Developing Player Development and you can learn more at her blog where Amy regularly posts on topics related to Casino Host Goals and player development in general.

About HostMAPP

HostMAPP is an award winning casino player development tool that provides customized Daily Action Plans allowing Casino Hosts to be on floor interacting with patrons instead of sitting in their office pouring through spreadsheets. The HostMAPP tool kit enables a manger of Player Development to proactively Manage the Activities, Profitability and Performance of your host program. Together, the consulting, coaching and daily action plans from the HostMAPP toolkit can drive increased revenue to the bottom line.

About Harvest Trends, Inc.
Harvest Trends provides innovative, cross-platform, hosted business analytics solutions for the gaming industry. There is no capital outlay for hardware or software and you only pay a monthly subscription fee that is appropriately priced for casinos of all sizes. For more information, contact Amy Hudson at 304.218.1265 or

How do I set up and track Casino Host Goals? (Part 5 of 5)

Interestingly, your work here is not yet done.  You have accomplished quite a lot if you have followed all the steps I’ve suggested, but there is still more…refining work, if you will.

As suggested in the last post, you may have noted some patterns emerging from your analysis of the team’s work.  Some hosts may have a knack for spotting and responding to changes in player behavior and others may need a gentle nudge.  Some segments in your player base may generate a stronger showing for certain kinds of promotions or events, or you may even see declines in some groups of your guests, requiring you to assess the effectiveness of parts of the program.

The next step, logically, is the constant review and course corrections that enable you to continue posting positive results from the team.  Clearly, there will be things that work against you, but if you are paying attention to the way your best players react to the best efforts of your Player Development team you will have the information you need to decide how to proceed.

Do you have a new competitor opening its doors soon?  Focus your team on Preemptive Reactivation efforts.  Do you see a normal downturn in visits and spend during the winter months?  Look at the best players from your inner market to determine whether there are opportunities to drive an extra visit from those who live close enough to safely travel to you.  Or, team up with the motorcoach staff to bring better players in by the busload. (Book fancy buses, of course!)

Begin looking at goals and objectives for the next 3 or 4 goal periods instead of one period at a time, and imagine the adjustments you may need to employ to ensure that they are in alignment with the property’s plans.  Put together a Player Development plan with input from hosts, property operations leaders, and guests.  Think about ways you can quickly turn the tide when the team’s (or the property’s) numbers don’t look so great, then come up with some concrete plans to do so when needed.

Use both successes and failures to learn how to do it better as you move forward.  After all, the gaming business is evolving at a faster rate these days than ever before, and with tighter margins and less room for error.  Understanding why your team is successful or not and having the information you need and the plans in place to maximize the results is key.

Ma Market Planning 06
Ma Market Planning 06 (Photo credit: nancydowd)