Monthly Archives: December 2014

Tell your stories

When I first became a casino employee, I was hired as a casino host. This was a (big) number of years ago, so my duties didn’t really fit with what we know Player Development to be today. I was responsible for signing up patrons for the rewards club on the gaming floor, providing breaks at the players club, handing out drawing entries via floor sweep, announcing drawings, handling VIP events and registering players for slot, blackjack, and video poker tournaments. I spent more time doing paperwork than interacting with guests, and I certainly wasn’t driving any revenue for the property.

Within the first year, I was promoted to club supervisor. It was the next step on my journey to become the club manager, which was my goal. The work I’d done as a host had prepared me for this new role, and I got the job a few months after it was vacated by the lady who had originally hired me. With the support of a mentor (in the form of the department manager from slots), I became the player’s club manager. I was responsible for the club desk, the host team, VIP events, promotions, and tournaments. I knew how to do all the tasks and roles that reported to me, so it was a good fit.

The times, they were a’changin’. And there were some good stories along the way.

There was the Halloween VIP slot tournament where I awarded a prize by depositing it underneath Genie’s bra (Genie was a man in a body suit with a very heavily sequined genie outfit over it). I was Carol Merrill for a Let’s Make a Deal event, and got to give away some very nice jewelry and a box of 64-count Crayolas (with built-in sharpener!) in the same night. We laughed a lot, cried a little, gave and received hundreds of hugs, and had a blast most of the time.

After a couple of years of same ol’, same ol’, I got a new boss who had come to our rural outpost directly from Las Vegas. This guy had also worked as a host, and he had some definite ideas about setting up our host team to drive revenue from among our players of opportunity. I was excited about the changes, because it meant I’d get to learn something new. Something valuable.

Working with our database guy, we established player lists for each of our hosts and set some simple weekly and monthly goals: making phone calls to patrons we hadn’t seen in a while, and continuing to gather club sign-ups on the gaming floor. We began to track the play generated by each host’s list and used that data to craft achievable stretch goals for the team. We were contributing trackable revenue!

And there were more stories. Patrons who had negative comp balances but who routinely lost 10x what the computer said they should. (Would you comp them? I sure did!) We had Senior Slot Tournaments that filled the joint from Sunday through Tuesday, at one of which the birth of my daughter was announced via the overhead PA. (I got lots of gorgeous baby blankets, btw.) There were New Year’s Eve parties, Golf tournaments with celebrity golfers (“…Are these the ‘up’ elevators?”), arguments, a couple of newsworthy events, and tons of great shows.

The tangible growth in our PD program was fabulous, and we’d managed to establish a culture along the way. It was a culture of fun and inclusion, and for quite a while, it worked. The stories connected those of us who worked in the casino with our patrons. The shared experiences gave us points of reference for one another. We bonded over births, marriages, anniversaries, cocktail receptions, awards banquets, and jackpot payouts. We were family.

So tell your stories. If you’re a PD team leader, tell the stories to explain WHY you want things done a certain way. If you’re a host, telling your stories helps connect you and your players through commonalities. Telling your relevant stories helps people understand what experiences have shaped you. Hearing others’ stories makes it easier to relate to them and their point of view. Build a culture of sharing and accessibility. Knowing your patrons helps you serve them better, and it makes it infinitely easier (most of the time, anyway). Knowing your co-workers means sneaky folks will have a more difficult time getting one over on you and provides better communication opportunities.

Stories connect us in many ways. Like settling in on a rainy day with a good book, stories give us a respite from the troubles of the moment, allowing us perspective or providing inspiration when we need it. Personal stories allow us to share and receive something in return; even if we don’t immediately realize the impact the story had on the “sharee.”

Tell your stories. Inspire. Educate. Comfort. Share. Grow.

BoB, the Casino-specific CRM solution

Over many years in Casino Player Development, I often wished my team had a tool that would tell them which of their coded players they should be in contact with next and why. Without the help of my database guy (with whom I always worked very closely), I couldn’t create a new host list, nor could I make up a list of inactives or tournament invitees and assign them to the hosts for activation. Human assistance was necessary. That left my team waiting, sometimes for many days, for access to the sliced-and-diced information they needed in order to effectively move players through our doors and dollars through to the bottom line.

But that was then. Now, Harvest Trends’ HostBoB can help player development pros identify and prioritize the players they should reach now. It works in a similar fashion to the Daily Action Plan, or DAP. The DAP is a daily player list sent to each host via e-mail, with players classified according to the property’s host goals and player specifications. With BoB, the host still sees this sorted and classified player list, but with the added benefit of interaction with his electronic player database. The host knows who to contact and why, inputs that contact and the results on the spot, and a host manager can see in real time how well the host is progressing with his goals and objectives.

Have you just spoken with four of your coded players at a blackjack table? Mobile BoB lets you quickly enter the “touch” and add any notes or tasks related to those guests. You don’t forget who you saw and have to rack your brain later to update your report to the boss, and you will remember to call one of them back in a few days to check on reservations for his next visit.

Does your property have an upcoming show that isn’t selling like hotcakes? HostBoB allows you to find worthy patrons who might enjoy that show and assign those players to the hosts so you can paper the house. Good players get free tickets, the hosts are talking with your worthy patrons, and the showroom gets filled. Everybody wins!

Are you fairly certain there are good patrons in your database whose play qualifies them for host service, but they’re not currently coded? HostMAPP will show you in just minutes how many there are, and more importantly, WHO they are. With HostBoB, you can round-robin assign them to the host team with just a few minutes of set-up.

Customized to support your property’s initiatives, HostMAPP and HostBoB take the guesswork out of player development. Together, these modules provide you with both a high-level and a granular view of your PD program. Team leaders will quickly be able to answer questions about how their hosts’ performance is affecting the bottom line. Hosts will be able to effortlessly provide their players with a seamless, personalized experience. Casinos will be able to swiftly make adjustments to changing market conditions and drive revenue by activating the right players of interest.

Harvest Trends has been working toward this ideal for some time now, and BoB will be ready for launch at the end of January 2015. Our developers have listened carefully to all our instructions to make it user-friendly and intuitive. Users have access to both desktop and mobile versions. We are so excited to show you all that BoB can do!

Contact Amy today for a sneak peek at BoB and “his” super-easy interfaces.