October 21, 2009

Diamonds in the Data Mine

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:22 am by ctennert

The empire that is Harrah’s did not become what it is, one of the leading casinos in the industry, on accident.  The commitment to their customers is superb, and many casinos could learn a thing or two from Harrah’s attitude toward their loyal visitors.  The article reminded me of SWA, in that the employees bend over backwards, supposedly, for their customers.  Exactly WHAT the employees at Harrah’s are doing to go above and beyond for their customers is not touched on in the article, except for one manager who claims his customers have his personal cell phone which is on 24/7 in case they need to wait in line, etc.  How did they get his number?  From him obviously, but do they actually call?  I am sure this priviledge is only available to “high rollers,” but what about the non-high rollers?

The article states that 26% of gamblers who visit Harrah’s bring in 82% of their revenues.  This company seriously caters to these people, and most they say are not your typical stereotype of a blinged-out high roller.  Middle-class people who come in to play the slots and take advantage of the restaurant, room and play comps are their main customers.  The article mostly talks about Harrah’s tier system, and assumes that gamblers who spend less and less frequently are jealous of the platinum players and the perks that come with it.  (And strive to become platinum players themselves).  When I worked in a casino, I sort of felt bad for the high rollers.  The same people would come in and play tons of money, and would be there late hours.  Perhaps they have gambling problems, perhaps not, but I personally could think of thousands of ways to better spend my money on entertainment.

I do think the less-than-high-rollers should be treated exceptionally as well, because of the potential worth over time.  Plus, it’s just good business.  It is extremely smart for Harrah’s to reward their employees monetarily for outstanding customer service.  The better the experience the guest has, the more money the employee servicing them would make.  Also, if the property’s overall rating rose 3% or more, each employee could earn more money.  Is this the way Harrah’s does their performance reviews?  Or lack thereof?  If so, I like it!  Harrah’s recognizes that human capital is the most important asset a company can possess- and it is therefor reflected in their profits.


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