Specialists or Generalists…What’s Best for Your Property?

In Casino Marketing, there’s really no such thing as “one size fits all.”  Every market, property, and guest is distinctive and should be treated as such.  But what does that mean for your Player Development program?  Do each of your hosts handle retention, reactivation and acquisition, or are some of your hosts focused on one of these areas exclusively?  Should you make the switch?  Your property’s objectives and your market should be your guide.

If you are in a mature market with fairly stable competition, your host team should probably be generalists.  Why?  Because you aren’t likely to have a ton of new sign-ups, so acquisition is not a big area of focus for your hosts (though you obviously want to capitalize on the good new players you DO get).  The entire host team probably knows “the usual suspects” pretty well and is attuned to their patterns, at least somewhat.  That leaves reactivation, which you likely have a system in place to address.  As long as the hosts know which players to contact and why, they are presumably good at all three aspects of the player life cycle.  In this case, it might be best not to rock the boat.  Or you could limit any specialization to new hosts or those who are struggling to build relationships with your existing player base.

If your market is experiencing major changes, though, whether it’s because your property is a new one or if it is being surrounded by new competitors, you might want to consider specialization among the hosts on your team.  A market in flux is one in which specialization may be an advantage.

All that Glitters...
All that Glitters…

Making the decision to specialize your hosts’ areas of focus is not for the faint of heart, however.  It is a structural change, necessitating major shifts in how  your hosts do their jobs each day.  Specialization means an overhaul of how player lists are coded.  It also dictates substantial changes to the department’s and the host’s goals.

So, before making the leap, you’ll want to do some analysis and careful planning.  Use your analytical tools to identify what your new member program is doing for you.  How many players in your target ADT range are making a second trip?  What do they look like in terms of market and demographics?  Are you losing good players to your competitors?  Which ones?  How many?  Where do they live?  Are they still coming to your property but less frequently?  Are they playing less when they are visiting you?  How can you leverage the talents of your host team to maximize the number of trips and value from your best players?

Do you have a dynamo who is great at initiating contact and convincing people to sign up for and use a player card?  Is there a host on your team who can crank out calls and generate visits from the guests he contacts?  How about the one who is the life of the party and can make contacts on the gaming floor who proclaim they’ll never go to another casino because they love her so much?  Consider playing to the strengths of these hosts by having them focus the majority of their energies on the thing they do best.  Determine which of your hosts will specialize in which areas based on those strengths.

Start by assessing your team’s individual strengths using questions like those just posed to you.  Expand upon your thoughts about each host, similarly to the way you’d begin to write annual evaluations for them.  Next, consider how those strengths can be used to target a particular segment of your player base.  If a host is better suited for in-person contact, they wouldn’t be the most effective in a reactivation role; you’d want him to work in acquisition or retention.  Alternatively, a host who is able to connect with players over the phone or via compelling written communication would be great for reactivating your more dormant guests.

To re-build player lists and establish goals for your newly specialized team, you have to go back to the analytics.  Set a handful of targets for each group of specialized hosts and their associated players: acquisition, reactivation and retention.

You know the idiosyncrasies of your particular market better than anyone, so this post won’t get into a lot of detail about how to set goals.  (Besides, you can see that at our casinoplayerdevelopment.wordpress,com blogs on host goals.)  Making the decision is a big one, but one which could have a beneficial effect on your host team’s productivity, which translates to a better bottom line for the property.  If that’s the case, everybody wins.

How Do You Know How You’re Doing?

A host I know lost his job because he failed to meet his goals in his first quarter at a new property. Sadly, he says he was never told that he had only one quarter to prove that he could achieve goals. Not only that, he added that no one gave him a progress update during that first quarter. Not once. Can you believe it? It’s bad enough to feel as though you’ve failed because you missed a target, but imagine losing your job due to your very first failure to achieve your goals.

Let’s imagine for a moment that you are an Ace Casino Host. You do the work you have been asked to do: you return calls, host player events, talk to people, resolve issues, make reservations, answer questions and represent your property like a pro…but how are you doing?

Can you confidently say, at any point in any day, how you are tracking to achieve the goals you’ve been working toward? Do you have to rely on a gut feeling that you’re generating enough revenue to hit your theoretical target? Do you have a way to look it up or calculate it? Are you supposed to bring back folks who haven’t visited lately? How about new club sign-ups or high-worth recent new members? Have you signed up or brought back in enough players to reach the goal? Can you check?

During your team meetings, are you asked how you’re doing? Does someone tell you? Do you write it down, track your activity, and see the ebb and flow of your guest’s visits and play history? If someone asked you to demonstrate your contribution to the company’s goals, could you do it? Do you know which of your daily tasks are the most important or upon which ones you should focus today to remain on course to achieve your goals and objectives?

In order to understand how to reach your destination, you must first be aware of where you are and how best to navigate your way. Then, you can know what obstacles are in your path, use the right strategies to circumvent them, and make steady progress to the finish line. Do you have these essential touchpoints? If not, how do you keep yourself on target?

In order to have a productive day, an Ace Casino Host needs to understand which players should be his priority contacts. To do his job most effectively, that host needs context for each contact. You handle each player differently because they are individuals, and you approach them differently based on the reason for the contact. Right?

So, would any of the following be useful to you, Ace Casino Host?

  • A daily update on your theoretical for the goal period to date
  • A progress report on metrics upon which you could earn a bonus
  • A list of players who haven’t made a trip recently and need a call
  • Players who haven’t made trips as frequently as they used to
  • Newly coded players with whom you haven’t yet made contact
  • Brand-new club members who played well when they signed up
  • Players who have a birthday or other occasion coming up soon
  • Good players who haven’t played as well lately
  • Okay players who have played better recently

Wouldn’t it be awesome if this information was available to you every day? What if it was delivered automatically, waiting in your email inbox, without your having to lift a finger? Or, even better, what if you could log in and see this information whenever it’s convenient for you, and you could quickly note that you had made the call or booked the guest?

It can be.  Harvest Trends can help your property configure a PowerHost program specific to your goals and objectives.  Ask us how.