Top Six 2019 Guest Experience Trends

Customer Experience - Casino Guest Service

How casinos can keep pace with other industries

If you want to see the key to unforgettable guest experience, look in a mirror. Dedication to a high level of guest experience starts at the top. But it’s the heart of the team that always shines through.

Guest experience trends for 2019 show us how casinos can keep pace with other industries rapidly adapting to a guest service society. A society driven by the continuous march of game-changing technology that keeps the guest in the spotlight.

Shantanu Narayen, Adobe’s CEO, says that, “Guests don’t buy products; they buy experiences.” How do we create these experiences?

Let’s look at the leading casino guest service experience trends for 2019 adapted for casinos:

1. Team Guest Experience

If your company places the responsibility for guest experience with a small group of people, you could have a problem. Companies that understand guest experience realize it starts with the first digital or phone contact, and ends with a wave goodbye from the valet.

If every department from shipping and receiving, to hotel housekeeping, to the front office doesn’t focus on guest experience, you are going to be left behind. Every team member in every department should know how their work affects and influences guests.

2. Own Your Own Guest Experience

Through the work I’ve done on Raving’s Competitive Marketing Strategies Program, it quickly revealed that knowing and playing to your unique property niche is the key to competing in today’s environment.

Casino companies that focus on seamless guest experiences get it. Today’s casino branding isn’t about themes or promotions, but communicates the unique experiences that your property can deliver. The difference-maker is how hard the property works on delivering guest experiences and communicating that experience. The best marketing investment that a casino can make is in casino guest service and experience.

3. Your Casino Guest Is Smarter and Wants More Convenience

Casino guests in 2019 relate every guest experience they encounter in life to how they interact with your casino. Casinos that make their guest experiences seamless and frictionless are ahead of the curve.

Is your digital experience as fast and responsive as guests experience outside your casino? Have you decreased line time? Is your hotel check-in and check-out painless? We live in a world where guests check social media reviews before they make a move. It’s an easy way to know which casinos deliver excellence and which ones should be avoided.
Are your team member guest encounters as pleasant and upbeat as they can be? Casino companies that work to ensure that guest interactions are user-friendly and comfortable will beat the competition every day.

4. Self-Service Is Here to Stay

At the 2019 Raving Next: Indian Gaming Analytics and Marketing Conference, results from the pre-conference survey indicated that kiosks and apps were the leading additions to marketing technology.

Kiosks are no longer a casino bonus, but an expected property amenity. Kiosks combining redemption of points and comps for all casino functions is the bar, and the bar raises every year.

Guests who experience the ease of ordering food from a tablet at the table or a kiosk at the grab and go expect that experience at your casino. Check-in free hotels, where you go directly to your room, are cropping up across the country. The rolling thunder of technology pushes your guests to compare you to the rest of the world and expect that technology.

5. Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

Your guests are increasingly mobile-dependent. They shop, research and book each transaction through apps. Guests use apps to communicate with friends, interact with companies, and express their opinions. With today’s smartphones, you hold the world in your hand.

If it’s baby steps or a full-blown program, getting your casino’s message on mobile is
literally getting your message into people’s hands.

6. Know Your Guest

Big data trends allow you to know your guest and personalize messages. Casino marketers were always at the forefront of segmenting guests to provide more efficient offers.
Today’s data availability allows you to treat your casino’s guests according to their transaction patterns. Using big data or simply making good use of existing guest data can give guests an experience that is customized to their personal preferences. Personalized offers lead to personalized guest experiences in today’s changing markets.

Summary: Trends for 2019 and Beyond

  • The leading trend for 2019 is that guest experience is the key strategy for every brand. Successful casino operations continually rework guest service models in everything they do.
  • The top guest experience trend today is to completely envelop your marketing into guest experience.
  • Accomplished casinos understand that guests are more sophisticated and informed than ever, focusing on ease of use and convenience. Easy to use kiosks and apps allow guests to move through your casino experience effortlessly. Focus on mobile to get the best bang for your buck in guest interaction.
  • Beyond mobile, successful casinos use big data and solid database marketing techniques to segment benefits to complete a personalized guest experience at your casino.

How does your casino stack up to these 2019 trends? Does your marketing and guest service work together for a complete casino guest service experience? For more information on how to adapt your service programs to embrace the concepts listed above, please contact Amy Hergenrother at 775-329-7864 or [email protected].

Tom Osiecki