Case Studies

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Case Study: Marketing and Database Analysis Program

Property Description

The State of Louisiana hosts 15 riverboat casinos, pari-mutuel facilities and one land based commercial casino in New Orleans. Cypress Bayou Casino/Shorty’s is one of three land based tribal casinos in the state and is located about an hour in either direction from their nearest competitor. They have 1375 slots, 50 table games, live action poker room, simulcast racing, an event center, nightclub and six restaurants.

Cypress has been a client of Raving since summer 2009, when they started with our Slot Ambassador Program. Since then, Raving has partnered with them on a Guest Service Design Program (see case study below), Marketing & Database Analysis, Table Games Analysis, Host and Player Development.

We asked Shannon Redmond, Director of Marketing, to share some specific marketing challenges that Raving helped Cypress overcome through their Marketing and Database Analysis program. She shared with us:

I see SUCH huge differences in what we do now as compared to what we did before Raving. For the month of March 2011 – our year over year gaming revenue has gone up +8.5%. Our competition: Evangeline Downs (-7.8%), Amelia Bell (-7.5%), Baton Rouge Market (-6.7%). These were just a few of the challenges and solutions we worked on with Raving:

Challenge 1: How do we utilize our database more effectively?
We were sending mass mail to everyone in our database; the same mail piece with the same information to every person who had been in our door for the past year.

Raving Solution:
Target players utilizing worth segmentation including demographics, ADT etc.

Results:

  • Significant cost savings in direct mail program.
  • Targeted current players of value versus “anyone” in database.
  • Taught us what customer to target with what promotion.
  • Taught us to look at what level customer was actually participating in what promotion – leading to more targeted promotions.

Challenge 2: We run promotions, but have found that we are doing the same types of promotions over and over. How we make ourselves stand out from the competition? How do we measure the results?

Raving Solution:

Utilize different types and varieties of promotions that had been proven in the industry. Create clear objectives and goals for different promotions.

Results:

  • Promotions results show an increase in customer participation and increase in spend per head for the group participating. This is directly related to the creation of “threshold promotions” where the reward is earned. Prior to Raving, the promotions were primarily Hot Seat promotions (everyone had an equal shot of winning) and no play level required.
  • Never before did we have promotions to drive midweek traffic that resulted in increased revenues.
  • Positive customer feedback, including comments on how it is more “fun”; huge improvement in morale on the floor with employees by getting every department involved in the promotions – one particular promotion had an increase of 30% in participation with the only difference being the involvement of the employees.
  • Our IT staff now supplies the RIGHT data – and we’ve created entirely new promotions while being able to track and show results that actually mean something. The format has been designed where ease of measuring results has lead to much more effective proformas that can be used as tools for planning the next promotion, as well as showing results.

Challenge 3: Are our gifts appropriate and helping drive carded play?

Results:

Focus groups administered by Raving helped with “what the customer wants” – and by utilizing this data:

  • The Gift of the Month program has consistently shown an increase in spend per head 20% higher than the average spend per head
  • Carded coin in has increased since the Raving changes have been implemented: 1st quarter 2010 (prior to Raving) 69.8%; 1st quarter 2011 (Raving changes implemented) 71.5%

slvrHotelCasinoSpahi_smallCase Study: Slot Ambassador

Property Description

Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa is a tribal casino located in Northwest Washington State in Ferndale, approximately 100 miles from Seattle and within 15 minutes of the Canadian border. Offering Las Vegas style gaming with approximately 975 slots, 20 tables and a 106 room hotel, Silver Reef is in a competitive gaming environment catering to a strong local’s market as well as tourists.

Challenge

According to Marty Sauvage, Director of Slots:

With the onset of TITO, Silver Reef needed to transform traditional slot attendant jobs from selling change and tickets to player development specialists.

  • Their players club card utilization was low.
  • New players club sign-ups were not significant.

Solution

Based on the needs stated by Marty, Raving recommended its on-site Slot Ambassador program for Silver Reef. This program encompasses training former “slot attendants” in developing customer service and sales skills. Specifically, these skills would address Silver Reef’s challenges of encouraging users to play with their cards; signing up new players to the club and creating a more comprehensive customer service role.

This program would also train employees to effectively “sell” other amenities at the casinos; to successfully communicate and sign up players for marketing promotions; to engage comfortably in conflict resolution; and to develop further skills around customer engagement. While on-site Raving would tailor training scenarios to fit Silver Reef’s specific challenges. Silver Reef had Raving work directly with front-line slot department staff, slot supervisors, pit supervisors, dual rates and shift managers.

The Win

According to Marty, not only were the initial challenges addressed but several beneficial by-products occurred after this training:

  • Early indicators showing higher card-in usage and increased players club sign ups.
  • By including both slot and table games staff and supervisors, the “message” to customers has been much more consistent.
  • The “regulars” have noticed a more positive attitude from the Silver Reef team.
  • The ambassadors are much more proactive and comfortable in engaging guests.
  • There is much more dialogue between customers and the new ambassadors.
  • Sliver Reef is creating a rewards program specifically for the slot ambassadors.
  • This program is now being used as a training tool for shift managers.
  • In the future, this program will be a “must” for anyone who comes into contact with guests on the floor.

LDL_Logo_BLK_CM_150Case Study: Host & Player Development Sales Skills & Training

Propery Description

L’Auberge Du Lac Casino Resort (Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc.) features 30,000 square feet of non-stop Vegas style action with more than 60 table games and 1,600 slots. The premier gulf coast resort destination in Lake Charles, LA, offers 1000 luxurious hotel rooms and suites plus a championship Tom Fazio golf course, Spa du Lac, an array of award-winning restaurants, unique shopping and more!

Challenge

Kirk Houser, Senior Director of Player Development had a host and player development department that was based on a traditional model-specifically relying on delivery of comps and keeping existing players happy.

Kirk envisioned a pro-active, professional “sales team” that would drive more gaming revenue long term; encourage loyal players to greater worth; better manage their already heavy amenity and reinvestment program; and not show any gaming decreases in the current challenged economy.

Solution

Kirk reached out to Raving to create a gaming specific, very targeted, meaningful and non-generic training program that his player development staff and hosts could relate to.

First, Raving created a skills training curriculum that focused on critical player development concepts and proficiencies and partnered this with a workshop program centered on goals and strategies designed by the property.

Because of the success of the first program, Raving returned to do an advanced primer to reinforce and polish the initial training and to do additional training focused on specific player database reinvestment.

The Win

From the two programs, Kirk’s team was able to create a new model for their host and player development department, custom to L’Auberge, based on a series of best practices and policies; goal setting; and skills training to manage and develop customer relationships.

This new program has resulted in:

  • A reputation of consistent and superior guest service.
  • Increased efficiencies and improved communication within the department and the entire organization.
  • A very effective comp reinvestment philosophy and strategy, where everyone is on the “same page.”

To learn more about L’Auberge, call reservations at (866) 580-7444 or visit www.idlcasino.com.

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Case Study: Marketing and Database Analysis Program

Property Description

Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort is a naturally breathtaking casino and hotel nestled among the pines and cedars of the scenic Kitsap Peninsula. This expansive, luxurious retreat offers four-diamond amenities and a wide array of indoor and outdoor pleasures including a full-service spa, zero entry pool and of course, the endless excitement of video poker, craps, keno and roulette. The resort is a half-hour ferry ride from downtown Seattle.

Challenge

According to the Senior Management Team at Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort, they were looking for some specific tools to answer the following questions:

  1. Are we reinvesting too much in our players; are our players club reinvestment levels on target?
  2. How do we stay within our marketing budget? Is our marketing budget appropriate to our desired results?
  3. How do we utilize our database more effectively?
  4. We run promotions, we’re busy, the head count is great, but how do we improve our ROI?
  5. Demographics- how do we reach out further and how much should we spend on that reach?

Solution

Based on the challenges listed above, Raving recommended a Marketing Reinvestment Program. The program entailed two senior Raving consultants conducting database review and analysis, financial budgets for marketing and promotions and providing Clearwater with innovative working spreadsheets and templates for future planning and implementation of promotions, player development and direct marketing.

The Win

“The Raving team provided us with a variety of options regarding the challenges listed above. The innovative database analysis and spreadsheets allowed us to look at our entire player base with new goals and objectives for player development and promotions. We will be incorporating the marketing and database analysis as part of our 2011 marketing plan. They understood our challenges and we were very pleased with the way they worked with our team to understand and provide us with alternatives to approach our reinvestment programs. We have engaged the same two consultants to partner with us for review and analysis over the next four quarters.”

hopland-logo1Direct Mail Analytical Toolkit Matrices and Training

A shift in focus from growth to more efficient means of reinvestment necessitated the need for increased analytics at Sho Ka Wah Casino located in Northern California. Raving sent the team of Nicole Barker [Raving Partner Datatase & Loyalty Marketing] and Tami Jones [Raving Partner Direct Marketing, CSG Direct Mail] to work hand in hand with the Sho Ka Wah team.

“Nicole and Tami did a wonderful job. I feel that for the first time, Sho Ka Wah is equipped to structure, run and analyze a comprehensive direct mail strategy that is both effective and efficient. This was the last piece of the puzzle that has been missing. Now we have the needed tools to execute and truly impact business results. We have a young, dedicated and very talented marketing team that will put this new knowledge and the analytical tools to immediate use. The entire team came away with a great deal from this training. Nicole is a great resource and we appreciate her experience, expertise and advice” Roman W. Carrillo, Jr., Director of Marketing, Sho Ka Wah Casino

About20Us20header1A Full Service Partner: Service, PD, Player Tracking …

“Raving Consulting offers a wide array of services that we have used at River Spirit. Raving established our first employee service initiatives, helped River Spirit develop our Player Development Program, analyzed the effectiveness of our player tracking system, and will soon be helping us analyze our media/advertising efforts. We see Raving as a valuable marketing resource and ally. ” Mr. Bob Dimmick, Director of Marketing, River Spirit Casino

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Case Study: Guest Service Design Program

Property Description

The State of Louisiana hosts 15 riverboat casinos, pari-mutuel facilities and one land based commercial casino in New Orleans. Cypress Bayou Casino/Shorty’s is one of three land based tribal casinos in the state and is located about an hour in either direction from their nearest competitor. They have 1375 slots, 50 table games, live action poker room, simulcast racing, an event center, nightclub and six restaurants.

Challenge

Cypress Bayou Casino/Shorty’s already had in place a successful comprehensive training program befitting their distinctive company culture that combines their unique geographical location as well as the goals of their tribe. Training for all team members is a priority at Cypress Bayou Casino/Shorty’s and a key element to their training has always been significant emphasis on employee recognition and rewards.

Being highly in tune with all employees, Joy Reaux, Human Resources Manager, shared that it was time to append and reenergize their existing training to be able to:

  • Take their guest service to a higher level.
  • Increase loyalty of guests.
  • Create a comprehensive measurement tool to evaluate their service and to utilize this tool to develop more extensive employee performance incentives.

Solution

To achieve the Cypress Bayou Casino/Shorty’s goals, Raving worked hand in hand with frontline and senior management to create a customized guest service program that would invigorate their many loyal long-term employees and inspire new employees. The newly built guest service program at Cypress Bayou Casino/Shorty’s includes branding, custom service standards, training modules and a quarterly evaluation method. This evaluation tool is designed around the new standards created by Cypress Bayou Casino/Shorty’s and is based on a mathematical system that allows for clear, numeric scoring.

Joy admitted that at first she was concerned about the intensive training, scheduling and interaction that would need to be coordinated in such a short period of time for the implementation of the program. Steve Browne, President of Raving Service, works with supervisors first, then a design team, then the trainers and then finishes the program with every member of the frontline and the entire property. However, after seeing the program unfold, Joy told us that the intensive schedule worked really well because “her supervisors were totally immersed in the content, the rigorous schedule drove momentum and it also gave the entire team the sense of how important this new program was.”

The Win

Since the creation, install and launch of the new, custom built service program, Joy told us that some immediate effects are already showing:

  • An increase in employee camaraderie and rejuvenation.
  • Guests and managers have noticeably seen more smiles, guest interaction and excitement.
  • There has been a visible increase of input from team members through the committees that were formed.
  • The entire team, frontline and management, are encouraging each other and talking about the program amongst themselves and with guests.
  • Departments have seen an increase in tips; most notably valet and F&B.
  • Through their measurement tool, they definitely expect to see improvement from their initial benchmark scores. They like this evaluation method as it is based on their own standards and a specific scoring method, nothing subjective. The mathematical scoring will be important in allowing Cypress Bayou Casino/Shorty’s to create more performance incentives and evaluate employees.

Thank you to Joy and the team at Cypress Bayou Casino/Shorty’s for sharing their results with our readers.