Adoption of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions continues to rise in almost every industry. Statistica projects revenues from CRM solution sales will rise to a staggering $24.2 billion in 2018, a 23 percent increase from 2015. That jump includes companies in the hospitality industry – hotels, resorts, restaurant, even casinos.
Traditionally use of CRM in hospitality has focused on providing a better guest experience. By collecting more complete information about the guest, the company can provide faster personalized service from booking to checkout.
A CRM can also help maintain a robust sales funnel. It can capture opt-in data to better focus engagement over the long term. The goal may be to encourage repeat visits by guests or to nurture corporate clients through an extended sales cycle. Either way, it’s all about providing constant, relevant content to the customer.
In the casino business, though, using CRM for only these purposes means leaving money on the table. CRM can do much more than just issuing a “Players Card” to guests and sending them monthly newsletters about upcoming events.
Categorizing your gamblers
That Players Card number is key to collecting, storing and mining all sorts of data about your guests. For example:
- How often does the guest visit?
- Do they travel alone, or with a spouse or family?
- Do they gamble? Or just enjoy the resort?
- Which tables do they play, and what is the average bet?
- Or do they only play the penny-slots?
- Do they have (and use) a credit line with the house?
Of course, every guest is important, whether they drop $50 or $50,000. But by using the data collected and stored in your CRM, you can classify them into categories. Understanding their specific spending habits and expectations tells you how to cater to each one.
Beyond the slot machines
Casinos today aren’t just tables, slots and roulette wheels. Nor are all the guests there to gamble. Many are full resorts and vacation destinations. What about the non-gamblers, the family members and traveling companions?
- Do they stay in a suite, a basic room or elsewhere?
- Which restaurants do they patronize?
- What do they typically eat and drink?
- Do they indulge themselves poolside? At the spa? Or with live entertainment?
It’s just as important to know the purchasing patterns and preferences of these guests as it is for the gamblers. After all, they can influence whether the gambler’s next destination is a return visit – or a competing venue.
Better-targeted and intelligent promotions
Analyzing all this guest data can help the casino target its staff, service and promotions to the most receptive and valuable audiences.
For example, a high-roller can make the casino more revenue in a single sitting than hundreds of day-visitors who come to play penny slots each weekend. A CRM can recognize a repeat high-stakes gambler and automatically provide free champagne and a complimentary suite. It can even alert the bar to bring his or her favorite drink to the table, without being asked.
But the budget-minded visitors far outnumber the high-rollers. Indeed, the casino can’t exist without them. Knowing this, the CRM can send these guests “right-sized” promotions – a free buffet, some extra credit on a player’s card, or even a free night on the guest’s birthday.
Finally, it’s expensive to send weekly promotional mailings to guests that haven’t visited in years. A CRM can sift the data and prioritize premiums and mailings based on the frequency and location of each customer’s visits – or discontinue them altogether.
The name of the game: profitability
The end-game for any casino’s CRM system is profitability. Using CRM to categorize guests, customize the guest experience and laser-focus marketing promotions are just a few ways to reach that goal.
Others – such as sharing data across all applications and locations, pre-booking special services and upselling – we’ll discuss in future posts. For now, it’s important to remember that without effective CRM, a casino’s profitability might be up to a roll of the dice.