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There is no doubt that the opening of the new Star Casino in Brisbane will have an impact on the Queensland club industry, to what extent will very much depend on a venue’s location, mix of business activities, and the professionalism of Committee/Board and Management. The Synergy Report commissioned by Clubs Queensland suggested a gaming loss in the order of 15%.

There is one key area where club Committees/Boards and Management can help offset the casino impact: raising the level of customer service.  Most people like to go to a place where they are made to feel welcome and important and clubs have the unique ability to create a personal connection because of their smaller size compared to the casino, as well as their community contributions and connection.

Thomas Watson, founder of IBM, famously quoted “worry about customer service and profit will be automatic”.  One of Richard Branson’s frequent quotes was, “don’t worry about competition worry about customer service”.

Improving customer service doesn’t come without a concentrated effort by everybody, to be successful includes many elements. I have just set out in this article a few of those key elements.

  1. A commitment from the club’s Committee/Board and Management to increase the level of the club’s customer service standards. 
  2. Develop a plan with all the club’s stakeholders to substantially increase the level of customer service.
  3. Make sure you understand what drives your business and customers.
  4. Obtain a strong commitment from the club’s Committee/Board and management to invest in customer service and staff training.
  5. Measure the venue’s current level of customer service, with surveys, mystery shops, and competitive analysis.
  6. Make sure you understand who your key customers are and what their expectations are.
  7. Improve staff knowledge of the club’s community contributions services and products.
  8. Appoint a frontline staff customer service committee and host.
  9. Introduce significant rewards and recognition for staff who demonstrate excellence in customer service.
  10. Develop a non-negotiable customer service code of conduct for all club stakeholders.
  11. Ensure that all staff know they are in the entertainment business not just the food, beverage and gaming business.
  12. Always employ on personality not the skills.  Skills are easily learned; personality cannot be taught.
  13. Ensure the proportion of permanent to casual frontline staff is positive.  Statistically, permanent staff deliver high level of commitment and customer service.
  14. Develop an educational program to ensure what the club expects and what training the club will provide to assist in improving staff product knowledge, service techniques and customer’s service expectation.

If you been successful in raising the level and commitment of customer service in your venue I’d love to hear your story, or if you would like to discuss how to raise the level of customer service and commitment in your club why not send me an email to john@dws.net.au or give me a bell on 0417 721 942.

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