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The Value of the Non-Gaming Guest

Jul 13,2017


We’re at a pivotal time in the industry when businesses must shift their thinking and the way they approach revenue growth. Transforming the guest experience is the new path to maximizing revenue. Sometimes referred to as GEM (Guest Experience Management), this transformation is essentially about creating a seamless, memorable time while on property. Amenities such as golf, spa, entertainment, or other activities can translate to improved brand loyalty, repeat business and increased wallet share. That’s the end game. To do this, we must see beyond the single transaction and instead have a 360-degree view of guest interactions at every single touch point throughout the property.We’re at a pivotal time in the industry when businesses must shift their thinking and the way they approach revenue growth. Transforming the guest experience is the new path to maximizing revenue. Sometimes referred to as GEM (Guest Experience Management), this transformation is essentially about creating a seamless, memorable time while on property. Amenities such as golf, spa, entertainment, or other activities can translate to improved brand loyalty, repeat business and increased wallet share. That’s the end game. To do this, we must see beyond the single transaction and instead have a 360-degree view of guest interactions at every single touch point throughout the property.

Improving Your Vision: Gaining a 360-degree View

For some large resort operators, non-gaming spend contributes more than 25% of the resort’s net revenue. We can’t underestimate the value of these guests, and understanding their behaviors and habits, really knowing them. We’ve outlined a few approaches operators have used to glean more insights into this important guest demographic.

  1. Loyalty and rewards programs are but one way to keep this important demographic coming back.
    Rewards programs are most successful when guests feel that they earn something every time they spend something. A hotel stay or a purchase made at the coffee shop using a rewards card, for example, earns the guest points that can be applied to casino credits, retail, entertainment or elsewhere. Operators should consider digital loyalty programs that offer the added advantage of electronically capturing guest preferences and spending habits.
  2. Guests are always connected.
    Whether just arriving, at the restaurant, poolside or even after departure, they’re eager to be social about their whereabouts, their meals and what they’re doing. Properties keeping an eye on social review sites for feedback will have an advantage in delivering quality GEM. These sites are a goldmine of guest stories that operators may not otherwise hear. Stories about what people like most, what they like least and occasionally, surprising feedback that requires the simplest operational change to correct.
  3. Implementing technology that supports GEM will certainly make a difference.
    However, prior to implementing that new technology, first take a look at your existing solutions and the data that’s readily available. What does it tell you about existing guests? Review and assess how well the data informs the business about guest preferences and habits. Identify the top three to five initiatives that will allow the business to create an ideal experience - taking guest service to the next level. What else may be needed to be able to deliver on these initiatives? This doesn’t mean a unique guest experience is necessary for every single guest profile, but being prepared to select the most appropriate experience for the given profiles you’ve identified will surely set you apart from competition.

Technology Considerations
Nothing essential has changed for the industry; it remains clearly focused on delivering the best experience possible for everyone. Guests are going to continue spending, but they’re becoming more cognizant of where the spend is going, often looking to get greater value from each spend. The technology used on property must take into consideration the end-to-end guest experience, from recruitment to post-departure. There are certain solutions that will enable guest satisfaction and help you meet business objectives. But more than thinking about technology, think about the experiences you want to create for the different guest profiles. Then look at the technologies that will support those service levels and help meet business objectives better, faster and maybe even at a lower cost.

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