One of my favorite sayings is, “The operation was a success but the patient still died.” Oftentimes, in today’s highly competitive casino industry, balancing common sense with value or perceived value in a highly regulated environment can make the difference between success or having your patient (the customer) die (or disappear). This may sound strange but one of my friends named Dennis Conrad who I think is one of the better casino marketing consultants (besides myself) in the casino industry today, also has a favorite expression; “Doing business today is not about making money, it is about creating value”. I totally agree with Dennis.
One time, I received a telephone call from a small player that I knew quite well on a personal basis. He called me to tell me that he was sorry but that he was going to have to cancel his reservation at Foxwoods. I asked him why, and he informed me that he was offered a better deal from another casino. He told me that he received a discount coupon in the mail and that he could use that extra savings for play in the casino. The $20 difference in room rates represented value to him. I was also intrigued because this customer was own brother. So much for loyalty in the casino industry today; value won. This made me think for a moment about what else do we take for granted that we often see day in and day out that may be perceived as “value” by our customers. Every casino in the world has either direct or indirect competitors depending upon their location.
Foxwoods was rapidly approaching its annual strategic planning sessions. Therefore, I decided to issue a challenge to all Foxwoods management throughout the organization to first take a good hard look at our own operation within each of their own operating divisions and then to make at least three personal visits to our direct competitors or any other competitors on either a local or a regional basis. I discussed this with our CEO, who immediately recognized the thought process, and issued a personal memo to all management to support our new Value Project and to accept the challenge. […]