Thursday, April 11, 2013

Good service makes for happy customers

On any given day, most people who play in casinos are going to lose money. Casino operators know that, and players know it too.

The trick for the operators is to make the players feel good about their day out. Little customer service touches go a long way toward keeping us happy, or close. Check out a few readers’ stories of times the casinos got it right:

Mae: I was in a casino that was practically empty. That seems to happen a lot lately. Crowds seem smaller than they used to be.

Anyway, I practically had my choice of slot machines. There were probably a few hundred people scattered around the casino, but in any one area there were only a few, and I could play what I want. I started looking for a machine, and a slot attendant caught my eye. “You should start with that one over there,” she said. “It still has money on it.”

I smiled and thanked her, and went to check it out. It was an older quarter three-reel game, and I usually don’t play those very much. But sure enough, there were 31 credits on the game. I guess the player must have left, because there was no club card in the machine and the attendant wouldn’t have told me to play if there was still someone there.

So I played the 31 credits. To be honest, I felt a little funny about it, and I put in $10 of my own, too, so I started with 71 credits. I wish I could tell you I won a big jackpot or something, but nothing like that happened. I hit the single bars a few times, and a few cherries, and played for a while, but in the end I lost the 71 credits. Then I went and played the video slots I usually play.

Still, it was really a nice, unexpected bonus to start with “their” money. I’d never had that happen before, and I’ve never had it happen since. I always figured the casino just kept the money when someone left credits.

Margie: This was pretty cool. My husband and I drove a couple of hours to a casino I’d never played in before. He’d been there a few times, but I hadn’t. When we got there, I spotted a sign that said they were giving a free case of soda to new club members after some minimum amount of play. It was a kind I liked, so I asked my husband about how much I’d have to play. It would be a nice bonus, since I buy it anyway.

He said I probably wasn’t eligible, that he thought I already was a member of the club. There’s another casino we go to that’s owned by the same company, and he said they have the same club.

I didn’t think to bring my card from the other club. He did. He had his card in his wallet. So I went to the booth to get a new card, and I asked them about the soda. They said yes, I was already a member, but that I’d never redeemed a new member bonus, so if I played, I could get the soda.

It only took me about a half an hour, and I was playing penny slots. We played a couple of hours more than that, had a nice time, went to the steak house for a nice dinner. Then on the way out I picked up my soda. I teased my husband that he should have left his card at home. Maybe we could have gotten two cases. They were so nice about it.

Eleanor: I once did a really dumb thing in a casino. I went to cash out, and pushed the button to print out a ticket. While it was printing, I changed glasses. I wear bifocals for normal wear, but looking at the screen for a long time gives me headaches. So I change to a pair of reading glasses while I play, then change back when it’s time to walk around.

So I put my reading glasses into their case in my purse and put on my regular glasses, and started to walk away. A slot attendant saw what was happening, and shouted after me, “Wait, honey! You’ve forgotten something,” and she stood by my machine.

I’d forgotten something all right – ticket with $283 on it. “It’s a good thing I caught you,” she said. “If we don’t notice, there’s always somebody ready to pick off those tickets.”

I thanked her, and thanked her again, and slipped her a $10 tip. It was worth it.

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