In the early 1980s, the airline industry was the first business sector to launch customer loyalty programs. These programs began as a plan to create product differentiation after the airline industry deregulation in the late 1970s. Since then, loyalty programs have transformed into huge businesses, and have been adopted by many industries and sectors of commerce. In the gaming industry, customer loyalty programs have become commonplace. They are used as a business strategy to differentiate one casino from the next. These programs seek to engender brand loyalty and increase the casino’s profitability.
ENGENDERING CUSTOMER LOYALTY
In the competitive gaming environment, casinos have implemented strategies to harness both attitudinal and behavioral loyalty from their customers. Standing out in a crowded field, where products and services offered by one casino are quite similar to those of its competitor, can be challenging. For example, casinos offer a core group of games such as poker, blackjack, and slot machines. These games are not significantly different from one casino to the next. This is where it becomes important to develop a brand strategy that engenders customer loyalty by offering benefits in the form of rewards to players to maintain their patronage or loyalty.
It is also true that increasingly, casinos are finding that customers are drawn to non-gaming activities, such as live entertainment events, celebrity chef-owned restaurant experiences, and pool and spa treatment experiences. As a result, many casinos are tailoring their loyalty programs so that customers can collect rewards for just about any non-gaming activity.
To incentivize customers to sign up for and participate in their reward programs, it is not uncommon for casinos to offer free rooms, dining, parking, theater, spa, free play, and much more. The more you spend, the more benefits you acquire. These incentives make gambling and staying on a casino’s property, more appealing to the consumer. In this way, casinos draw you to their brand so that you can reap the many rewards offered. In turn, casinos benefit from increased profitability.
TOOLS FOR SUCCESS
In most casino loyalty programs, customers receive a membership card that they then swipe at all transactions – casino games, restaurants, shows, stores, etc. With each swipe, data is collected about the customer, which is then used to tailor marketing messages and campaigns. Integrating customer loyalty programs with technology helps to improve customer retention and engagement. With technology-driven solutions, casinos can launch powerful marketing campaigns with cross-channel experiences to maximize customer engagement. For example, fully automated campaigns can be implemented for every stage of the player’s life-cycle, such as new members, birthdays, loyalty tier changes, jackpot winners, and more. These engagement tools can deliver personalized online player portals for members and guests and directly engage customers through custom-designed mobile apps. By personalizing the customer experience, and directly engaging with the customer, customer loyalty – and the casinos’ bottom line - increases.
REWARD YOURSELF TODAY!
As casinos strive to differentiate themselves from their competitors, loyalty programs can help to build long-term customer relationships. Delivering technology that creates personalized experiences will help to entice customers and keep them coming back for more. Technology-driven solutions are changing the face of how casinos interact with and engage customers.
To learn more about technology-driven solutions for casinos, give us a call today.