COVID-19 continues to pose severe challenges to casinos forced to shutter their doors abruptly at the beginning of the pandemic. Amid the crisis, the gaming industry experienced seismic changes with internet and mobile gaming growth, both an emerging opportunity and a competitor for land-based casinos.
Now, many casinos have only recently reopened as coronavirus restrictions ease, seeking to bring customers back and attract new customers--all amid headlines about new COVID variants and vaccine breakthrough cases. While many casinos and tribal casino properties throughout the United States are now open with or without capacity restrictions, consumer confidence in returning to these spaces remains a concern as casinos keep a close eye on their margins and operating costs.
These continued challenges necessitate new marketing strategies to attract the loyalty of new customers and increase revenue for casinos. This article shares several strategies to help casinos and tribal casino properties grow their customer base in the current climate.
How to Market a Casino in 2021
A year and a half into a global pandemic, consumers are eager to get back to normal and resume their favorite social activities. With job growth rebounding, consumers also have more disposable income to spend on hobbies like gaming. But many are still wary about sharing indoor spaces with others.
As news of new COVID variants have emerged, and safety protocols like masking and social distancing have relaxed in many areas, some consumers have again begun pulling back on indoor activities like eating in restaurants and enjoying bars, regardless of their vaccination status (Wall Street Journal).
Marketing a casino in 2021 means clearly addressing consumer health and safety concerns upfront and ensuring customers have a positive experience once inside, so they keep coming back. A successful casino reopening will focus on the following four areas:
1. Create a Clean, Safe, and Healthy Casino Environment
Creating a clean, safe, and healthy environment is critical to building consumer confidence in your establishment and returning patrons. You might think thorough and effective cleaning will be costly and time-consuming, increasing your operating costs and eating into revenues. However, cleaning automation technologies have made it much faster and less expensive to maintain high cleanliness levels.
For example, cleaning robots are an affordable way to take care of monotonous but critical cleaning tasks like vacuuming--which directly impacts the air quality of an indoor environment. Vacuuming alone can take up to 30% of a cleaning team’s time, so offloading that work to a robot makes it possible to keep up with sanitizing and disinfecting the many shared surfaces throughout the casino--all without adding significant overhead.
2. Clearly Communicate Casino Health and Safety Standards
Keeping your establishment clean is just one piece of the puzzle. Since many aspects of cleanliness aren’t visible to the naked eye, it’s essential to be transparent and upfront about your health and safety protocols. This is critical even before a customer enters the casino. In fact, some patrons may avoid visiting a casino at all if they aren’t sure what the safety standards are and can’t find that information online--resulting in enormous revenue potential lost by lack of communication.
According to a Medallia survey, 79% of consumers said they look up health and safety standards before visiting a business, and 82% said they are more likely to visit an establishment that proactively communicates its safety standards and procedures. A couple of practical ways to achieve this transparency include publishing your health and safety protocols on your website and sending them by email to existing customers. These simple marketing strategies can help build customer confidence before visiting the casino in person.
3. Help Customers Visualize Your Commitment to their Safety
Once customers are in the casino, make them feel at ease by visually reinforcing your health and safety protocols. For example, post prominent displays and signage throughout the casino to inform consumers about your health and safety practices. Consider issuing cleaning announcements over an intercom in lobby and restroom areas to communicate when and how the casino is being cleaned in real-time.
Another way to create a visual and transparent cleaning ecosystem is by leveraging cleaning robots. Seeing cleaning robots in action can reassure staff and customers that the environment is being thoroughly cleaned--day in and day out. For example, Whiz, the commercial robot vacuum from SoftBank Robotics, vacuums independently, trapping particles in its HEPA filter and improving indoor air quality with every sweep.
In addition to being a visual reminder of your cleaning protocols, cleaning robots are also IoT devices that automatically collect valuable data to quantify your health and safety plan. For example, you can easily verify when a cleaning robot last cleaned any given area.
4. Empower Staff to Deliver Better Customer Experiences
Finally, many casinos are feeling the impact of a labor shortage. With fewer workers available to serve customers, the customer experience may suffer. If these workers must also spend more of their time cleaning, that means they’re spending less time and attention looking after customers. With too many tasks on employees’ plates, the quality of execution is also at risk. Shortcuts may be taken and steps may be forgotten that can reduce the quality of both cleaning and customer service. Automating cleaning and similar rote activities frees up the time your staff needs to focus on value-added activities that truly move the needle on customer satisfaction--and keep people coming back.
To learn more, contact SoftBank Robotics today.