When it comes to collecting data, perhaps no industry captures as much information about its customers’ habits as the casino industry.
What tables they play, what times, how often and what they drink -- casinos often track all of that information, particularly for the high rollers.
For more on CRM strategy
A research firm says claims of customer focus mostly talk
An analyst shares how contact centers can mine data
Yet for years, Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., has used as many as 12 CRM software applications in its contact center.
Now, with new casinos expected to increase competition in the Northeast, Mohegan Sun wants to better understand its target audience. The casino has put its money down on an Infor suite of CRM software programs with the goal of finally integrating all its customer information.
Mohegan Sun will implement Infor10 CRM Enterprise programs across its marketing, sales and customer service departments to better entice, sell and serve those who like to gamble, eat dinner and take in a show.
“We see it as an opportunity to upsell and cross-sell,” said Chris Friday, Mohegan Sun’s senior vice president of information technology. “We didn’t have that function before.”
Not only that, but Mohegan Sun didn’t offer much of a technological incentive to prevent call center agents from leaving. The patchwork of CRM systems the casino had used in its contact center required as many as six months of training, frustrating agents and pushing many of them out the door. Friday estimates the casino’s contact center has nearly a 50% staff turnover rate.
“You’re training people on 10 to 12 systems and then on the phone with very little added value,” Friday said.
Casino rivalry highlights need for better CRM strategy
Even though it’s the second-largest casino in the U.S., Mohegan Sun decided it couldn’t keep rolling the dice with CRM, especially when it will soon face more competition.
Foxwoods Resort Casino, one of the biggest casinos in the world, has famously competed with Mohegan Sun in Connecticut for years. But in the next few years, neighboring Massachusetts has plans to build three new casinos, and there’s legislative talk of allowing gaming tables in Rhode Island and New York -- all potentially peeling away customers from Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods.
“Our prime competitor was Foxwoods,” Friday said. “In five years, we could see a much more competitive environment in the Northeast.”
Mohegan Sun will first implement Infor 10 CRM Enterprise Sales & Service, which will, among other functions, allow the casino's player development and host groups to make private notes for players and create private events for those gamblers.
Then, by fall, the contact center will start to use Infor10 CRM Enterprise Service, which will book all sorts of reservations and have the information flow directly into all existing Mohegan Sun applications. And by year’s end, the marketing department should have use of Infor10 CRM Enterprise Interaction Adviser, a program that predicts customers’ preferences.
At the very least, an integrated CRM software system should reduce the training time of call center agents and lend to improved morale, Friday said. “We believe, to some extent, there’s a frustration factor,” he said of the disparate systems used until now. “Bringing in a system like Infor might help.”
Friday also hopes the Infor system reduces the time an agent speaks with a customer. More time can be spent selling the customers what they want because Interaction Adviser will give agents a better idea of what patrons like to do when at Mohegan Sun, he said.
For instance, knowing if a customer wants a non-smoking room, prefers lamb chops at Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse -- one of the more than 20 restaurants at Mohegan Sun -- or wants to play blackjack for two hours before strolling to a roulette table will help book a stay. If an agent knows a customer likes oldies rock, it will make it easier to suggest staying at the hotel on the night The Beach Boys perform.
Agents will also know who’s a high roller and can arrange time with a “player development representative,” employees with one-on-one relationships with deep-pocketed customers.
“We really see ourselves having a more personalized relationship with our customers,” Friday said. “The more information we have about their preferences…we think we can make better recommendations to them.”
Right now, about 75% of Mohegan Sun’s CRM initiatives occur through the contact center, but the casino hopes the Infor platform will create a more vibrant Web connection. With the new technology and marketing strategies, Friday would eventually like to see the CRM strategy split evenly between the contact center and the Web.
One day, Mohegan Sun would like to run an advertising campaign that entices customers to call or use a Web channel, and then be greeted with a tailored sales offer. It is the sort of complete CRM that Mohegan Sun has long wanted to use.
“It’s knowing what type of vodka they like and have it waiting for them in their hotel room,” Friday said.