What IS Preemptive Reactivation?

Simply put, Preemptive Reactivation is a name for a Player Development approach in casino gaming. It is a method for identifying and mitigating player loss.

There are three steps:
1. Identify a new or imminent threat to which you may lose good players
2. Determine which of your very best players are likely to migrate to the new option you’ve identified
3. Assign those players to a host (if they aren’t coded already) to work on solidifying the relationship to prevent their departure

Here’s an example. You are looking at the numbers and notice that your hosted players are making fewer trips than they did last quarter and compared to the same quarter last year. While this may not come as a surprise to you in light of the economics in the last few years, you are conscientious and want to find out why.

Time for step one.

Identifying the threat is often the most difficult thing to accomplish. If it’s imminent, maybe you already know about it. Perhaps there is a shiny new casino opening up in one of your main markets. You could be facing the expansion of an existing competitor, looking at an aging property you cannot properly upgrade, or it could be as big as the leviathan that will be legal online gaming in the USA. But, there’s a chance it’s more of an internal issue. Have you received feedback that better players are dissatisfied with club benefits, direct mail offers, service failures or something else you can address in-house? If it’s something like that, or if you just aren’t sure, leverage your host team in any number of ways to achieve this objective.

Give them a series of questions to work into player conversations to tease out the reasons for diminished play/visits. Give them a survey interface into which they can enter the card number and check (or type in) the reasons given to them BY THE GUESTS for their less frequent visitation. Hold events, have executives record outgoing calls to ask players to contact a host with concerns, or drop a postcard in the mail for a special “tell us about ourselves” day in conjunction with your operational department teams. Set up a feedback loop with your Casino Host team at its core. The answer you get the most often is your biggest threat. Then you’ll know why the numbers are down.

Now, step two.

Determining which players are most likely to defect is only marginally less tricky than identifying the threat. In our scenario, you should be able to identify which players are making fewer trips, but in the event of an imminent threat, you’ll need to do some detective work.

You know from where your better players come, right? Look at those zip codes and determine whether those players are closer to you or the new/upgraded competitor. They’ll tell you if they are getting more compelling offers from another casino they’ve visited. Determine who else has been there and evaluate whether you have the stomach for the bidding war that might ensue if you try to buy back the business.

Whatever the threat, you have to come up with a plan for mitigating the losses. Offer your players an alternative that’s more appealing than whatever they’re thinking of leaving you for. You’ll be able to see the effectiveness of your plan when the trip numbers start to shift.

Then, step three.

Make adjustments to your hosts’ player lists in order to ensure ongoing communication and satisfaction with your property. This single step will do more to secure the loyalty of your best players than anything else you do. Maybe in step two, you determined that the food offers coming from a competitor were driving your best players to their steakhouse. You don’t want to dismantle your entire direct mail program to cater to a small segment of high-end players. Instead, use the personal touch that is casino player development. Empower your casino hosts to offer those players a premium: the guest turns in to the host his mailer coupon for four buffets in exchange for an equal value in the steakhouse. The player can make the reservations and make all the arrangements for the guest’s convenience, meet him in the steakhouse, do some relationship building and exchange the paperwork.

In order to make this work, you’ll need some pretty specific analytics. You’ll need to have several months’ or quarters’ worth of player development reports, your direct mail redemption analysis, a breakdown of your hosted players including demographics and frequency, and that’s just for starters.

You’ll also need an articulate and engaged team of casino hosts, a participatory executive team and some guests who aren’t afraid to speak their minds. (Fortunately, that last one isn’t very difficult to find!)

Harvest Trends can help with some of the rest of the things you’ll need. (Sorry, you’re on your own with the executives.) Contact Amy J Hudson at ahudson@harvesttrends.com or at 304-218-1265 to find out how.

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About harvesttrends

These posts on Casino Player Development are brought to you by Harvest Trends. We specialize in Player Development (PD). Please take a look at PowerHost, a comprehensive way to drive revenue from your team of Casino Hosts and Player Development Executives. Or contact me, Paul Cutler, at 561.860.2621 or pcutler@harvesttrends.com. I will overnight you an informative package along with pricing. We offer Host training, consulting on Host programs and goals, and PowerHost to enable Hosts to drive revenue from targeted contacts with valuable players.
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