Do you engage with your gamers by phone? It’s common player development practice in the US, but few venues seem to have a dedicated phone engagement program in Australia.

It can be a daunting prospect for staff to pick up the phone and call a member. They’ll have excuses like ‘What do I say to them?”, “What do I offer them?” But there are ways to overcome this and work through it.

This article from Raving Consulting partner Daniel Wood explains how to overcome “Call Reluctance” and utilise this effective sales method to build long-term loyalty with your gamers.

Overcoming Call Reluctance

The best way to start overcoming call reluctance is to look at the big picture. Why are we contacting these members? What’s the purpose of my call?

Loyalty is built over time and so should your sales approach. When the guest has an experience they enjoy (i.e., playing pokies, entering promotions or VIP events), they naturally want to experience it again.

Always remember people want three things:

  1. To be seen 
  2. To be heard
  3. To know they matter

Don’t just pick up the phone and call them with an offer or promotions, you need to engage your guests and then let them speak. If you give them enough time, they will tell you everything they want and expect from you and your venue.

Here are three things you can do to help overcome call reluctance and work to build loyalty with your members  on the phone:

  1. Identify a reason for the call

This helps you justify in your mind and theirs, the reason for the call. It can be a variety of purposes such as:

  • “How did you like the last VIP event?”
  • “When is your partner’s birthday or your anniversary?”
  • “I was just thinking about you and wanted to check-in.”
  • “We haven’t seen you in a while and wanted to make sure you were okay.”
  • “I just realised that I don’t have an email address for you, do you prefer direct mail or can I get an email for you?”
  1. Be real

This sounds so simple. Yet, it is one of the most challenging skills to develop as a Player Development host. This means you have to stop talking and listen! If you are talking, you are not listening. If you are not listening, you won’t be learning, and you won’t know how to lead the conversation. Don’t be afraid to ask your guests how they feel, what their experience was like, or why they haven’t been back to see you. Then, stop talking and listen!

  1. Don’t be short-term minded

It’s okay to call a guest to invite them to an event or to remind them of their offers but don’t let that be the only reason for your call. Identify another reason for the call and start with that reason first. This is your backup plan if they can’t make it. Whatever you do, don’t just end the call because they are going to be out of town for the event. This is where you let them know that it isn’t a big deal they are missing the event and that you look forward to seeing them when they get back. You have to look at the big picture and maintain a long-term strategy.

Sight is for people that can only see what is directly in front of them. Vision is being able to look to the horizon and imagine what could be. Sometimes we evaluate a guest based on their historical play or experience, not what their play could be


Raving hosts an Indian Gaming Analytics and Marketing Conference each January. Next year it is California.  Find out more details here.