Trio CRM represents a radical shift in Casino Marketing technology as the first unified multi-channel communication platform specifically designed for the unique needs of casino hosts, player development executives and casino marketers.
Craig Shacklett, URComped CEO, talks with Viejas Casino and Resort’s VP of Player Development, Kacie Martin, to learn about her first-hand experience with TRIO CRM and how it has made drastic improvements just within the first month. Listen to podcast version.
Topics discussed include:
- Host leadership/ management improved through TRIO CRM
- How TRIO CRM improves team cohesiveness and communication
- How TRIO CRM improves communication between host and player
- Data security benefits of TRIO CRM
- Better growing customer service and customer relationships through TRIO CRM
- TRIO CRM shows real-time reports (host management/ customer behavior)
- Booking process streamlined and increased efficiency through TRIO CRM
- How TRIO CRM reduces human error
- How TRIO CRM is user friendly
- TRIO CRM evaluation process and integration
Full Transcript Below:
(0:00-0:19) Craig Shacklett: Hi everybody, Craig Shacklett here talking about TRIO CRM with the great Kacie Martin, Vice President of Player Development at Viejas Casino and Resort. Kacie, thank you for being here.
(0:19-0:21) Kacie Martin: You’re too kind. Thank you.
(0:21-0:32) CS: Kacie, it has been 1 month since we went live with TRIO CRM at Viejas with your entire host team. How has it been going so far?
(0:32-0:47) KM: It’s been going really well. It’s… I’m thrilled to have it. It’s a lifesaver for me considering with not having this technology. What I was having to do to hold the team accountable before. It’s been good.
(0:47-0:55) CS: Well. Why won’t we get into that? How has TRIO helped you as the leader of hosting?
(0:55-2:39) KM: The biggest help that it is, is I’ve been able to kind of give them the directive of what we want to sell and how we want to sell it straight through the software, right? So instead of an email directive of over-explaining what the offer is and what the business needs are for that time period, I’m able to load a text template with the details that make sense to send to the customer. Load an email template. They get the messaging really quickly, really efficiently. And then they’re able to customize it to their individual customers based on what they know. So it’s removing the over-explanation email that’s not always understood. And putting in the “This is the way we should position ourselves blankly. And then here why don’t you edit it to make sure it fits the customer that you’re talking to.” So the team and I are able to understand each other a lot quicker and without always having to be in the same place at the same time. So like a real-life example was, I’m in my office doing the day-to-day work that we all need to do. Team member comes in and says, “Hey Kacie. I want to sell the Bac Tournament. Can you help me create a text message because I want to start sending this out?” Right? So now instead of that one person having the initiative and coming and asking me what’s the right way or help to make the verbiage, you know… Just getting an input on “What verbiage should I use? Are you okay with this?” Now it’s, “Hey guys. Just left the marketing meeting. 35k Bac tournament is coming up this weekend. Here’s the text template with the things you need to know.” And all sending the same message. And we’re all on the same page. And we’re all selling to the entire database of hosted customers versus one or few team members taking a little bit slightly higher initiative than the rest. We can all, basically, take the same initiative together.
(2:39-2:49) CS: Is there a way for you now to actually see who is taking the initiative and who’s not taking the initiative? Do you have extra visibility now that you didn’t have before?
(2:49-3:54) KM: Yes. It’s really cool. I send like the general text of, “This is what we need to sell to the customer.” And then as I’m adding text templates every now and then, I see new ones being created. So new team members are going in and creating their own text template. And using it for themselves. Now when that might have been being done behind the scenes and no one’s the wiser, except for that one person. Yesterday is a great example. I saw one of our team members wanted to really get communicated his new number out. So he created a, “Hey, this is my new number…” And some verbiage behind it. And I was able to tell the teams like, “Hey guys. Daryl has gone ahead and created this for you. I’ve made a couple of tweaks so it’s usable for all of us. Thanks, Daryl for doing this.” And now I have 14 people with that same initiative instead of us never really knowing that Daryl took this upon himself to do it for its own list. It’s really cool. It allows us to share best practices. And it allows me to see some people are taking initiatives that maybe I didn’t know about, but now we can share those with the entire team instead of one person just doing something on their own.
(3:54-4:18) CS: And to help people that haven’t seen TRIO CRM. When you say you can actually see the messages and see them taking initiatives, like what exactly can you see? Because, obviously, you’ve used other CRM’s before. You could log it. I send a text message or I did something like every CRM has some visibility. But what is different about the visibility you get with TRIO CRM?
(4:18-5:43) KM: So every other CRM I’ve used is always self-reported, right? So that’s really easy. Guilty as charged. Yeah. Sure boss. I did all of this. I know my customers. I don’t need you to monitor everything I do. I talk to this guy yesterday and I’ll tell you what I felt like we talked about and then we move on. Now, it’s real-time documentation. So instead of, “Hey. I had 5 phone calls while I was on my way into work today.” And then I log into my CRM and just tell somebody I did it. Now, it’s as the calls being done. As the text is being done. As the emails being sent. Not only is it being logged in real- time. It’s also being logged. So we cannot, only myself, other leadership. The team members, we can all see the dialogue. So we can follow along what’s going on with the customer. So now for leadership, I can use that for coaching. I can see who’s using great verbiage, who might need help on verbiage. The team members then can also see what’s going on so if they need to tap in. So let’s say, you know, one of the team members leaves for the day and a customer texted like immediately after. One other team member can very quickly catch up to speed on what the conversation is and tap in and help like we haven’t skipped a beat. So the customer is not waiting for somebody to be available. We’re able to manage the customers’ expectations of getting them taken care of immediately versus waiting for one person to happen to be available.
(5:43-5:59) CS: And so what would you guys do or what did… You know, I know you’ve worked in other places as well. Like what was the procedure before a host is finished and a player responds. What do you think happened to that player wanting to book that tournament or wanting to book the hotel room?
(5:59-7:35) KM: They waited. They waited for somebody to get back to them. So the team member had to be in the position in their personal life to understand the message or to receive the message. And then also be in the place where they could over a phone, email into either the team member that helps book reservations or a team member on-site where they might have needed even more information. So if a customer asks for a hotel room and I’m off-site, I have no way of knowing do we have availability? What’s the criteria? Has it changed since I’ve left for the day? So now I’m receiving the request from the customer. Contacting the property either via email or phone call. And who knows how long that’s going to take to get a hold of somebody. And then somebody’s going to have to retrieve the information and dictate it to me over the phone or email which isn’t the best way to receive. I think you like to see the big picture when you’re deciding if somebody qualifies for something or not. Then you have to rely on that person’s up to speed on the communication and the criteria and everything. you need to know to make the decision. And then you get back to the customer. So if the customers qualify and say, “Yes. I want to come in repeat all of that I just went through. Getting a hold of somebody. Getting the customer taken care of. And going through all that. I mean, that can take… I mean, it’s just too long. It’s too many steps. And it’s too long. And the customers waiting. And the team member is off work and should be enjoying dinner with their wife and kids. Or, you know, the soccer practice with their son or whatever that means for them, right? So now, customer texts in. We know what the request is. Somebody on sites able to handle it probably within 5 minutes versus what the hour-long dialogue I probably just described, right?
(7:35-7:50) CS: So now you’re able to offer your Viejas customers literal 24-7 support as opposed to when that host is off and wherever their cellphone is that’s when coverage stops.
(7:50-8:08) KM: Exactly. And the expectation now is if you want work-life balance enjoy it we’ve got you covered on-property. If you want to maintain your relationships with your customers when you’re off-property by all means that’s your choice. But we can all now be better support systems for each other with accurate information and efficiently.
(8:08-8:29) CS: Now we’re talking about information, obviously, data security is a big concern for a lot of casinos, right? We’ve all seen the news. Yeah. A lot of casinos going other places. And non-competes get thrown around. Lawsuits happen. How does TRIO help protect your valuable player data?
(8:29-9:55) KM: So the… What’s really neat is the contact information isn’t even visible. And it doesn’t need to be visible because you’re texting and calling and emailing through TRIO. So I never need to dial a phone number. I never need to save that contact information to my phone. Because it’s web-based and I can access everything through there. So because of that, we don’t have the ability for cellphones to get stolen or you left it in the bathroom at the airport and now a cellphone is getting stolen and hacked into. Contact information doesn’t need to be stored in there. It is stored here at Viejas at our, I.T.’s super safe way of doing that. I have no idea how that’s done. That’s what I.T. does and that’s their world. But they are able to house everything here safely and securely up to the standards that they need to do it. And our host team doesn’t have to worry about things that sales teams don’t typically know. I don’t know anything about tech. But I don’t need to because we have a great tech team that does it. And the host cannot worry about protecting data because it’s protected for them. On the flip side, if we have team members that come and go, evident they always do. We don’t have to worry about about information being taken home with them. We are able to keep that data safely stored, secure here at Viejas. Because it is Viejas is propriety information. And it is their asset. So it protects both team member and company in great ways.
(9:55-10:26) CS: Now a couple minutes ago you talked about how a booking can sometimes just be a, lack of a better word, a “Cluster” especially a host off-site trying to figure out availability. Now how has TRIO streamlined your hotel booking process?
Because like a lot of casinos the host team isn’t the one actually logging in and booking the room. They have to work with the hotel department. So maybe tell us a little bit about what the process like before and how has TRIO streamlined it for you.
(10:26-12:24) KM: So prior to it was all email-based. It was host team emails to the VIP Reservations Department. What was happening there is, we all have our own styles. We all write bodies of email differently. So… And we all may or may not have all of the information that needs to be there for the other person to help do their part in booking a reservation. So it was… “Cluster” is, actually, the best word to describe what was going on. Because then there is also because customers change their mind, we change criteria, rooms… All sorts of things change. So then if we were fortunate that somebody would keep everything in the same chain of email. Awesome. If not, we’ve got emails now flying all over the place for not only the original reservation but then the changes that have to be made after that. So it was really difficult to track multiple things. What really are we doing? Do I get where… Because nobody’s following a timestamp in email. They are just taking it as they get it. So if there were changes that got missed along the way, which was understandable, then we’d have some problems with it not being accurate when a customer arrived. So what we were able to do in TRIO is we were able to get what information has to be made on a reservation. What other optional information is there that we need to track. And so now the team can fill out a form. It is in the same format every time we send a reservation in. And the exact same information is there. So when the reservation team gets it, they’re used to seeing the information the same way every time. So muscle memory starts to set in which now reduces the ability for human error because they’re getting the same information in the same form.And then they’re able to input it a lot more quickly and a lot more efficiently.
They’re not searching for anything. And then when those inevitable changes happen, it’s all done on the same reservation form.
So everybody can track and watch it. And we have just seen a reduced amount of human error. And we’ve seen a much more efficient way of getting a reservation in. It’s now confirmations are coming in within, I’d say, 5 to 20 minutes versus sitting there waiting for an email to come back to us after that, again, that very lengthy process had to happen.
(12:42-13:13) CS: For clarification. I guess it doesn’t need to be clarified just they did in the first place that… So you have your host team using TRIO. The Hotel Department has access to TRIO as well. Where they can… The trips move to a different status. Like conveyor belt that goes to… Needs booking and then the Hotel Department does it. They enter the confirmation number and moves to reservation confirmed. And then what’s cool is it reflects on a scoreboard that you and your whole team has access to. So what do you see on that scoreboard and what’s useful to you there?
(13:13-14:13) KM: It’s useful for me to see when our reservations being booked because it will help me… I think and I haven’t made the determination on how I’ll react to this information yet or not. But do I need to staff differently during the day because people are booking more reservations during the day? Or do hotel and I need to have an understanding that we’re going to have a lot more last-minute bookings? So we need to keep our criterias open a little bit longer and not go to “Stop Sell” so early in the day because we do get a lot of bookings at happen later at night. So the understanding of when these are coming in and when to see them on the dashboard will just help the hotel and I just have a better understanding of our customer behavior. Because at the end of the day, we need to react to their behavior versus trying to get the customer to fit into what we want, right? So to be able to see what the host team is doing with their best players and be able to apply that to our business needs is going to be huge. I don’t know how that’s going to look yet. I mean, it’s only been a month. But, you know, that information will be probably game-changing for us, I think.
(14:13-14:26) CS: So it has been a month and we had an evaluation process before going live to your whole team. Why don’t you talk about what the evaluation process was like with TRIO.
(14:26-15:57) KM: So a big piece of it was just making sure the I.T. communication between TRIO and our I.T. Department here on data being loaded into TRIO from us to them was going to be smooth. Or were there kinks that need to be worked out. And, obviously, that straight away no kinks seemed to need to be worked out. Our I.T. Department is thrilled. The communication piece is going beautifully back and forth. And we haven’t had any hiccups there. So that’s been… That’s been wonderful. And that was a piece we wanted to make sure worked before we did this with the entire host team database, right? The other piece was just seeing how customers would respond to being communicated in this manner. Getting a number that they kind of didn’t know
and wasn’t associated with their host or Viejas. What were they going to do to react? Nobody cared. Like they were fine with it. Some people I don’t even think noticed which is beautiful. Which means the host knows them. They see the hostname. They associate Viejas. You know, that piece was wonderful. And then I think the other one was just making sure how quickly the team members would need to understand the change of behavior. Be comfortable with your text messages are going to be read.
How is that going to look? And also get comfortable with your other hosts are going to start having communications with the customers that you want to claim as yours. All of that really went smooth really quick. So, fortunately, we were able to jump in
and get all 14 on board a lot faster than I think you and I thought we were be able to. Or at least me. I think you probably knew more than I did. But…
(15:57-16:14) CS: No. You’re very confident it would work. And I guess, obviously, you wanted it to drive more business. That was a factor too. Was that able to be proven during the trial?
(16:14-16:35) KM: Yeah. I think so. Especially with hotel bookings. We were able to see how hotel bookings not only increased but we were able to manage our hotel better. Reservations were getting in more efficiently. The right customers were getting booked. And we were able to increase our comp bookings which, obviously, is what every hotel wants, right? So that was great.
(16:35-17:07) CS: Yeah. So it was… You talked about a new number. So with TRIO we set up a local number. So it looks like, you know, could be Viejas has a new number. And that was… Yeah. That was a part where like, “Alright. Let’s see how this works.” And then it was went out. It was, “Hey. This is my new number. Would you like a room for this weekend?” It was kind like a using a number and you want an offer. And then… I think it was… It felt like it was like one out of a hundred players didn’t even acknowledge the new number. They’re just like, “Sweet. Yeah. I’ll take a new room. I’ll take a room.”
(17:07-17:51) KM: I don’t think they even notice. I don’t think. And my favorite was one customer is like, “Oh. You’ve never spoken to me this way. I like it. Yeah. Sure. I’ll take a room.” Yeah. Great. Yeah. Great. I think, the biggest piece to that’s nice for the customers it’s not coming from a 5-digit like obvious text marketing campaign, right? It is coming from a full 10-digit number. And it’s personalized from the host so it doesn’t come off as like a robocall because it’s not, right? But I think that’s probably the most important piece is they feel like they’re getting spoken to by a host who has a normal cellphone. And they are. There’s… I think that’s probably the big piece of making the customers feel comfortable with it.
(17:51-18:13) CS: Yeah. It’s a good point because there is… A lot of casinos say, “Oh. We have text messaging.” But there’s a difference between the text messaging that their host does on their cellphone which is very personal. And that, actually, is very effective sales tool. Versus the phone number that’s like, “Hey. Come on in for triple points on, you know, on Tuesdays and it’s Senior Night on Friday.”
(18:13-18:30) KM: Exactly. I mean, which is effective to a degree. Gets a message out, “Hey. This is what’s going on our property.” And that serves its purpose, right? But for the host to be able to still have personable communication and the customer to feel comfortable with sharing information that helps build relationships that, I think, that 10 digit number is So very important.
(18:30-18:42) CS: Well, Kacie. I am excited. We are one month in. The results are already, I think, better and more exciting than we anticipated. And I think, a lot of it has to do with your great leadership. So thank you.
(18:42-18:43) KM: Thank you.
(18:43-18:55) CS: And any… What are you looking forward to, you know, 1 month in? And is there anything you’re looking forward to over the next 3 months, six months, year with TRIO.
(18:55-20:00) KM: I’m looking forward to the team finally letting go of the “I have to work at home” pressure. Although I appreciate anybody wants to work at home. I myself still work when I’m off-the-clock, if that even exist. But I’m looking forward to them feeling comfortable with “This is a Viejas customer. And all of my team members can help. And all of my team members provide equal service as I do. And the group really, really coming together.” I think, for me that’s what I’m really looking forward to. And I think this tool… And this is going to be very Viejas specific. But I do think this tool will help bridge this team together and provide more camaraderie versus the previous closed culture. And I think this is something that the is industry standard is “Its my customers and I have to drive this” which I appreciate. But I do think it’ll be nice to move into the realm of “This is Viejas customer. I manage the account for the company. And all of my team members are here to assist. And we can all have a better working relationship and a better work-life balance.”
(20:00-20:09) CS: I love it. Well. We’ll definitely do another one of these maybe in couple 3 months and we could talk about what progress we’ve made towards that goal.
(20:09-20:11) KM: Awesome. Sounds great. Alright.
(20:11-20:12) CS: Well. Thank you so much, Kacie.
(20:12-20:16) KM: Thank you.