Wynn Gets Back In The Customer Service Game
On April 28th, 2014, Wynn Las Vegas will celebrate its 9th birthday. It is impossible to calculate the importance of Wynn Las Vegas had to the DNA of the greater VT community in those days. Everything Wynn was a near obsession, and for good reason. Steve Wynn, architect DeRuyter Butler, designer Roger Thomas and the rest of Wynn top brass created a resort that was sexy, playful, elegant and breathtaking. No other casino opening before or since had the level of expectation and hype that the opening of Wynn Las Vegas did.
For Wynn, the former enfant terrible turned brash executive that nearly lost it all in a sea of hubris, everything was riding on the launch of Wynn Las Vegas. Including his name.
Employees, whom Steve Wynn calls the life blood of his properties, were perfectly trained, executing brilliantly from the moment the doors opened. For a while it seemed that Wynn could do no wrong - stirring the pot, garnering headlines, expanding to Macau and continually spinning yarns of brilliance without breaking a sweat.
Then, in 2008, the real estate market sent the economy tumbling in to the worst recession ever. Five months later, Encore opened... flooding thousands of stunningly luxurious hotel rooms into a market that had imploded overnight.
Despite vowing not to reduce staff service levels began to crack at the corners possibly due to depressed societal morale. As proven by Wynn's decision to shutter a nightclub at Wynn Macau within months of opening due to "unsavory types" hanging out there, Wynn is no lover of the night club game. However his love of cold hard cash and the ego stroking joy that only vanquishing an opponent can bring refocused Wynn's energy to build a life boat - the Encore Beach Club. Paired with XS, Encore Beach Club grabbed the nightclub bull by the horns and wrestled the lions share of rewards away from his competitors. With low risk and high margins, the nightclub boom was exactly what Wynn needed to ride out the storm and perhaps put a little spring in his step.
There was fallout. Some business owners might call them 'good problems to have' - crowds outside of XS made the Encore Esplanade nearly impossible to traverse. Similar experiences befell Encore Beach Club, with crushing demand for Surrender turning Encore's casino into Disneyland ride queue, richly designed and surrounded by casino games none of the club goers had any interest in playing.
While crowds and the synergistic dynamic of humanity are great for dance floors, sporting events and mosh pits, it is the antithesis of luxury experience. Traditional Wynn customers began to feel alienated by the density and intensity of Encore and retreated back to Wynn or Bellagio. Service level throughout the property slowly and quietly began to erode as revenue increase and cost savings became paramount under bean counting regime of new property President Marilyn Winn Spiegel.
And so it went... a slow steady deterioration in the one thing that meant everything at Wynn - customer service.
Recently VT superfriend DonnyMac66 stayed at Encore. After his stay, he received a post-stay email survey and dutifully filled it out, praising when earned and mentioning lapses when warranted.
I have filled out many post-stay surveys and never received a response. I mentioned the lack of cocktail service and actually got the response below.
Sent: Friday, January 24, 2014 5:17 PM
To: Don McDonald
Reply To: Keola Kahuanui
Dear Mr. McDonald
Thank you for taking the time to participate in our online survey. We apologize for the lapse in service on the part of our cocktail servers during your recent stay. Please be assured that your comments have been shared with our management team and will be reviewed with the highest regard. We appreciate your patronage and look forward to welcoming you back to Encore in the future!
The Guest Relations Team
Wynn | Encore
A simple note, acknowledging Donny's time and opinions. Extending the Wynn customer experience long beyond their visit. Sometimes this is all it takes to change a guests opinion. When this degree of personal attention is done before, after and during a stay, it turns guests into regulars, regulars into fans, fans into devotees.
Please, Steve... more of this.
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