Diamond in the Data Mine

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Diamond in the Data Mine
by Gary Loveman

The approach that Loveman used was highly effective outlining the importance of providing an exceptional customer service in today’s service industry through deep data mining.

This article discussed 2 main points:
* How Harrah’s Entertainment used information technologies to gather data about its customers and market effectively to them, in turn increasing their revenues in a competitive market. * How Harrah’s incorporated and rewarded superior customer service to drive top line growth.

On his first point, it was an interesting look into how Loveman helped transform the company in the time period 1998-2003 from an average casino and gaming company into a leader that other casinos now try to emulate.  Loveman’s predecessor, Philip Satre, set up much of the vision and data gathering tools that he had used more effectively. From it’s inception, Satre had instituted this policy of “changing Harrah’s from an operations-driven company that viewed each casino as a stand-alone business into a marketing-driven company that built customer loyalty to all Harrah’s properties”.

What Loveman did was apply decision-science methods from consumer retailing and marketing to the gaming industry. Harrah’s employed a different strategy from other casinos in the 1990s, whose philosophy was “if you build it, they will come.” Harrah’s decided to follow another route. They used database marketing and decision-science based tools to give them a competitive advantage. They mined customer data deeply, ran marketing experiments, and used the results to develop and implement finely tuned marketing and service strategies to keep their customers coming back.

Loveman effectively focused on delivering customer service and on understanding and marketing effectively to the customer. This is the secret to Harrah’s success which allows him to maintain loyalty from its customers based on...
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