Shier believes that a common purpose emanated around the philosophies of Steve Wynn
Who had absorbed customer engagement from working in his father’s bingo halls.
Whatever their background or means, every customer was to be treated with respect and dignity.
Backstage A decade before Heskett was forming the Customer Service Profit Chain at Harvard, Wynn knew that if frontline staff—whether dealers, dancers or doormen—were empowered and happy,
This would lead to better engagement and customer satisfaction.
Everybody at the Mirage had badges with their names but not their job titles. Instead, the badges said where they came from.
“We wanted guests to have conversations with our employees,” says Schorr.
This was part of the relentless focus on training to ensure that everyone felt connected and valued as individuals.
Not only were the staff there to serve, and do that well; they were part of the guest experience, bringing a sense of intimacy which could have easily been lost in the grandeur and scale of the property.
Backstage Famously, the back-of-house at the Mirage broke new grounds.
The daily employee journey was considered part of the resort design, minimizing walk time and designed to make the employees calm, confident and happy.
The employee dining room was nicer than many restaurants.
Making employees central to the project enabled the Mirage to overcome what many believed was an intractable problem in Las Vegas at that time:
could casinos and the Culinary Union work together without conflict?
Wynn, Shier and Nathan, alongside union leaders, rewrote the contract between casinos and employees, for the first time incorporating overall customer satisfaction into the job description of every employee.
The Audience On the morning of the opening, columnist John L.
Smith fired a warning shot in the Las Vegas Review Journal.
He predicted a “hangover” for Las Vegas and said, like Jonah, Wynn was about to be consumed by his whale (of debt).
Not since IBM’s Thomas Watson claimed that there would be a world market for maybe five computers had anyone been so wide of the mark. Smith was wrong.
Biblically so. “We were scared as all hell,” reminisces Schorr.
“We were paranoid that people wouldn’t come. But once the doors opened and seeing the mad rush, all our fears were eased,” adds Butler.
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