Dealing with Difficult Customers: Part 2

Heather: Hello and welcome to Vegas Aces. I am your host Heather Ferris. Today we have a special guest joining us to talk about how to deal with difficult customers. Let’s bring William aboard. Hi William. Good to see you.

William: Hello Heather. How are you? Good to see you again.

Heather: Doing good thanks. Good to see you too. Thank you so much for being on and doing this.

William: Any time. It is very important for us to have this kind of knowledge and share with others.

Heather: Please tell the audience more about you.

William: Sure. My name is William Rojas. I have been working in the casino industry for over 13 years. I started in Columbia. That is where I am from. After that I joined the cruise ships. Right now I am located in Canada. I am a floor manager for table games. That’s me!

Heather: You do some training right? You train floor supervisors?

William: Yeah, so I do train supervisors and relief floor managers. You know there is a different perception and different perspective when you go from dealer to supervisor and then supervisor to floor manager. There is a chip that you have to switch or change.

Heather: I really appreciate you being here to tell people what to switch. I swear it’s not the same chip that Bill Gates has with you know his vaccine and all that. That is a different chip. We are not talking about those chips.

William: No. No. No. It is so different when a supervisor makes a decision, you are a dealer. In your mind it’s like, “Why did they do that?” But then as a supervisor, there is a reason behind that. The floor manager will say, “I did this because of a different bigger picture.” So that is what I am trying to do on a daily basis, my everyday.

Heather: Well let’s get this party started and start giving some good tips.

William: We are going to talk about difficult situations, but this time we are going to do it internally. What happens internally? We talk about so many times in how to deal with customers. Specific tips on how to approach different situations when the customer is intoxicated or just angry. Right now we are going to talk about the internal part. The communications between the pit supervisors, or floor supervisors and the dealer. At the end we are going to talk about what happens when the situation arises. All good?

Heather: Nice!

William: Alright we are going to start with communication. So as a supervisor you are the bridge. You are the connection to multiple areas in the casino. You will be constantly interacting with guests, dealers, floor managers, their feelings, also food and beverage. And this is just to mention a few. But it is essential and it is crucial that every conversation – any conversation is in a very professional manner and also in a respectful manner. That is very important. Remember that you are the connection to management, the guest and the dealers. So you guys have a huge responsibility.

Heather: Floor supervisors and dealers, they are the face of the casino. So if the players don’t like them, it transfers to the casino and they end up not liking the casino. So it is very important that dealers and floor supervisors have a good face.

William: Exactly. And now I am going to give you something that I learned throughout my career. When a customer, it doesn’t matter the industry, doesn’t like something, he will tell ten people. If they like, they will tell two or three more people. This will expand the negativity. What is always bad spreads very quickly and in a huge mound of people.

Heather: Yeah. People are more likely to talk about negative experiences that they had versus positive experiences.

William: Exactly. So that part for communication is done. I don’t know if you have any questions about it?

Heather: No. I think that was a pretty good explanation. Communication is key. Just make sure you talk. Please don’t expect people to read your mind.

William: Please, Please, it is important. Be confident when you are talking about any information. If you are passing information to a supervisor, just be confident, share the information as accurately as possible. Accuracy, please supervisor! Be very, very detailed, short and sweet.

Heather: Very good advice.

William: Yes. Alright so the had off as a supervisor, there are certain equations where you need to leave the pit. For example when you go on a break. So it is important to tell the other supervisor about the large buyins. Here in Canada we have certain regulations. We have to documentate the large cash transactions. When it comes to dealer rotations, just communicate dependent on fillings and credits. The guest information and their behavior. In this particular point I am going to say, just inform the other supervisor if they need to be aware of something that may arise with a particular player.

Heather: And the way you do it, you don’t go up to the floor supervisor, “Hey dude we have a card counter right here.” You don’t want to do that. You want to be very discreet and very quiet. You don’t want anybody to hear you. You don’t want to make a very big deal about it. You want to do it away from your table and not in front of your players.

William: Exactly. Exactly. It is also important not only that but also the money related information. So you are not going to yell, “Hey the total buy in is $15,425.” That one is a big no-no. Because of privacy. You don’t know who the other player is, and they might follow the next player based on the information that you just shout out.

Heather: Yeah, some players don’t want other people to know how much they are gambling.

William: Exactly. And also, and this is for every single one, come back from break in a timely manner.

Heather: Yes!

William: Please!

Heather: 100%

William: Because all of these pointers, this information, this slide is basically to avoid conflicts and difficult situations within the pit. So yes! I know you have a question.

Heather: When people come back early from their breaks, a lot of people don’t realize that it takes time to walk down the hallways, go up the elevator, go through the casino. You don’t want to go back to your table exactly when you are supposed to be at your table. You need to start going back five minutes early. So you are at your table when that clock strikes 20 or 40 or an hour.

William: Exactly. I am going to tell you why it is important. It is important to come not only to respect the other person's time, but also on break. I don’t know, say there is a full table, roulette for example – but also choose say to pass that important information. These chips are $100, or this player, don’t pay him with blacks because of superstitions. All that information is really important in order to avoid the conflict and very uncomfortable situations with players and with your supervisor or with your dealer.

Heather: And again be discrete. You don’t want to be like, “Hey you gotta look out for this dude right here.”

William: Exactly!

Heather: Yeah.

William: I have seen that one as well.

Heather: I have too. It’s crazy. It’s like what are you doing?

William: I know. So for this part, this slide is complete. I don’t know if we have any other questions?

Heather: Nope.

William: Perfect. So of the pit. Be a manager but more than a manager, remember that as a supervisor you are the first line of management. You need to be a leader. You need to start thinking in leading by example. What you do, others are watching. They are always going to talk about how you handle this equation. How you did this. And there are other people that admire you so much. One day they are saying in their minds, one day they want to be just like you.

Heather: Yes. Lead by example.

William: Exactly. It is important to be a good supervisor that collaborates with your dealers or other departments. It is important to coach. You are going to start coaching. Those are very difficult situations. If you don't know how to coach someone. Right?

Heather: Yep.

William: If you don't know how to approach that person. You gotta be careful on how you approach as well.

Heather: Right. You want to be compassionate and understanding. You don’t want to go and attack and be like, “You did this wrong, and you did that wrong, and you are so….” Don’t do that.

William: Don’t please. I always tell my supervisor this is a rule that has been following me. I think all the casinos have it but do not correct the dealers at the table.

Heather: Yes.

William: Please! You don’t know how you sound. Sometimes we say things and you know the procedure is wrong and the way the dealer dealt or collected the money was wrong, but do not do it at the table. Maybe and what I always tell, correct the dealer if there is money involved. If you need to pay more or pay less, you collect the winning bet. In that moment yes, please say, “Hold on,” or “Let me see this, why you did this.” But do not confront or do not lecture at the table. Please!

Heather: It is a very quick, “Oh that is $15 and instead of $10.” You don’t have to be like, “What’s wrong with you?” You don’t have to go into all of that. Just be like, “Hey, it’s this instead of that.”

William: Yes, Exactly. There are certain things that – or pointers when it comes to dealing with this kind of situation. One, just if you need to correct something or you need to talk to a dealer, just do it in a private area. Really outside of the gaming floor. It is huge that you don’t do that. You don’t know how the dealer will feel. What happens if the dealer is having a really bad day? If they had problems at home. Or something is going on in their life. You don’t want to do that. Also being very tactful and empathetic in a way that you also understand that person.

Or at the end, talk to your floor manager, explain to them the situation about what is happening. The floor manager may arrange a meeting with all of you. Or they might address the problem with this dealer in a very effective way. You know?

Heather: Yes. Like you were saying before, when you go and you talk to them off the casino floor. What some of the floor supervisors used to do would be to wait until you are done dealing and then as you are going on break, they would call you to the podium, because it is in the middle of the pit and it wasn’t close to anyone that was within earshot. They would then say, “Just to let you know you did this, this and this but we are supposed to do it this way and it is really good to follow procedure.” You want the dealers to feel like you are in their corner. Having your support and you backing them is so important for dealers.

William: Exactly. Just remember you are their leader. You are their support, you're the example. Some people start in this industry by accident. Most of the time. I was one of them.

Heather: Me too.

William: Yeah. But you know what? When you are dealing and your supervisor is wearing this nice suit – that is my story, the supervisor was wearing a nice suit, and for every question that I had, the supervisor had an answer. I was like, wow, I can’t wait to be a supervisor. That was my story.

So just lead by example, be the good supervisor. You had one time, just avoid these situations in public areas.

Heather: Yeah.

William: Alright? So we are going to go to the next slide. So when the situation arises. So this is a combination of difficult situations within the pit and difficult situations with customers. So it is really important that a conflict between team members – So we are going to talk about conflict between team members. It is likely that at some point it will be a requirement to coach the dealer. And the dealer won’t receive your coaching in a very positive way. They might not be open to constructive criticism, or may be unhappy with how you coach them. Please when there is a conflict between team members you cannot result it on the gaming floor. I need to repeat this. People they just – like the hurt feelings and they show how much knowledge that they know. This is not the professional way to handle these situations. If you need to have a discussion with colleague, let’s say a floor supervisor, please do not do it on the gaming floor. Take the same break, if you can, if you have the opportunity to have spare time. Otherwise talk to your floor manager. The floor manager or shift manager will take care of that. If there is any particular issue between dealers, tell your floor manager. Don’t get involved because you might not – you might be biased. Some supervisors have these particular dealers that they like a little bit more or a little bit less. It is important to inform the floor manager that it will be partial or neutral and he/she will know how to handle the situation.

I don’t know if you have any questions in regards to that?

Heather: Also, there are some people you just can’t work with. I mean it isn’t anything against them, it's not anything against you, there are just sometimes two personalities clash and you are always butting heads and you just don’t get along. It’s ok to ask for a different pit assignment. It’s ok to let management know, “Hey we are just not able to see eye to eye, and I am going to have to be put into another pit.” They are okay with that because they would rather switch you to a different pit than have you continue having problems in front of the customers.

William: Exactly. I have seen that situation as well. Supervisors come to me and say, “Please just leave me here alone. I can handle it. I don’t want to work with X person.” Obviously as a manager you want to follow up. You want to gather all the information. You want to investigate and see what's going on. The most important thing is to avoid difficult situations on the gaming floor. Also let’s make it a little bit easier for everybody, the work environment, let’s make it a good one. You are there spending the majority of the hours of your day. Please, make it work.

Heather: Yeah. If the dealer doesn’t feel comfortable going to their floor supervisor they are less likely to tell them about a mistake or a problem or something that arises on the table that the floor supervisor might really need to know.

William: Exactly. So, on the next one, the problems – This is the final presentation. So just tips and advice. Be professional. Approach with empathy. Also if you don’t know about this one, try to investigate emotional intelligence.

Heather: Yes.

William: It is huge. Huge.

Heather: Incredibly.

William: Yes.

Heather: And it will make your life easier as a floor supervisor if you don’t have emotional intelligence you might feel like you are frustrated and constantly hitting your head against the wall.

William: Exactly. I tell my supervisors and some people don’t know about emotional intelligence. There are even courses. There are free resources online that you can actually read, and see and watch and investigate. Just please do that. Emotional intelligence is huge and is really important. Also Empathy. Please, please put yourself in the other person's shoes.

Heather: Yes.

William: Alright.

Heather: I agree 100%.

William: And please make your hours and make your time more enjoyable when you are in the casino.

Heather: Yes.

William: That’s all.

Heather: And by doing that, really quick, by making yourself have more fun. Like if you talk about the stuff that you like to talk about. If you, let’s say, want to go on a rant on one of your favorite TV shows, you will eventually find players that feel the same way. They will stay at your table longer and then your conversation with them is more enjoyable and the casino is happy because this person's butt is in the seat for a longer period of time. It is good for you, it’s good for the casino, it’s good for the player. As the dealer, having an enjoyable conversion. I know we are talking about floor supervisors and I keep bringing it back to the dealer.

I have never had that floor supervisor experience. I have only had the dealing experience.

William: Oh really?

Heather: Oh yeah, I was never dual-rate, I was never a supervisor.

William: Oh. Yeah, but you know what, this is the perception that I was telling you about, when you are a dealer you just say things. It might make situations really hard for a lot of people to handle. You just say things in the way you think those things are correct. As a supervisor you have a reason why you are doing that. Just change – this transition is really important, especially when you are going to a management position. So just work on those things and those pointers that I mentioned before. Very important and huge is emotional intelligence.

Heather: I agree 100%.

William: Alright!

Heather: Thank you so much William. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing your wisdom with everyone. There were a lot of great pointers.

William: No, thank you so much Heather. Once again it was a pleasure and an honor. Thank you so much and to all the Vegas Aces fans. Thank you for watching, and tell us stories. I would like to see in the comments, problems with being colleagues or with your dealer. Or what was one of the weirdest or uncomfortable situations on the table with a customer.

Heather: Or how you handled it. LIke if something was going on and you are really proud of the way you handled it. Put that in the comments.

William: Yes. Absolutely!

Heather: Cool. Please tell people how they can find you if they are interested in contacting you to learn more?

William: My LinkedIn is William Rojas.

Heather: Thanks for watching!

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