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Case study: Harrah’s Solid Gold CRM for the Service Sector
Harrah’s Entertainment provides an example of exceptional data asset leverage in the service sector, focusing on how this technology enables world-class service through customer relationship management.
Gary Loveman is a sort of management major trifecta. The CEO of Harrah’s Entertainment is a former operations professor who has leveraged information technology to create what may be the most effective marketing organization in the service industry. If you ever needed an incentive to motivate you for cross-disciplinary thinking, Loveman provides it.
Harrah’s has leveraged its data-powered prowess to move from an also-ran chain of casinos to become the largest gaming company
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Edwards Deming, saying, “In God we trust; all others must bring data.”
When Harrah’s began diving into the data, they uncovered patterns that defied the conventional wisdom in the gaming industry. Big money didn’t come from European princes,
Hong Kong shipping heirs, or the Ocean’s 11 crowd—it came from locals. The less than 30 percent of customers who spent between one hundred and five hundred dollars per visit accounted for over 80 percent of revenues and nearly 100 percent of profits.[7]
The data also showed that the firm’s most important customers weren’t the families that many
Vegas competitors were trying to woo with Disneyland-style theme casinos—it was
Grandma! Harrah’s focuses on customers forty-five years and older: twenty-somethings have no money, while thirty-somethings have kids and are too busy. To the premiddle-aged crowd,
Loveman says, “God bless you, but we don’t need you.”[8]

Data-Driven Service: Get Close (but Not Too Close) to Your Customers
The names for reward levels on the Total Rewards card convey increasing customer value—
Gold, Diamond, and Platinum. Spend more money at Harrah’s and you’ll enjoy shorter lines, discounts, free items, and more. And if Harrah’s systems determine you’re a high-value customer, expect white-glove treatment. The firm will lavish you with attention, using technology to try to anticipate your every need. Customers notice the
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