In my November 12th blog post, I quoted the investigative reporter Alex Frankel who in comparing his employment in Apple stores versus other companies, said, “Apple treated us like adults.” This comment came to my mind today while reading about the impressive success of Apple stores during a very tough year for other retailers. I also read that Las Vegas Strip casinos have had a phenomenal year. They have had a nearly 20% increase in revenue in October compared to the same month last year. This is while the rest of the casino industry has lost ground.
The explanations offered for the success of Apple are quite different than those being offered for the success of the casinos, but I would argue that it is probably the same reasons. Sure, the value of other currencies against the dollar plays a part in making Las Vegas attractive to wealthy visitors from other countries, but the customer experience is just as important in gaming and hospitality as it is in retail, maybe more so. MGM MIRAGE, the owner of 10 properties on the Strip, has made the quality of the customer experience a priority. Not only has it created attractive hotel, restaurant, and gambling environments, it is investing heavily in training its employees to treat each other and its customers with respect and to be responsive to the needs of all customers. Vegas and Apple have tremendous global competition. Yes, they have high quality, competitive products but they also know that they must invest in training and developing employees who can deliver a high quality service.