What can we learn about customer experience from a casino CEO?

“We do these kinds of interventions and then we run test and control against it to see whether of all of the people having a bad first experience, those who have a visit from one of our staff are more inclined to come back for a second visit. And not surprisingly, they are dramatically more likely to come back.”

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In the United States, National Public Radio puts out regular podcasts on the economy. These are often informative and engaging podcasts about topics that at first glance may seem quite dull, such as the European debt crisis and credit default swaps. Earlier this week, I listened to this gem on the CEO of Caesars Entertainment Corporation, Gary Loveman.

What does a former Harvard economist turned casino CEO have to say about user experience? Plenty. Coming from an academic background, Gary regularly runs experiments to assess and improve the customer experience at the casinos he runs.

There are some parallels to what we do as interaction designers. We want users have the best experience possible with our products and design the interface accordingly. But how good are we at monitoring a user when they are using an application for real? How do we actively address problems as they arise? What incentives can we provide and what changes can we make to prevent people from abandoning a product when at first they don’t like it?

Amy Quinn

Amy Quinn is a Product Manager of UX Tools at Infragistics. For the past decade, she has been a user researcher and interaction designer both as a consultant and as part of internal UX teams. She has a Masters of Human Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University.

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