Q&A with Tanya Hill, Executive Manager of Barringtons Clubs Consulting
We sat down with Tanya Hill to unpack the importance of a successful customer loyalty program to discuss customer engagement for various leadership perspectives. Tanya is a passionate and highly motivated Executive Manager of the Clubs Consulting team at Barringtons. She has worked for Barrington Group Australia for over 5 years, bringing with her over 18 years of club operation and gaming experience in venues of all sizes.
Tanya’s passion for driving further education within the hospitality industry, assisting Clubs and achieving results is impressive. Her extensive industry experience combined with her Diplomas in Business, Leadership and Event Management, makes her more than competent to discuss the importance of customer loyalty programs in driving customer engagement.
Question: What’s your experience within the VIP and Clubs industry?
Answer: I started in the industry like many people, at the age of eighteen learning how to pour a beer and pick up glasses. At the age of twenty I started full time work as a Gaming Supervisor at Penrith RSL Club. During my time there I learnt how to utilise data and spreadsheets to conduct gaming analysis. My work experience at that Club taught me the importance of customer service and driving team culture.
Moving to Wests Campbelltown I joined an established team that understood the important of customer engagement and already had a tiered loyalty program in place. I then moved up to Tweed Heads Bowls Club to take on a more operational role before heading to Cambodia for six months to help establish a school with a charity, help2help, that I had been involved in for some time. Since returning to Australia, I have been able to consult for several venues as well as establishing the VIP Host Management Program as part of the suite of training courses provided by Barringtons.
Question: What is a customer loyalty or rewards program and what does it mean to you?
Answer: There are always discussions about what these programs should be called. Loyalty, rewards, retention… whatever you want to call it, for me the name doesn’t matter, it all boils down to customer engagement.
Whether you choose to have a tiered loyalty program or non-tiered, it all boils down to trying to understand who our customers are and how we can engage with them.
Critics may argue that a tiered loyalty program is encouraging people to spend more money. However, I would argue that done right, a tiered loyalty program allows you to engage more thoroughly with those people who are spending money in your venue. This not only allows for better customer service, but it also opens up two-way communication that is vital when it comes to harm minimisation and being able to discuss any concerns from either party.
Question: What problems do you commonly see Clubs encounter with their customer loyalty?
Answer: The biggest problem that I generally see is when a venue thinks that a system will drive their loyalty program. Systems play an important part, but it is about the people. The people who drive the system, the people who analyse and interpret the data, the people on the frontline who engage with the customers, the people behind the scenes who spend time engaging their team.
Question: What steps do you recommend venue’s take to improve their customer loyalty?
- employee engagement
- employee education
- customer engagement
if the above steps were an equation: 1 + 2 = 3
Question: How can Clubs develop or improve their existing Customer Loyalty Programs?
Answer: It is important to continually review and evolve your loyalty programs. A program that was set up five years ago may not suit your current situation. Continually look at opportunities that are unique to your venue or your location. Think about how you can add value to your program and experiences for your customers that others cannot.
Question: Can you tell us about the VIP Host Management Program you helped develop?
Answer: Barringtons teamed up with The Drop back in July 2017 to deliver the first VIP Host Management Program. This was the first of its kind in the Australian gaming market.
The program is a combination of accredited and non-accredited training focusing on the areas of customer service and the understanding of loyalty programs. Combined with an extensive leadership program, the course will help develop and enhance skills in leading and managing your team while building your services standards and loyalty programs.
Download the full info pack here: https://the-drop.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/VIP-Info-Kit-2021-The-Drop-V2-1.pdf