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Welcome To Sands Confidential

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 25th April 2011 2:17pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 4


The Las Vegas Sands Corporation, owners of a coupla Venetians, a Palazzo and three Sands properties have trumpeted to the world the creation of a their new corporate blog - Sands Confidential - which company spokesmouth Ron Reese describes as...

part of our ongoing effort to foster dialogue with the public. Blogging is a tremendous tool for us to interact more with the community, to hear their ideas and to provide a more detailed view of our company and industry."

The most recent post Coffee With Mike is a hi-larious NPR'ish podcast interview with LVS COO Michael Leven. This interview is fascinating for many reasons - first and most distractingly is the "lingering crowd noise" that is pasted onto the recording to give the discussion some "Venetian" ambience. There is no better way to establish your credibility than wallpaper your message with fraudulent audio decor! Why no Gondoliers?

The best part of the interview by far is the closing discussion about Social Media where Mr. Leven had this to say:

I can't really say what influence its had on the hospitality industry, I do know that there is a lot of noise in the social media area now about hospitality and service businesses in general. Particularly because we have probably the highest complaining society, unsatisfied society, in the history of mankind since perhaps since the caveman. I think social media has given voice to everybody for the first time in history. What you see as a results of that voice - you have positive things happening such as revolutions against dictatorships and things of that kind, then you have negative things where businesses are put in jeopardy because one customer gets a dissatisfactory experience in the service business and spreads it around to millions of people.

The end result is that there could be reasons for it and whatever, and we live in a society where mistakes are not tolerated, because you don't see a lot of pencils around anymore you see ball point pens. So at the end of the day, the problem with ball point pens is - vs pencils - pencils have erasers, ball point pens don't. Erasers were there because people make mistakes, and people thought they would make mistakes so they put them on. Now no one can make a mistake without the whole world knowing about it.

So, I think it is a dangerous situation to be able to listen and watch social media and just to read everything and listen to everything is truth. You have to be intensely aware what individual is saying what, why they are saying what, and we have to dig deeper to see if it is the truth, so it has some vulnerability. On the other hand it is a major marketing tool today, and companies continue to use it and will use it to spread their word around and you can spread good news as well. Like today's newspaper, there's not a lot of good news."

One could also say that writing in dirt with a stick is an even better implement because it is eco friendly and no need for an eraser. Seriously tho... Leven's thoughts are generally pessimistic, which makes him a perfect fit for LVS' front office. What they don't see is that social media is the greatest source of "comment card" information they could ever want to get their hands on. Smart companies use Social Media to turn complainers into evangelists by acknowledging short comings, resolving issues and striving to better their product, or at least pretend to. Writing off unsatisfied customers as being part of a complaining, unsatisfied society is exactly how you get beat in the service industry, no amount of blogging can fix that.

Perhaps the most telling part of this new development is that Sands Confidential isn't targeted towards guests, it is targeted towards stock holders, investors and partners... the important people.

Tagged: las vegas sands corp   adelson   sands   social media   


Comments & Discussion:

I can't believe a major COO is so narrow minded. Social Media is one of the best sources companies have to get honest feedback from their guests. Social media gives everyone a voice. He is wrong to say we live in an country where mistakes aren't tolerated. We all expect mistakes to happen but it's how someone responds to the mistake that leaves the final impression. The final guest experience lasts far longer than any mistake. If they would focus on better guest recovery after a mishap no matter how small they would be forward thinking. If the folks at LVS fail to embrace the social media trend they are missing out on some of the best market research that is essentially free.

Anyone care to join me in spamming their comments section with "TURN THE FUCKING PERFUME INJECTORS OFF"?

I check social media daily (from Twitter to review sites) for any info at all on my bars and do my best to fix errors. I do believe that 90% of the stuff out there is just assclowns. I got a guy on Chowhounds to take back a review because he has never said anything positive in the 200 he had on the site except for one place (that turned out to be his), a bunch of people on the site started calling him out on it.

The moral is, you need to use social media in an intelligent way. It's like shopping at a second hand store, dig through all the shit till you find that gem of info (or a really cool shirt) and use it to your advantage. I think Mr. Leven may have shot himself in the foot with the online world here.

Oh and Hank, I'm with you man!!

Michael needs to take the comments and use it as a tool, rather than shoot it down as constant complaining. Feedback for a casino or hotel is the greatest truth tool a property has, rather than just bury your head in the sand and think everything is wonderful in Sandsland. If I was CEO, I would not only interview every employee to find out what we can do better, but I would ask every guest/customer what would they suggest we do to improve their next experience. I believe in treating people with respect and class, the feedback is more valuable than any marketing campaign. Word of mouth of customers and moral of your employees is paramount to success. Good luck Mike, I hope you learn to handle comments in a more positive light, than all negative. The poeple are commenting to help you, learn to learn from it. Patrick

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