How tribal nations can use data to build exceptional customer experiences


In the competitive industry of resorts, gaming, and entertainment, delivering an exceptional customer experience (CX) is paramount. The fusion of physical and digital experiences plays a significant role in shaping guests’ perception of your brand. The same is true for tribal casinos and resorts, which drive revenue, awareness, and support for tribal communities. As tribal businesses strive for operational excellence and unparalleled experiences, embracing cutting-edge technologies becomes even more imperative.

This industry is changing quickly with the growth of mobile applications and generative artificial intelligence (GAI). The power of these technologies, combined with search and advanced analytics tools, can produce actionable insights that can:

  • Streamline marketing campaigns
  • Increase customer spend and loyalty
  • Optimize IT development efforts

The ability to deliver exceptional customer experiences with the right technology holds immense significance for tribal casinos and resorts, while also empowering their employees with essential information and support.

Below we explore some of the data complexities that might come with these technologies and how Elastic’s search-powered data platform can enable tribal resort, gaming, and entertainment businesses to find the answers that matter.

Data complexities for tribal resorts and casinos

1. Incomplete customer data

Incomplete customer data can limit tribal resorts and casinos’ ability to identify new sources of revenue, personalize marketing outreach, and anticipate consumer demand. One example is the cost of not capitalizing on upselling and cross-selling opportunities. When a person frequents a certain game or shows interest in a specific amenity, it’s important for the resort or casino to capture this data to make relevant offers, upgrades, promotions, or complimentary services. 

A subpar service experience can also arise from making decisions with incomplete customer data profiles. When customer service representatives don’t understand a customer’s history with the resort or casino, their previous interactions with them, or their specific preferences, addressing inquiries and providing personalized assistance becomes challenging.

2. Data silos

Tribal resorts and casinos often ingest data from various systems and platforms that work independently from each other. This leads to data silos, and if left unchecked, can provide inaccurate representations of how customers are interacting and what their preferences are. Internal IT teams may invest considerable time in reconciling and unifying disparate data sets, leading to inefficiencies and resource allocation challenges.

In addition, limited interoperability between data sources can hinder efforts to create a seamless CX. For example, a customer may earn points in a certain gaming activity but may not be able to redeem them at a hotel or restaurant within the same resort’s casino. A fully integrated data platform and data set would make sure all systems are working off the same information.

3. Complex search navigation

Casinos and resorts often have extensive websites and mobile applications with a variety of offerings, promotions, and information for customers. It can prove to be a cumbersome and time-consuming task for users to navigate through complex menus and submenus to retrieve specific information. In many cases, the information hierarchy in websites and applications may be inconsistent, and users may struggle to determine what information is relevant to them.

Many website and mobile app search engines require users to use specific query syntax that most users (and even staff members) may not be familiar with. In addition, casinos and resorts often cater to a diverse demographic, including international visitors. If their search engine does not have built-in functionality for language variations, synonyms, and common spelling mistakes, users may struggle to find what they’re looking for.

Using the Elasticsearch platform to improve customer and search experiences

1. Improved consumer analytics

With Elastic’s Kibana® data visualization capabilities, Native American resorts and casinos can analyze consumer data and logs from multiple sources. By indexing and searching through all data types at once, it’s possible to identify patterns, trends, and correlations that can provide actionable insights in real time. This information can improve affinity, rewards, redemption, and loyalty programs, tailoring them to the specific needs and interests of individual customers.

One of the most important metrics to analyze in the casino and resort industry is the Customer Lifetime Value (shortened as CLV or LTV). This metric captures the total profit a business can expect from a typical customer during their lifetime. By leveraging Elasticsearch®’s indexing and querying capabilities, casinos and resorts can conduct segmented CLV analysis with virtually any attribute to tailor and optimize their marketing and retention efforts.

2. Faster, superior search experiences

Casino and resort patrons expect highly relevant search results no matter how they write a search query. By incorporating Elasticsearch into websites and mobile applications, tribal casinos and resorts can provide a powerful search experience and significantly improve user experience.

In addition, vector search capabilities mean that Elasticsearch can quickly surface relevant results based on context beyond just keywords. This means that your customers can benefit from semantic search, suggestions for popular search time, and not having to know the correct spelling of a keyword.

3. Personalized recommendations

Elasticsearch can provide personalized recommendations by understanding a person’s spending habits, preferences, and gaming history. This level of personalization can increase customer engagement and loyalty because they’re able to receive offers that are appealing and relevant to them.

Developers can use Elastic to build dynamic recommendation models that can adapt and change over time. By continuously analyzing user interaction and feedback, Elastic can help casinos and resorts stay relevant and accurate with their suggestions to end users.

4. Effective program management

Facilitating quick and accurate searches for customer information, transaction history, and program details can make it easier for resort and casino staff to manage programs effectively. Instead of manually sifting through databases, Elastic can help perform targeted searches and retrieve relevant data points, no matter where that data is stored. This will ultimately save time and improve operational efficiency.

In addition, Elastic can help optimize resource allocation and operational efficiency by integrating data from various systems. This can have a direct impact on customer experience because it will optimize staffing, inventory management, and maintenance logs.

5. Detect fraudulent behavior

Ensuring the integrity of gaming platforms can help your customers maintain trust in their casino. Powered by machine learning (ML), Elastic uses sophisticated algorithms to detect fraudulent activities in casinos more quickly and accurately than traditional role-based methods. In addition, its real-time monitoring capabilities can detect suspicious behavior, such as multiple logins from different locations or unusual transactions, and flag them for immediate resolution. 

Due to their sensitive customer data and the financial transactions that take place within their systems, casinos and resorts are attractive targets for cyber attacks. Elastic can help detect cybersecurity threats by monitoring systems, applications, and networks in real-time and quickly responding to them.

6. Faster time to resolution

A strong search engine can identify the root causes of customer complaints or issues in gaming platforms much faster than humans can. Elastic Observability can help by prioritizing and escalating incident response based on case severity level or impact, leading to efficient resource allocation and faster mean time to resolution (MTTR).

Next steps

Adopting a powerful data platform like Elasticsearch holds tremendous potential for tribal resorts and casinos seeking to elevate their operations and provide an excellent customer experience. By unlocking advanced search capabilities, these tribal enterprises can drive improvements in multiple areas, including consumer analytics, program management, fraud detection, and customer support.

To talk to an expert about improving your customer experience, please reach out to us.