About the Authors:
Bruce Posner is a contributing editor at MIT Sloan Management Review. David Kiron is the executive editor of MIT Sloan Management Review’s Big Ideas initiatives.
In early January 2013, Gary Loveman, chairman and CEO of Caesars Entertainment Corp., the world’s most geographically diversified gaming company, listened closely as Hilary Fagan, an employee from one of the company’s Las Vegas casinos, presented her latest analysis on how customers felt about Caesars’ green programs. She had sorted through survey data from guests who had recently stayed at the company’s 450-room hotel at Harrah’s New Orleans, and she was eager to share the findings.
The numbers revealed that the more information guests had about the different things the hotel and the company were doing to reduce energy consumption, recycle waste and rebuild the local community, the better they felt about Caesars as a company — and the more inclined they were to enjoy their experience in the casino and to book repeat visits. The analysis resonated with Loveman’s view about what makes service businesses successful — that customers need to understand and value what you are doing. The proof that implementing and advertising sustainable practices that were in line with the company’s corporate responsibility goals could positively influence customer behavior was music to his ears.