Mark Robson, CEO of Champions Sports, says that whilst online gambling brands need to always look after customers, they should make a concerted effort during these difficult times.
Respect your customer – this is the most important factor when it comes to running a successful online gambling brand. If you don’t RYC just as well as you KYC, you could fail.
With competition among online gambling brands so ﬁerce, operators must oﬀer their players the best possible experience across all areas, but particularly customer support.
Customer support agents are best placed to engage with players, open a line of communication with them and use this as part of a multi-faceted approach to deliver a personalised experience.
This is critical when it comes to customer retention and ensuring the players an operator has acquired remain loyal to the brand and don’t decide to play somewhere else.
So how do you RYC, and how is the current global crisis impacting the way online gambling brands engage with players and continue to deliver a market-leading product and experience?
THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT (SOMETIMES)
To respect your customer, you must ﬁrst adopt the mindset that they are always right – sometimes. Players are entitled to have an opinion and that opinion must be respected.
Opinions may diﬀer and, in some cases, you need to agree to disagree, but so long as you listen and take their opinion seriously, a resolution can always be reached. Again, this requires highly skilled and well-trained customer service agents and an open line of communication with players. Without these elements, it is tough to truly RYC.
It is also important to understand your players and the experience they are seeking when accessing an online gambling brand, particularly the products and verticals they wish to engage with. This is especially important in the current climate where online sportsbooks are trying to ﬁll the void left by the global sporting blackout with many looking to other verticals.
While this is something that should always be in any business and product strategy, a misstep in this current climate can be magniﬁed.
It also shows that some online gambling brands may have done their regulatory KYC but don’t actually know their customers and what they are looking for.
KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER AND THEIR NEEDS
For example, a growing number of online sportsbook operators are looking to quickly integrate esports and virtuals so that players have something to bet on over the coming months.
But to assume that punters need to bet on something shows a total lack of understanding around why people bet in the ﬁrst place – emotional betting and intellectual betting.
Those that bet emotionally do so because they love a player or a team, those that bet intellectually do so because they have knowledge and strategy.
If a player has no emotional connection to an esports player or team, or no understanding of the games and how they work, and therefore no knowledge or strategy, they won’t wager. The same applies to virtuals – there is no emotional connection to be made and, as virtuals use RNGs, there is no knowledge or strategy to be had or deployed.
PROVIDE TRUE VALUE TO YOUR CUSTOMERS
By knowing your customer and respecting their wants and needs, it is possible to provide them with tremendous value even during unprecedented times likes these.
It is not just sportsbook operators that are having to adapt – in April, online casino operators in Spain were told they can no longer market to or incentivise players.
To overcome this, online gambling operators must think outside the box in order to deliver the value and service that will ultimately allow them to retain players.
How can this be done? For sportsbook operators, they could oﬀer free roll poker tournaments to their players – since the sports blackout, online poker has enjoyed a resurgence. For online casino operators, it may mean removing all wagering requirements from free spins or creating a forum or community where players can interact while on lockdown.
People are social animals, and this is ampliﬁed during lockdown conditions. The networked games (bingo/poker/etc) some are casting aside oﬀer players a chance to chat.
If operators can oﬀer these games then they must – they may not prove to be a huge revenue driver but they could ultimately be the silver bullet that saves their business.
These may seem like obvious things, but in most cases online gambling operators are not opening lines of communication with players nor are they adding value.
Instead, they are looking to other products and verticals they can easily and quickly bolt on to their current oﬀering so that their players have something, anything, to bet and wager on. In my opinion, this approach completely misses the mark and shows that online gambling operators are not in a RYC mindset.
It could be argued that this is because of the current climate but I don’t think that is the case. I think that many have been taking this approach for a long time.
So now is perhaps a good opportunity to change tack, to start respecting your customer and delivering the best in class experience they seek and deserve.
Those that do will emerge from what is undoubtedly going to be a tough time for the sector with a ﬁercely loyal customer base that feels cared for and looked after.
It really is as easy as R. Y. C.