Change for the bettor.
By Neil Crafer
Despite the mammoth presence of Las Vegas, online gambling and betting (gaming) in the US is still relatively new. However in the UK it’s been around for over a quarter of a decade making it one of the most established digital industries with profits of £3.2 billion.
Online sportsbook and casino operators have a lot to consider around the end-to-end user experience and customer journey in this fast-paced industry. Everything in an app can work as designed, but what if the design misses the mark from the customer’s perspective? How can being more customer centric make your experiences unique?
With this in mind, Quantum Metric put together LEAP into Gaming to answer the million dollar question – How can gaming sites and brands be unique, offering something different to their competitors?
Product development and testing efforts are really about the end user. Though it often falls lower on the priority list — long after testing core functionality — a focus on the online gambling customer experience is critical to growing online sportsbooks, daily fantasy, horse racing or casino business.
Taking a customer-centric approach
One way this can be achieved is through data, as Vlad Kaltenieks, Global Director Data Analytics at William Hill said “It definitely pays … to understand how our customers are experiencing the product and how our marketing campaigns are working. I have seen over the past few years there has been a radical shift towards modern technology and leveraging the data in order to understand the dynamic and how customer preferences are changing and reflect this into business strategy and propositions.” By better understanding data, brands are in a far better position to tailor their product offering and give players a better experience which will increase customer loyalty and grow your online sportsbook.
Having a customer centric culture within the organisation helps deliver better journeys. Claire Painting, Director of Customer Experience at Entain says “One of the biggest challenges for new players coming to our homepage is that they feel overwhelmed and struggle to find what they want. We have to think about how we can personalise and simplify the experience for our players.”
The need to optimize in real time
In addition to product development, organisations also have a moral obligation to protect those customers who are vulnerable or have displayed changes in their behaviour. For example Steve Birch, CEO at Sky Betting and Gaming says for them, “…new customers who are under 21 will have to set a deposit limit as there is evidence that younger people are more prone to problem gambling. Also, In terms of advertising, we are very careful with who we market to and we run our own risk propensity models which means we may intervene and get in touch through CRM or by calling.”
The industry is, rightly, working to improve protection measures for customers who show signs of problem gambling. Today, operators have to be more customer centric, leading with safer gambling messages, promoting features such as deposit limits and time outs.
All well and good. But what about proactively developing in line with customer needs?
At the heart of everything the industry does should be the player and players know what they want to see. According to Adam Sappala, head of product at Fanduel, sometimes it may be best to “put the blinders on” and not primarily focus on what competitors are doing, but to ensure that what you are doing is in the players interest. When it comes to experimentation and innovation within the industry, companies need to place a lot of bets, and not be afraid to fail in order to gain a competitive edge over competitors. Sappala said “New features in this industry only last a few months, if we didn’t experiment and innovate we’d be left behind.” For Fanduel, this has led to experimentation becoming a means to differentiate from competitors.
Dirk Camilleri CPO/CTO at Green Jade Games suggested a new approach “We see each other as competitors, which we are, but there needs to be a more collaborative approach with casinos and studios so we can try out different hypotheses. Us building a product is not going to get to the customer, we need the Casinos. So trying partnerships and exclusive [agreements] on building a product and solving a problem together is something the industry should be pushing more to drive innovation.”
Innovation isn’t easy though, and although previously gaming operators have reaped hefty rewards with a copycat approach mirroring their competition, it only takes one disruptor to take over the market. Those who want to maintain their market leader status must dare to be different and offer customers a personalised experience they already expect across other digital platforms and services.
For a more in-depth understanding of the issues and potential solutions, check-out the sessions from our LEAP into Gaming event now available in our Resource Library. Listen to key figures in the gaming industry discuss player-centricity, experimentation and innovation, affordability and player protection.