This is a guest contribution by Mikael Hansson of Enteractive. If you would like to submit a contribution please contact Bill Beatty for submission details. Thank you.
The global online gambling industry has been riding a wave of tremendous growth over the past few years, but that wave looks set to crash down on the sector in 2020.
While opportunities remain, it is undoubtedly tougher for operators to engage new players, ensure those already signed up remain active and push their wider businesses forwards.
In the U.K., for example, the Gambling Commission continues to require more of operators when it comes to responsible gambling and protecting players.
Just this month the regulator announced that operators can no longer accept credit card deposits as of April, shutting down a popular payment method and causing additional KYC issues.
Data from U.K. Finance shows that around 800,000 U.K. players used a credit card to gamble 2018.
It’s not just in the U.K., either. In Sweden, operators continue to fall foul of rules around marketing to players and what they can and can’t do to incentivise them to keep playing at their brand(s).
With customer acquisition becoming increasingly difficult – and expensive – operators must focus more on retaining the players they have already onboarded.
A study by the American Society of Quality Control found that 68% of customers leave a brand because they do not feel valued.
Here at Enteractive, we believe the same statistic applies to online gambling brands and means operators are missing a trick when it comes to keeping players active across their site.
Operators in general are spending vast – and increasing – sums of money on acquiring players only to lose them a short while later simply because they have not continued to look after them.
Before looking at what operators should be doing to show their players they really do care, let’s look at the approach currently being taken by operators.
Bonuses and loyalty schemes are no longer enough:
Most online gambling brands look to incentivise and reward players through the use of bonuses, tournaments with prizes and loyalty schemes.
But players are now extremely savvy and while they still like bonuses and climbing up the loyalty ladder, they know that really they are just being encouraged to bet more.
Operators are also using content to keep their players coming back for more. Not only do they pack their portfolios with thousands of game titles, but they also strike exclusivity agreements with providers.
Some even work with studios to create bespoke games designed to appeal specifically to their customers – games that can’t be found anywhere else.
But with most operators now taking the same approach, player churn remains high as they seek out better bonuses and more valuable reward schemes.
So, what can operators do to show players they are valued and keep them loyal to their brand(s)? Simple, they need to pick up the telephone and open a direct line of communication.
Call them up and get to know them better:
By using the telephone and spending time speaking with customers, a human connection can be formed with the online gambling brand.
This can be done at various points throughout the player journey. It could be when they first sign up and a customer support agent calls to personally welcome them to the brand.
They may have won big when playing their favourite slot game and an agent calls to offer congratulations and find out how they plan to spend their winnings.
Or it could be when a new bonus offer is made available that would appeal to the player and the agent puts in a quick phone call to make them aware of it.
It’s really about getting to know the customer and understanding how to improve and add value to their experience at an operator’s online gambling brand.
It’s a win win for operators:
Focusing on retention via telephone is a win win for online gambling operators. Not only can they increase loyalty, but evidence shows it is easier to upsell to an existing customer over a new one.
Industry data says the probability of an existing customer buying an additional product is between 60% and 70% but for a new customer it is between 5% to 20%.
This means operators are maximising the ROI on the cost of acquisition but also boosting revenues from that player by pushing them to new games, verticals, offers and so on.
By diverting resources to reactivation, in particular spending time communicating with players via telephone, operators can reverse the downward trends impacting the rest of the industry.
An interesting aspect of that connection is that churn levels of those customers coming back are materially lower after a phone call, increasing the ROI even more.
Operators can do this using internal resources and technology, or connect with an external turn-key provider such as Enteractive through the (Re)activation Cloud solution, whichever is the best fit.
In short, by this slight shift of focus, operators can drive both retention and growth at a time when others are struggling to halt decline.
Enteractive is the industry leader in Reactivation, driving innovation through our tech, powered by personal human interaction. As the pioneers behind the (Re)Activation Cloud®, we are experts in personal contact. We partner with operators to increase retention and player loyalty, by engaging with players on a 1-on-1 conversation. Our (Re)Activation services use the latest innovative technologies to keep your player data safe, highly-secured and compliant with modern regulation including GDPR & G4 Gaming Responsible. We’re about building bridges between operators and their players. By learning more about them we help you create a win-win situation where players are happier and your company is more profitable. We also offer ongoing 24/7 Customer Support as an easy plug-and-play extension of your operations.
About the author
Mikael Hansson, CEO of Enteractive, says that tighter regulations and stagnating growth means that operators need to take care of the customers they already have