Operator Talk: What customers ‘need’ is more important than what they ‘want’

Operator Talk: What customers ‘need’ is more important than what they ‘want’

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Pascal Brouet has been the product and innovation director BetClic Everest Group for the last five years. With more than 15 years’ experience in the online sector, Brouet arrived at the at European online gaming company – whose brands include Betclic, Expekt, Everest, and Monte-Carlo Casino – after serving in senior positions at telecommunications company Numericable, online mapping company Mappy and sports media group Sportal.

Ahead of his appearance at ICE Totally Gaming next month, he spoke to TotallyGaming.com about innovation within the gambling industry and what he expects to see in the coming year.

TotallyGaming.com: How does the gambling industry compare to other sectors in terms of innovation?

Pascal Brouet: “The gambling industry is a sector that is eager to always find new innovative games or user experiences. That said, compared to the e-commerce global environment, we still are behind the big companies, even if the gap has been reduced over the past few years. As the offering tends to be the same for all major operators, product is the key to differentiate.”

TotallyGaming.com: What are you most proud of during your time at Betclic?

PB: “In the last five years, all product areas have dramatically evolved, but I would say that our mobile progress makes me most proud. Within the industry, we were quite early in getting mobile products live for our customers back in 2010.

“We managed to handle both a high-volume customer raise and a continuous expansion of our mobile range. We now have more than 50 mobile native apps or web apps, both on smartphone and tablet, available for sports, casino, turf and poker.”

"We should propose a new user experience that will aim to be more entertaining and focused on fun." - BetClic Everest Group's Pascal Brouet

TotallyGaming.com: What will be the key areas of innovation in the gambling industry in 2015 and beyond?

PB: “I think we have two streams of innovation that will work in parallel. One is to be more customer-facing oriented. We are always improving the offering, but I think that now we should also propose a new user experience that will aim to be more entertaining and focused on fun.

“The second stream will be to innovate the way that our products are working behind the scenes. We are currently looking at how to efficiently adapt our offering to the profile of each customer and to display it at the right time. This will be essential in the future as customers are always looking for the easiest way of playing.”

TotallyGaming.com:  At ICE Totally Gaming next month you will participate in a discussion on putting the customer at the centre of strategy. What are the key points in taking customers into account when you are creating products?

PB: “The key challenge is to understand why the customer is entering our website or playing through the mobile device. Understanding our client through focus groups or studies is a way to improve the user experience by adapting the product to what he really needs.

“It is also important to try to have the most holistic approach possible, meaning taking into account the whole customer journey, from acquisition to the actual play including, notably, customer service and retention possibilities.”

TotallyGaming.com: Is the customer always right?

PB: “I said above that it was important to understand what the customer ‘needs’. I did not say ‘wants’ on purpose. As often in the internet industry, the customer has not always a clear view of what he wants and even sometimes, he speaks highly of some dreamed features that he will not use afterwards as he was not really needing it.

“We have to build our vision of the needed product by having a 360-degree study including notably the real customer behavior through data mining, the analysis of the competitive environment and client feedbacks through customer service expertise. All those, combined with our own experience and wishes, should aid our product vision and help us to innovate by directly suggesting new features, products and offerings to our clients.”

Pascal Brouet will take part in the session ‘Top 5 iGaming challenges, top 5 innovative solutions’ at ICE Totally Gaming at the Excel in London on Wednesday, February 4. Visit www.icetotallygaming.com for more information.

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