TG Talk: Customer interaction vs protection; what's the right balance for gambling operators?

TG Talk: Customer interaction vs protection; what's the right balance for gambling operators?

Monday, October 23, 2017 Posted by Craig Davies
The topic is to be debated at EiG 2017

With enforcement being stepped up by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) relating to how a company can engage with customers, how can you ensure they remain protected but engaged. Some of the leading voices talk us through how they interact with their customer base in light of increasing scrutiny.

Eric Konings, integrity officer at Kindred, commented: “As a true digital business, we create a digital fingerprint of each customer which enables us to monitor individual gambling behaviour. This enables us to detect signs of problematic gambling at an early stage, which is critical to prevent a continued destructive behaviour.

“Our customers enjoy gambling as a form of entertainment, and if gambling stops being entertainment for a customer, we engage with them and encourage them to use our tools to regain control. This can be, for example, to take a break by self-excluding for a set timeframe, to limit their deposits or by using any of the other tools we offer.

“We are proud of what we do to ensure a safe and secure environment for our customers and we always have our customers at the centre of what we do. 'By Players, For Players' is the heart of Kindred Group as we truly understand our customers. We will continue to offer our customers the best deal and experience in a safe and secure environment and this is how we engage our customers.”

Joe Lovelace, senior PR executive on behalf of Marathonbet, said: “The key for us at Marathonbet is building trust with our current and potential future punters, and we hope to do this by keeping them informed and in the know on our products and offers at all time. A customer who is well-versed in our product, as well as informed on the intricacies of our offers, is a customer that is more protected and likely to enjoy our product as a whole.

"With our customers educated and happy with our product, we can look to go that extra mile in providing exclusive content and giveaways on a regular basis.”

Graham Weir, Ladbrokes Coral group director of responsible gambling, added: “It’s our responsibility to help our customers stay in control and gamble safely.  In a shop it’s probably easier to spot a change in someone’s behaviour when you know them and something changes. Quite often, a simple conversation may reveal the reason and help us give the person some advice and point them to sources of help.

“Online it’s bigger challenge, because there’s not the same level of personal interaction. While we can often glean some bits of information from live chat and email communications, we largely depend on our systems and process to spot potentially problematic patterns of behaviour.

“Once we spot something, we are committed to communicating with the customer in the best way we can. For most that will be an email or a pop-up message when they log into their account. The first time that we send a message to someone it will be a fairly light-touch approach. If someone continues to behave in the same manner, then the messages escalate in tone. We also take people out of CRM activity if they continue to flag in our systems.

“It’s important that we tell them about the changes we have spotted. We try to constructively nudge the customer to moderate their behaviour. We’ll signpost the RG tools and will for example, encourage them to set a deposit limit or lower their current one if we think they are spending too much. Equally, if we see that someone is spending more time playing games online, we’ll encourage them to set a reality check. Again, we try to signpost sources of help.

“There is of course the potential for customers to simply move their business to another operator if they feel they don’t want to be told about their behaviour, or if they’re simply in denial. Eventually there will of course come a point their new operator will send them a message too. We’ve carried out some research, which tells us that customers have started to notice the RG messages they get and they know that they’re likely to get them from more than one operator.

“The important thing for us is to give the customer the information they need. I understand that some people will need more nudging than others before they finally realise that they need to change. If someone fails to change their behaviour, then we look to review their account and may close it.”

Mark Mckeown, sales and business development manager for Ganapati, outlined three key ways Ganapati keeps its customers protected but engaged:

“Testing. All new games that we provide to our partners receive rigorous testing from both our developers and Quality Assurance teams. The games are literally played for millions of rounds to ensure that they are ready for play by players around the globe.

“Support. Timeliness to resolve any issues or questions that may arise is critical to ensuring our partners’ players remain protected but engaged.

“Back Office. The back office we provide to our partners is a pure web application that works seamlessly on all platforms: desktop, mobile and tablet. It is compliant with multiple regulators (MGA & UKGC) standards for security, reporting and game history requirements. This is critical to allow questions and issues to be resolved quickly by us and our partners.”

Delegates can attend ‘Customer Interaction Vs consumer protection’ on day three of EiG 2017 (October 30 - November 1), to find out more about this issues and how you can find the perfect balance between protection and engagement.

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