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FOCUSING on customer support can help up-and-coming casinos compete against the big players in the online gaming industry, says Tore Henriksen, head of customer operations at Enteractive, who has been talking to CasinoBeats.

CB: What are some of the key challenges facing small to medium-sized casinos when trying to compete with tier-one operators?

TH: “There are so many online casinos operating in the online gaming industry, meaning competition is fiercer than ever and the ability to differentiate is proving much more difficult.

“While tier-one operators can often lean on a big budget to devise marketing campaigns and develop new products in house, the SMEs operating in the marketplace have to think of alternative and cost-effective measures in order to compete, largely as they have smaller pot to play with.

“…players crave a personalised approach and giving them care and attention can go a long way to improving loyalty.”

“That’s where customer support can play a big role in acquiring and retaining players. It’s well known that players crave a personalised approach and giving them the care and attention can go a long way to improving loyalty.”

So how exactly can customer support services help improve smaller casinos?

“Honing in on and improving the user experience is such an important factor for all operators but particularly for smaller businesses as it can make a real difference. Outside of the igaming industry, it’s often the case that the independent and lesser-known brands sharpen their focus on going that extra step to please their customers in an effort to stop them jumping ship.

“The same approach should be adopted for smaller casinos too. ‘Know your customer’ is a phrase often attributed as a compliance measure but it should also relate to the relationship between operators and end users. Developing a strong relationship means understanding their needs and providing them with a personalised service which matches their expectations.

“We’ve found that some operators are initially reluctant to outsource customer support as it is such an important part of the business. Understandably, they want to feel they are in control of what is being communicated to the paying public. But we make sure we are very transparent and that they have good visibility on all messaging and communications.

“We listen to the players and, in turn, pass on insights to the operators who can then reap the rewards of our considerable knowledge in the industry, across all verticals, different platforms, and markets. This gives them the benefit of our focus on customer experience as a whole, not just what is communicated in a singular chat session or email.”

What are the most effective techniques in providing customer support?

“There are a variety of ways to communicate with players, such as one-to-one phone calls, live chat and social media. The key however is taking a multi-channel approach in order to engage with players in their preferred mode of communication and therefore maximising engagement levels.

“Another important factor is that support staff are trained to understand the tone and brand culture of the operator.”

“Another important factor to consider is that the support staff that are in regular contact with players are fully trained to understand the tone and brand culture of the operator.

“Interaction has to remain consistent across the board, ensuring no player receives an insufficient response when contacting for support.

“At Enteractive, our trained agents must have a similar cultural background and be able to speak the same language as the player they are engaging with. They are also available around the clock to deal with any requests, understanding that the igaming industry never stops and is accessible 24/7.”

What evidence do you have to show the benefits of focusing on customer support for casinos?

“Through our experience of customer support at Enteractive, quality relationships can create up to 10 times longer connections and improve loyalty. Players appreciate the extra care and attention given to them by operators, ultimately enhancing the user experience that keeps them coming back for more.

“For operators, it leads to increased lifetime value of players and helps provide them with that competitive edge over their rivals.”