Paul Buianov, Founder and CEO at customer support specialist BetCare, talks through some of the challenges new gambling brands face when it comes to customer support and how they can be overcome.
One of the most powerful ways that new online gambling brands can differentiate is through the customer support they offer to players. But most operators underestimate its potential to help them stand out and instead focus on areas such as bonusing and marketing.
Other operators believe that setting up 24/7 customer support is exorbitantly expensive and that more basic, cheaper solutions suffice. Operators with this mindset are wrong on both accounts, but they are right to think that offering five-star customer support is easier said than done.
Let’s take a look at some of the challenges new online casinos and sportsbooks can face when it comes to their customer support function.
Always-on customer support:
Consumers now expect to be able to access support services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is why online gambling brands must ensure their agents are available around the clock to respond to player questions and help with any account issues they are having.
This means building out a 24/7 customer support team, and this usually means taking on more staff and having them work different shifts.
But it is vital that support is always available – someone playing in the early hours of the morning encountering an issue should receive the same level of service as someone placing a bet on a Saturday afternoon. If they don’t, they could leave the brand and never come back.
Customer support agents must be able to answer any question the player has, whether that is about their account, the terms and conditions of a bonus offer or why they can’t withdraw with the same payment method they used to deposit.
This means training agents in every aspect of the online casino or sportsbook, from the platform and how it works from a technical perspective to marketing campaigns, games and more. This is a significant undertaking and requires extensive documentation and regular training.
During busy playing periods, customer support can find itself under pressure with more player enquiries coming in than they can answer. This leads to live chat queues and unanswered emails stacking up which in turn leads to a negative player experience.
But it is often the case that the vast majority of the questions asked and issues faced are common. One way to avoid bottlenecks is to create an FAQ section where players can quickly find answers to these common questions, or even add additional lines to T&Cs.
Of course, knowing what these common questions and issues are often comes down to experience, something that a new online sportsbook or casino brand might not have.
Building out a customer support function is expensive, especially one that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That is why a lot of new online gambling brands look to outsource this to a dedicated customer service specialist.
This enables them to offer five-star levels of support, but without having to invest significant time and resources into providing it. This in turn enables them to unlock the tremendous benefits that superior customer service provides. Let’s take a quick look at some of these upsides.
Build trust with players:
It is incredibly difficult for a new online gambling brand to build trust with players. Affiliates may not have reviewed the sportsbook or casino yet, and players are unlikely to have left reviews on platforms such as TrustPilot.
But one of the easiest and most effective ways of building trust is through customer support. Experienced agents know exactly how to engage players, communicate with them and build high levels of loyalty to the brand. It usually just takes a warm greeting and resolving issues quickly.
It is surprising how many things players can break when navigating their way through an online sportsbook or casino – things they then report to customer support. This provides a real-time feedback loop for operators, allowing them to respond without delay.
This means they can spot weaknesses in the player journey, user experience flaws and areas of the site that are broken and fix them before they become a major problem that ultimately sees players leave the brand to play somewhere else.
Bonuses that work:
New brands find it difficult to create bonus packages and marketing campaigns that hit the mark with their players. This is where customer support agents come in – they can test different bonuses by manually adding them to player accounts and then collect direct feedback.
This ultimately ensures that bonuses deliver the highest value to the operator’s players and this in turn can super-charge their acquisition and retention offers while delivering unrivalled ROI.