Should igaming operators compete on customer experience, or incentives?
Everyone knows that the betting and igaming sector is competitive – the question is, do you want to compete on customer experience, or by providing incentives to drive sign-ups? Luke Ormerod, director at search agency Blueclaw, argues in favour of the former.
It’s a fact that few companies want to think about too closely, but the truth is that customers have more important things to think about than your brand. When it comes down to it, a lot of what looks like a customer being loyal is just the tendency for people to fall into habit, convenience and the right price point.
For igaming and betting companies, the challenge is to create truly loyal customers who will recommend your brand to their friends – and that’s done through great customer experiences rather than costly special offers.
Of course, affiliates and white-labellers may find it more difficult than others to make changes to provide more enjoyable experiences – but that doesn’t mean you can’t refine how easy it is to revisit your site, or use marketing to create a stronger bond.
Essentially the importance of customer experience varies based on the type of company you wish to be, what you want to be famous for and how much scope you have to make life more interesting for customers.
For operators the decision is clearer – do you want to compete on customer experience, or constant special offers?
Here are three customer experience tips to help you win and keep customers based on experience rather than price:
Be brilliant at the basics
A lot of what is written about customer loyalty emphasises the importance of ‘delighting’ customers and (in igaming) delivering new platforms and prizes. In real life it’s difficult to be the best at all times to all people.
The good news is that there are ways to improve user experience in small ways to stand apart, and create long lasting customer relationships that will drive referrals.
If a customer has to struggle to deposit funds, or contact you when something goes wrong… if they find it difficult to cash out or have been misled by small print – well… you’re making it easy for them to consider switching to a competitor.
In the alternative scenario, where the igaming experience is seamless but doesn't necessarily feature anything wildly new or different, customers feel like they are in safe hands and can get on with enjoying themselves.
Establish your personality – be about more than just your games and odds
Pretty much every operator and affiliate has the scope to do this. By investing in content marketing you can do more than just improve SEO – you can create a stronger bond with customers.
The US Corporate Executive Board found that in a study of 7,000 consumers, 64% of those who stated that they had a strong relationship with a brand said the main reason was ‘shared values’.
This doesn’t mean endorsing a political party or committing to save the environment – it’s about having a brand that your customers can identify with. Are you fun and cheeky, or sophisticated and slick?
Intelligently use marketing to your advantage and you’ll create a stronger bond even in the competitive igaming industry.
On the plus side, it’s never been easier to directly gather user insight, understand the customers who pay your wages and consider how best to demonstrate that you “just get it”.
Turn customers into advocates
In a race to the bottom to compete on special offers, there can only be a few winners. For everyone else, they’re sacrificing revenue for customers who will happily switch to another platform if they see a similar incentive.
Your marketing machine has a role to play in uncovering positive player stories, and making use of their own networks to amplify your brand. Finding ways to engage, resource and aim current happy customers on social media is an excellent way to boost your visibility – so work with ‘promoters’ of your brand to make it happen.
At Blueclaw we work with a wide range of household names and challenger brands in the igaming and betting sectors – when we say that creating a deeper connection with customers is achievable, we really mean it – and you shouldn’t shy away from the challenge.