Enteractive: When Times are Tough – Calling is Caring

Mikael Hansson, CEO of Enteractive, says that online gambling operators can still retain players even during the global sports blackout so long as they pick up the phone and give them a call.

The global online gambling industry is facing a global challenge due to the ongoing crisis with cancelled sports events and many other difficulties. This is also the time for operators to show that they really care about their customers, and with the right approach they can come out on the other side with strengthened customer relationships.

This is absolutely the case for online sportsbook operators who are struggling to fill the void left by the world-wide cancellation of matches, tournaments and events.

While online casino and poker operators are seeing a rise in the number of players visiting their brands, there are concerns being raised over responsible gambling during this time.

This has seen regulators in countries such as Spain take fairly drastic measures such as banning all gambling advertising for the duration of the country’s lockdown.

But operators – even online sports betting sites – can and should be taking additional steps to reach out to players to reassure them and to remind them about the safe gaming tools offered.

Firstly, this is absolutely the right thing to do when it comes to being a responsible operator, and secondly, it is a good opportunity to show players they are valued.

Retention is going to be critical if online gambling operators are to weather the storm. Opening a direct line of communication with customers is absolutely the best way to do this.

This is certainly the case for sportsbook brands who have to think of other ways to provide entertainment and value to customers while players and teams sit idle.

Pick up the telephone and speak to customers:

The best way of communicating with players is to pick up the telephone and speak with them directly. This allows for a human connection to be made.

Over the past week, we have seen that a quick phone call just to check in is highly valued by the customer, even with no sports events being held and limited betting markets offered.

You could simply ask how the player is doing, enquire about their situation – are they working from home, what are they doing to keep busy, etc.

Remember, this is a time where a lot of people are being forced to stay indoors and not spend time meeting with family and friends.

A quick call from their favourite sportsbook brand provides the feeling of community and socialisation they are seeking and strengthens their positive feelings towards the brand.

Of course, a good conversation would also open up to talk about additional game verticals such as virtuals, poker or casino and they can remind the player about these options.

But that’s not really what this is all about – It’s about relationships.

The main reason for calling customers is to strengthen the relationship between player and brand, not to upsell them additional products and services. That has always been the reason and it does not change because of changed circumstances.

Anecdotally, online poker has enjoyed a resurgence since sports events have been cancelled and lockdowns put in place – there is a great deal of cross-over between sports and poker.

So, if the sportsbook operator also has a poker product and the person talking to a customer thinks the player would enjoy poker, it is, of course, ok to make them aware of it.

Naturally, if the online gambling brand is able to build a stronger relationship with the player, they are highly likely to remain loyal to the brand and an increase in revenues occurs as a result, so caring for players does indeed have an undisputable ROI.

Re-think how you communicate with players:

Given increasing restrictions regarding how online gambling operators can market to players during the crisis, there is an opportunity for operators to rethink their communication strategies.

Because they are not able to target players with bonuses and incentives during this time, they are going to have to engage with them in different ways – as mentioned above.

But many will find that this actually improves the relationship they have with their players. This, in turn, will drive loyalty and ultimately retention even during these uncertain times.

It really just comes down to showing players that you value them and that you truly care.