Online Gambling Case Study

Customer experience to deliver +5.5% revenues and 20+% EBITDA growth


1 July 2019

The gambling industry is rapidly changing. Increased regulation is driving market consolidation and customers’ expectations are evolving from niche sector towards mainstream entertainment and leisure activity. Increasingly, customers will compare premium gambling brands to other high-end entertainment companies such as Apple, Amazon, or Netflix, all with the highest levels of customer experience (CX) maturity.

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This leading and highly successful gaming company realised that it needed to change. The current trading model of recruiting new customers at scale, followed by rapid value extraction, and then accepting significant churn wasn’t sustainable. Stronger organic growth and retention is needed. The leadership saw the opportunity to design, deploy, and deliver an enhanced experience to elevate betting to end-to-end entertainment, and investing in the brand as blue-chip with premium pricing. They committed to earn a reputation as a company leading on customer experience.

Project approach and customer outcomes

For this phase of the programme the focus was on acquisition, conversion, and the on-boarding journey. These were critical to get right before the summer start of a major sporting event which generates orders of magnitude higher volumes of new players and is supported by substantial ATL advertising spend.

A highly experienced team was deployed leveraging a deep repository of templates and best practice and working closely with company staff to facilitate skills transfer and capability building. Three work-streams were executed in parallel, delivering value quickly and recommendations in time to support the marketing campaigns.

The first work-stream delivered customer journey maps for the on-boarding of new players, benchmarked against best practice. It identified over 30 quick win opportunities to realise 5.5% additional revenues (Net Gaming Revenues, NGR, an industry standard measure) over the first 30 days from a new player. Not only was this money left on the table today, but with 10-100-fold increase in new players expected for the imminent sporting event it represented a significant opportunity. This was true even without accounting for the increased revenues beyond the first 30 days, which would be substantial.

The second stream established metrics and insights for the customer experience. The company had not yet established a comprehensive practice of gathering customer experience feedback, and there was considerable scepticism that the Net Promoter approach might not be appropriate for real-money gambling. We tested three customer experience questions and metrics: Net Promoter Score (NPS) and two questions aligned with brand values. We established integrated insights combining enterprise data warehouse with customer experience survey data to demonstrate the value from CX and identify the best survey questions and scores. The analysis revealed that two of the three questions should form the basis of the CX programme: the NPS question has higher correlation with revenues and provides strategic insights from the verbatim comments, while one other question provides valuable insights into the user experience and user interface.

The third stream developed the organization’s vision, strategy, and roadmap for customer experience. It demonstrated how over 20% EBITDA growth over three years was well within reach by delivering the customer experience programme. We interviewed more that 40 leaders within the organization and combined the insights with feedback from a larger base of colleagues obtained through a detailed survey. Benefiting from extensive cross-industry best practice we were able to deliver a highly customised change programme that will deliver real and measurable value early by targeting the pains and opportunities specific to the company. The programme is self-funding in the first year.

Nobody in this sector is doing Customer Experience well; this presents a tremendous opportunity to differentiate in the market and position us as a blue-chip brand with premium pricing.

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