Operating within the highly competitive iGaming market means that resource efficiency is especially important. Labour intensive but mission-critical processes such as CRM can be a major pull on resources but new technology emerging on the market could finally be the key to mastering this process, helping to increase operational capacity and allowing more time for analysis or concept building.
We spoke with Mathieu Chevalier, Solutions Consultant at Fast Track to hear his thoughts on the future of CRM in iGaming and how it can be used as a tool for sustainable growth going forward.
For many operators, CRM processes can take a lot of time and resources to set up and execute successfully. What can be done to streamline this process and allow more time for creative concept building and performance analysis?
“CRM teams tend to be working across multiple systems that don’t communicate well with each other (if at all) in order to build campaigns and engagements. This creates a challenge as they need to be able to work in all these separate platforms and transfer information between them.
“Centralising both the data and workflow is the first step towards freeing up time for your CRM team. It can reduce the time spent on execution significantly. Imagine the time saved logging into one system, instead of five or ten, or being able to reuse segments that are always up to date rather than requesting or creating new lists of players for every campaign.”
How important is real-time data in regard to player engagement? Going forward, will this be more useful than historical player data when attempting to optimise customer experience?
“Real-time data is essential to a successful player engagement strategy. It’s no longer something that can wait on a “nice to have” list; it really needs to be built into the foundations of everything you do. Players expect the same experience as in the rest of their online life, which means relevant interactions in the right moments.
“For example, you have a player who has a failed deposit. If you wait 24 hours, or even a few minutes to respond, the chances are you’ve already lost them. If you are able to engage them in the moment with information about how they can get support, it’s a completely different experience.
“Historical data does have its place; you need it to train machine learning models and make predictions about player behavioural trends. However, you need to be able to act on those predictions, as well as day to day behaviour, in the right moments. You can’t do that without real-time data.”
Scaling up can often be a challenge for operators, ensuring the increased levels of activity do not badly impact the customer experience. How can working with 3rd party solutions such as Fast Track help gaming companies maximise their growth potential?
“The main benefit of working with third-party solutions is that you free your team up to focus on your core business. For example, if a CRM team has access to a real-time segmentation model like they do in our platform, they no longer need player lists. The data or BI team can spend more time analysing data and improving infrastructure instead of pulling lists for campaigns.
“One thing we are really excited to offer operators is the Singularity model. We are rolling out the ability to create machine learning models to help our partners manage scalable, 1:1 interactions with their players. I think everyone recognises that retaining players is the way to scale successfully as an operator. You need to be able to engage your players with relevant communications and offers in the right moments if you want their loyalty.”
Player protection is, of course, high on the entire sector’s agenda. What role will data and CRM play in the ongoing battle against problem gaming and better facilitate responsible gambling?
“CRM and player protection are sometimes perceived as almost opposite functions within an operator. However, the truth is that both are about making sure each individual who interacts with your brand has the best possible experience.
“When you have the capabilities to run highly personalised, real-time engagements with your players, it means you also have the capabilities to enhance your player protection activities. You can use the same data and the same communication workflows to send a retention offer to one player while alerting your RG team to the potentially harmful behaviour of another.”
As technology such as AI and Machine Learning continue to be adopted across industry, operator processes will become increasingly automated. Will the need for human touch be completely nullified in the future?
“This is a great question. The short answer is: no. I think teams can rest assured that automation and new technologies will not replace them. In fact, they should be excited about how their working day will change with the help of all this innovation.
“In Fast Track’s case, we are working towards a future where CRM teams spend (a lot) less time on execution and spend more time on the creative process, experimentation and analysis. This is only achievable by automating the delivery process through the use of real-time data and building towards machine learning models making some of the decisions about who, what and when.”
Mathieu has given us some valuable insights on CRM and its relationship with the iGaming sector. The value of historical player data will become increasingly diminished as innovative solutions such as Fast Track’s are now able to process huge amounts of data points in Real-Time. This element of live content is essential to a successful player engagement strategy.
Mathieu also ensures to highlight the duality of these new capabilities, in regard to player protection. You can use the same data and the same communication workflows to send a retention offer to one player as you can alerting your RG team to the potentially harmful behaviour of another. We look forward to seeing how the various elements of CRM can be best integrated with industry operational needs going forward.