Whatever service or product we purchase, the way we are served plays a decisive role in our willingness to become a regular customer. A store with friendly assistants who help customers make the right choice without pressure, process the sale smoothly and maybe give a coupon for the next purchase will have a much better client retention rate than a store where customers are left wandering around or queuing.
An online casino is no exception, and most players do pay special attention to the quality of customer support. People who provide first line support play the role of shop assistants and are, in essence, the face of the casino. While all casino operators have their client support teams, not all of them realize their utmost importance in building an effective player retention strategy.
Based on our experience of operating several support teams for different casinos, we’ll try to provide a brief review of how to establish effective client support and get the most out of it so that players keep coming back to your casino for more.
In-house or outsourced support team?
First of all, the casino operator needs to solve the dilemma: building his own in-house player support team or having professionals do that for him.
Having your own team has undeniable benefits, such as closer working relationships support managers and better control over their performance. But it can also become a bottleneck in case you don’t have enough experience in recruitment and proper training. Besides, you will need to create additional office space and work infrastructure, think about physical and information security, and take care of a wealth of other matters going hand in hand with hiring full-time employees.
If you prefer to save time on that hassle and invest it into your marketing, you could let iGaming professionals build a support team for you. Such service is sometimes offered by the software company which provides the casino software platform. For a monthly fee you get your ready-to-use and well-trained customer support team which works distantly from the provider’s office, speaks several languages, and knows casino administration inside out. All you need to do is to give clear instructions on your promotion policies, KYC and payment processing procedures, VIP customer treatment and other peculiarities of your business model.
You can also decide whether you want to share your team with other online casino operators or have dedicated managers which only serve your players. The latter option is more attractive but also more expensive.
If you as a casino operator still prefer to create his own client support team, below are the main steps to take.
How to build your own casino support team
The first step is finding the right people. In a land-based casino, great attention is paid to hiring dealers. They must have a pleasant and neat appearance, be polite and attentive to players, work professionally at the tables. Support managers in an online casino shall meet similar (or even higher) requirements:
- Previous experience in the iGaming industry is an advantage, but not a must. Young specialists who can’t boast an impressive track record in the industry often turn out to be better motivated and work harder.
- Have excellent computer skills.
- Know two or more foreign languages, the choice shall depend on the casino target audience.
- An understanding of the main casino game rules and experience in playing is an advantage. Active (and responsible) gamblers have a good understanding of the player psychology and make very efficient client support managers.
- Have a general understanding of human psychology; be patient and flexible with different types of players.
- Have perfect communication skills. A manager shall be comfortable about taking the initiative and contacting players, creating a friendly atmosphere and thus motivating players to make additional bets and stay at the casino.
- Analytical skills. A client support manager shall be able to analyze the situation, e.g. see how much a player has already deposited and won/lost and estimate the potential for further play. Based on this info, a manager can decide upon the feasibility of giving a certain personal bonus to a certain player.
- Be responsible and able to follow the exact instructions.
- Be stress-resistant. Casino client support means talking to different people in a different mood. Players may get frustrated and even become aggressive, and the key thing is staying calm and not taking anything personally.
As you see, the list of requirements is quite impressive when it comes to so-called “soft skills”.
Once you are happy with the choice of employees, it’s time to do the training. Provide plenty of information on the games, payment options and terms, policies and promotions you have and create clear written instructions. The instructions shall cover all possible situations a manager may have with players and contain details such as:
- What extra bonuses a client support manager is entitled to offer to a player. It can be a bonus to motivate a happy player to make a higher deposit, or a bonus to a disappointed player to make him return to the casino. Set standard bonus amounts and limits within which a manager is entitled to change these amounts.
- KYC procedures are crucial. Establish which player documents need to be checked before processing cash out requests.
- In which situations a client manager shall initiate a conversation with a player.
- Policies on how to react in a situation when a player gets aggressive and “goes ballistic”.
- Steps to follow in case of fraudulent player actions.
Even the most professional client support managers with previous experience in iGaming need to know how your online casino works.
There is no other effective way to serve casino players but 24/7 support. So start with evaluating the potential workload depending on how many players you have on your website at a time and decide upon the number of support employees needed.
It is not advisable to have more than 5 players chatting with one support manager at a time. Organize shifts to make sure people working at night change. Finally, make sure there’s a cozy working space and pay special attention to the security of your office during the night shifts. Support managers will feel comfortable and safe and this will boost their productivity.
There are different ways to evaluate the performance of your client support team as a whole and of each support manager individually. The most widely used evaluation criteria are the following:
- Time within which an inquiry in the live chat is answered. Players don’t like to wait for too long, so the time of response shall not exceed 1-2 minutes.
- The time within which a player’s issue is resolved.
- Number of players served by each support manager during a shift.
- Player feedback. Players are willing to share their personal experience with a certain casino on forums, blogs and other web resources devoted to gaming. Client support is an important point in their estimations. Besides, many live chat tools provide a possibility for the players to give a grade to a certain support manager after a chat.
Naturally, these criteria should be taken into consideration collectively to give you a clear picture.
Motivation is a key factor in creating an efficient team which will bring your player support to the top level. Among traditional means of employee motivation, such as performance-based bonuses for individuals or shifts (which we totally recommend giving), tips from players also work very well. Like in a land-based casino, clients are welcome to reward a support manager in case of good service provided.
If client satisfaction is your number one priority, make sure that your client support team can solve any problem and answer any question in the friendliest manner and within the shortest time frame possible. Remember that online casino players are quick to publicly share their opinion, whether positive or negative, and their public opinion builds your online casino’s reputation.