Gambling Websites On a Roll with Customer Service

Annual audit reveals significant improvements in online customer service for gambling sector

London, UK, 10th January 2008 – An independent audit has revealed a significant improvement in the customer service provided by UK gambling websites, keen to capture their share of the UK market, which is predicted togrow by 30% and reach spending levels of £1.6bn by 2012.  By embracingtechnologies such as online chat, and improving accuracy and speed of responses, the 100 UK gambling websites audited have increased their average score from 54% in 2006 to 61% in 2007, outperforming other UK market sectors including online retailers (51%) and broadband providers (54%). A full report of the findings, published today by customer service specialist Talisma, is available for download here.

Talisma contacted 100 of the UK’s most popular gambling websites to ask the following questions:

  • Is there a minimum deposit or bet amount to open an account with you?
  • Can I choose which currency to open my account in?

The experience was assessed against a range of customer service criteria, and each website awarded a score out of 100.

The audit revealed that UK gambling websites have improved customer service levels in three main areas, compared to 2006:

  • Responsiveness – the percentage of emails responded to has increased from 60% in 2006 to 74% in 2007, with the number of telephone calls answered within 10 seconds increasing from 84% to 90%
  • New interactive channels – 42% of companies now offer online chat, up by 12% from 30%.  Also, in 2006 only 70% of requests for an online internet chat session were replied to, but in 2007 all sessions received timely attention by agents
  • Accuracy of information – an impressive 100% of all chat sessions and emails, and 98% of all telephone calls, that were answered provided accurate and complete information

However, the 2007 audit did reveal that UK gambling websites are failing in certain areas of customer service which can significantly improve service efficiency, boost customer confidence and help retention efforts.  Only 8% of the phone calls answered were personalised compared to 33% of the chats and 78% of the emails. Few websites demonstrated blending of communication channels, with only 23% of telephone agents and 19% of chat agents able to track previous emails sent to the company by a customer.

In addition, as many as 92% of the websites audited did not provide a knowledge base to enable users to easily search and access information online. This can have a knock-on effect on customer acquisition and retention rates, as well as placing unnecessary pressure on agents.

“While it is encouraging that the UK online gambling sector has significantly improved customer service in 2007 there is still huge scope for improvement.  In a growing, competitive market customer acquisition and retention is key. UK gambling websites have a global customer base that wants easy access to information and immediate responses to enquiries, particularly when their money is quite literally at stake,” said Jon McNerney, vice president international operations at Talisma. “Gambling websites need to evolve a customer-focused strategy that provides high quality, round the clock support and empowers agents to manage an increasing number of interactions across a growing number of communication channels.”

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Methodology

The Talisma online gaming audit was conducted amongst the top 100 UK online gaming companies in October 2007. The audit monitors key best practice characteristics of customer service, including:

  • Access to service channels: Email, Chat, Phone and Self Help
  • Response speed
  • Accuracy and completeness
  • Personalisation
  • Media Blending

Final audit scores are calculated based on point scoring across multiple service channels. Service channels are weighted within the audit based on best practices and popular acceptance. The proper execution of these best practice criteria has been proven to elevate the quality of customer service and deliver optimal return on investment (ROI).