Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) is an important business practice today. As competition increases, and customer bases and markets grow larger, it is becoming increasingly important for online gaming operators to get more information about their customers in order to maintain (and potentially grow) their market share and build customer lifetime value. The gaming industry has championed the practice of customer relationship management – in fact, casinos have been keeping track of customers for years. But with CRM, they can take the customer relationship to a whole new level.
The Importance of CRM in the Gaming Industry
Casinos have been at the forefront of realising the enormous value of truly detailed customer information and using this information in managing their customer relationships. For several years, almost every casino’s information system has already contained data on player statistics, such as average bet, duration of play, and win/loss – using a CRM software now serves to centralise data gathering and analytics efforts even further.
Usually, CRM systems are designed to collect customer information across multiple channels and contact points, while also holding the potential to be equipped with customer-facing staff armed with exhaustive information on customers’ personal preferences.
The main goal of CRM is to help companies to:
- gain a better understanding of their customer behaviour
- develop stronger customer relationships by customisation of customer service
- improve their marketing and engagement efforts
- be more efficient customer acquisition and retention
- reduce churn rate
- more effective cross-selling
- automate repetitive tasks to enhance marketing efforts
- increased measurability of marketing efforts and campaigns
- refine audience segmentation for more focused targeting
- improve cost management
- increase profitability.
Casinos have been masters of CRM for years, utilising complex customer data on a larger scale, from sources such as socioeconomic databases, loyalty cards, and cross-matching of credit cards with other files. Truth is, what casinos and gaming platforms are doing is nothing new compared to what other businesses are doing – but are more sophisticated about it. This is especially the case given the unforgiving conditions in which the technology has to perform. Casinos and gaming platforms operate 24/7, so there is no time to make database updates or backups. In iGaming, the use of CRM is immediate – employees need customer data as soon as possible – while the customer is ‘standing’ in front of them.
Successful CRM Implementation
There are serious advantages over rival that come from a successful CRM implementation. In using CRM tools, gaming companies can take an analytical approach in using their information. All customer data is stored in one data warehouse which is accessible to marketing managers so they can analyse the data and harness predictive modeling. At the same time, customer service representatives can also access these records to improve communication and answer customer queries with personalised responses and offers.
The true power of CRM systems lies in their potential to minimize risk of failure by leveraging the true potential of their data wealth which is stored and consolidated in a structured manner and yields comprehensive insights into players’ preferences and needs.
Impact on Business Performance
Implementing a CRM solution requires thorough planning and careful execution. In the long run, it pays to have the support of an experienced team that can help the process of setting up and using the CRM system.
A word of warning however, attention to current resources that are readily available are far more important to success than the amount of money spent on robust CRM systems. It is what you do with the information you collect in order to benefit from implementing a CRM system that will truly define your return on investment. CRM cannot fail if you plan accordingly.
It is crucial for online gaming businesses to fully recognise the value of customers over time. And even though technology plays a key role, the focus should be on the business practice. Even though you need top-level support for CRM implementation, the future (and success) of CRM lies in the hands of the employees that use it on a daily basis to ensure the customers are truly catered to. CRMs help gaming companies change the way they work, leading them to change their focus from serving the general public to catering to single customers. Thus, building stronger relationships and increasing retention rates and profits – which in turn, pave the way to success.