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Opinion: Player-centric products – what operators need to focus on

19th December 2022 10:26 am GMT

The iGaming industry is always changing, and one of the largest shifts in recent years has gone from a product-centric approach to a player-centric one, says sports betting supplier Delasport.

With so much choice at their fingertips, today’s players are looking for something more from their operators – something that elevates their betting experience above the generic clones and really stands out. The solutions are out there, but what can operators do to increase their player centricity, and what challenges do they face?

The dynamic has changed

Players today expect a remarkable experience in exchange for their money and loyalty. As a result, a completely new economy has emerged, one that is built around the experiences that players want to have, and what they expect. Unprecedented levels of competition, declining customer loyalty, and the accelerated pace of technology innovation, demand flexibility from both operators and service providers.

These factors have led to a significant change in the power dynamics between operators and their players, necessitating the adoption of a new strategy where player-centricity takes precedence over product-centricity. As such, both operators and suppliers need to rally around customers as a focal point to achieve better player acquisition, engagement, interaction and all-important retention. By designing end-to-end experiences that put the customer at the centre of it all, they will be able to strengthen their brand and player base for the long term.

Push factors towards player centricity

There are many reasons why operators are changing things up to put the player in the middle of everything. Some of these challenges can quickly become opportunities if operators and suppliers are willing to put in the investment.

Personalized customer experience: Differentiation in user experience becomes crucial in an industry that is becoming more and more commoditized, where competing products frequently share a similar look and feel. Personalization is a critical component of any customer-centric approach, where the content, communication, bonuses, and more are tailored according to player preferences and behavior.

Data plays a big part in this, where gaming companies will be able to see what games people play, how much they bet, and other information. As a result, gaming operators will be able to market to specific players more effectively while also providing them with a personalized entertainment experience.

Providing an experience: The most successful suppliers and operators are the ones who design products and services that differentiate themselves and create a buzz through innovative thinking. This ties into what is said above regarding personalization, where something unique and engaging is going to go a long way in terms of player retention and acquisition.

Customer service: Players desire prompt responses. They don't want to wait around for their questions to be answered or to be given cookie-cutter responses. Good customer service is likely to make a lasting impression, where players will feel like they are cared about, outside of the normal expected service levels. For instance, let’s say a player contacts support when they have an issue. This is a friction moment, but customer support can turn it around into an advantage with service excellence by solving the issue quickly in a friendly and professional way.

Gamification: Players will naturally spend more time with and return to products if operators can add features that are engaging and enjoyable for them. This enables operators to market additional goods and services to players, who are more likely to try them out due to the trust and familiarity that has already been built up.

The positive psychological reinforcement from gamification provides players with a thrill of outwitting the system, reaching a milestone, or even activating an exclusive feature. Gamification elements such as missions, tournaments and spin the wheel should not only be available to Casino players – Sports bettors should also have access to such features in their sportsbooks.

Accessibility: Customer satisfaction and loyalty is hard-won in the iGaming industry, which is why making registration, payouts, deposits and other actions as simple as seamless as possible. A bettor might not complete their registration and initial funding journey if there is any friction in the customer journey.  As such, every step of the customer journey – not just when they bet – needs to be smooth and hassle-free.

Examples of customer centricity

There are many ways in which suppliers and operators can foster a player-centric betting environment. Here are just a few examples:

  • Content tailoring
  • Content feeds on homepages curated depending on player choices and behavior
  • Dedicated content for different markets
  • Special bets
  • Bonuses generated according to their behaviors
  • A good selection of payment methods according to their packets
  • The ability to pre-book bet slips, following bets in real-time
  • Subscribe to a preferred live dealer
  • quick bet option based on past activities
  • Extensive marketing possibilities for registered players, such as free bets and bonuses
  • Faster approach through pre-booked bet slip

Change up the focus

There is a tremendous opportunity for gaming operators and suppliers alike to create a more adaptable and enjoyable gaming environment. However, as seen above, it’s not just about changing one thing – it takes a cultural shift within the company to give player-centricity real thought and investment, for which the rewards can be significant. People are not starved for choice and will quickly move on if they find something better. By showing them (and not just telling them) that they are indeed the focus, they are more likely to stay loyal and even become advocates.

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