Lotteries must concentrate on customer experience management

I have written this text for www.LotteryDaily.com and it is partly modified by Conor Porter.

Customer experience management has been an increasing trend among companies in the consumer business. Modern business companies focus on producing and developing the customer experience. The lottery business needs to recognize itself as a part of the gambling and even entertainment business, where they face heavy competition despite the nominal monopoly.

Excellent customer experience should help lottery to stand out from its competitors. I think there are still lotteries that do not feel involved in a competitive market. These companies certainly do not improve the customer experience, at least not to achieve a better business result. However, managing the customer experience also helps increase operational responsibility, which all lotteries should strive for.

Customers are different. That is why we shouldn’t show everyone the same content.

Personal content requires automation. Improving the transaction experience requires responding to an individual customer’s need: digital store and messaging should strive to show the customer the content he is likely to be looking for. Manually targeting customer-specific content (product, service, or benefit) is impossible. It is ineffective by human-made rules and quickly becomes uncontrollably complex. We should target content with learning automation.

Companies need a different kind of information and understanding about customers at strategy and operational levels. In the past, companies used the same socio-economic customer data at all levels, and therefore the results were not particularly good. Of course, that model proved better than working without any customer information.

Anyhow, now the situation is much better. Tools like segmentation, customer lifetime value, and RFM-models are used to improve customer experience, or at least to measure results from actions targeted to improve customer experience.

We have identified three key things that need to be in good shape to improve the customer experience. Lotteries need to know their customers, have the capability to measure results from actions, and test a lot of different ideas. Those ideas with positive impact should continue, and you could throw the rest away.

The key is to understand that the customer experience depends on many different things and improvement is only possible step by step. Progress is made by making better solutions for customers one thing at a time.

The digital sale of advanced lotteries includes at least analytically driven digital marketing, customer communication, game and service targeting, and service design. The model focuses on creating an efficient and measurable approach to develop overall customer relationships through shared data, personalization, and automation.

Machine learning guides what should be offered to the customer next. It would help if you used a learning algorithm that organizes digital channels’ search functions to find the customer’s most interesting content. When a customer finds content that interests him, the customer experience improves, and loyalty increases. The web pages and mobile applications layouts are based on a modular structure, supporting continuous content optimization for a single customer.

Digital marketing is a modern way to do marketing, but you should have marketing permission in some areas. The push message is suitable for gambling through applications, which has a fast response time and serves as a ‘last-minute’ reminder when the content needs to be specific and short.

Automated triggers and manual marketing campaigns, based on marketing permissions, are useful tools. Customer communication is targeted based on customer’s gambling behavior: e.g. games played, games last played, channel, responsible gaming aspects/risk players, and geographical elements. The other methods are permission and order-based communication. Order based service messages are messages which customers can decide to receive.

A broad and competitive product range is the lifeblood of success because it cannot differ significantly from what the other operators have. Customer experience is, thus, the most important means of differentiation.

The level of ambition of the digital transaction experience should contain world-class usability in online and mobile service, the cross-channel and innovative game and service offering, the most personalized data-driven holistic transaction experience, and the best gaming management tools.

The loyalty program is an essential part of the lottery’s business strategy. It can be used to emphasize the importance of customer relationships and improve customer engagement with the lottery. Loyalty programs could also increase responsible identified playing. It should be available for the points of sale network too. Typical ways to use it are website or by mobile phone and tablet device and also physical card.

Lotteries should offer a good customer experience and high consumer protection. Restrictions and tools proposed must not compromise the customer experience. Restrictions, blocking, and management services should be a natural and easy part of gambling.

Restrictions should not lead to a customer experience where the customer feels that he is facing too much patronage, but to a situation where the customer is facing excellent and caring customer service. The customer must be informed of the game restrictions so clearly that he understands what he is restricting and what conditions he will face.

Critics think that lotteries should not use customer information and tools to improve the customer experience and, thus, business performance. They believe that such activity will cause gambling problems automatically.

However, I think a lottery’s role is to channel customer’s gaming into their offerings. Society should impose general restrictions on the operation of lotteries, within which companies can then strive to provide a safe and optimal customer experience. Seeking business results should not automatically mean increasing gambling problems.

Customer experience will be one of the most developing areas in the future. Lotteries need to understand that customers want a personal customer experience that follows them no matter what sales channels they use. Of course, understanding alone is not enough; lotteries need to provide players with such a customer experience.

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