Contact centres – at the heart of the growing gaming industry
Whatever your interest in sporting activities are, you can now access the latest events, from league championships to world cup events, online. It’s exciting and it’s entertaining. For many, placing a bet adds an edge. This has seen gaming and sports betting grow exponentially in Africa. At the heart of the betting operations? The contact centre – it keeps punters in the know and keeps them coming back for more, and keeps ops costs down.
The sports betting operations are big, with leading companies showing good growth and are in a position to sponsor major global sporting events and teams. Locally, combined revenues for sports betting are expected to reach R5 billion by 2019, up from a projected R4 billion in 2017, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. While horseracing remains the highest earning category, other sports, like soccer, are providing the majority of the growth and are expected to overtake horseracing in the next few years. Interaction with customers is an important part of the success of these operations and, importantly, maintaining their reputation.
Customers want to know where and how to register, place bets and get results. Requirements for each operator may be very specific and, as one of the few gambling sectors with permission to operate online, these are the channels that must be enabled. The challenge is that in any contact centre, the people or employee cost is highest expense. Traditional live voice interaction is thus expensive, and it may not be the customer’s first choice. The company thus needs to make provision for instant messaging, bulk SMS, live chat, voice and email interactions.
The ability to hook the contact centre apps into the company’s CRM and other backend systems is also vital to ensure the call centre agent has the information needed to service the customer effectively, and that operators can prioritise their customers. For these companies, it has been important to not just define requirements and operationalise a multi-facetted strategy for interaction – from bulk SMS to live chat and voice, but also to put management reporting in place to track interactions and performance, and to record interactions to ensure legal requirements are met and risk to the business is mitigated.
Companies looking to grow in this sector need to ensure they have a strong focus on the safety and satisfaction of their customers, while ensuring they meet legal and other requirements.
Danny Ross is an Africa Executive at Jasco East Africa