Forward thinking: A progressive approach to customer relationships
Susan Quach, OpenBet’s senior director for customer experience, highlights the value of customer success and the role she plays in developing such an important function
Customer success departments are few and far between in the igaming industry, despite the clear value they represent. It is an incredibly important facet of a company’s makeup — for a B2B provider, delivering a partnership to an operator that prioritizes their needs and goals is invaluable.
A focus on customer success is reflective of the way the industry landscape has evolved, not just from a sports betting perspective but from a software delivery standpoint. Traditionally, suppliers have simply been told by the bigger brands what to build, whereas there is an increasing number of operators and partners in today’s marketplace that require advice on how to optimize a platform to perform to a higher standard. The industry is incredibly competitive now — market saturation has led customers to actively seek out experts for their guidance to help them excel.
The customer success movement
Today’s industry requires the implementing of a different philosophy, one that addresses the specific goals of customers. The core value behind this approach to customer success has to be devotion — the sports betting arena as a whole needs to move towards a more customer-centric mindset that puts greater emphasis on positive partner relationships. After all, it is the customer that dictates the ultimate success of the provider. Aspirations should encapsulate a desire to get closer to customers, understand how they use a product, and how their operational processes work, then build advice recommendations and operational optimizations around that. By appointing customer success managers that are passionate about sports, hold strong people skills, and are keen to educate, companies can revolutionize the way in which they help operators achieve their objectives.
Achieving growth in the US
In the context of the sports betting lifecycle, the US is relatively young. While the leading operators backed with significant investment have cemented their position in regulated states, others looking to enter the sports betting space depend on advice from experienced providers to establish a strong market share. Operating models need to be put in place to get to know the customer and their own demographics, allowing bespoke product sets to be built that they can take to the market to compete.
If the push is done behind their own brand, focusing on using the tools already at hand, then value can be added to existing assets. This is particularly true for existing land-based casinos, tribal operators, and lotteries, all of which have successfully built a strong consumer base. This optimism is what customer success should personify — creating a positive tone and empowering the customer.
This also entails providing new ideas and educating the customer — imparting industry knowledge in a constructive way. Anything from suggesting a greater focus on content, utilizing social media, and promotions to attract varied age groups, or pushing for a greater focus on data. A customer success team can also help operators navigate the increasingly challenging and varied landscape of responsible gaming in a number of ways, from identifying cutting-edge techs and tools to parsing new regulations.
Operators as partners
There are iterations of customer success that currently exist across the B2B space that, depending on their remit, vary considerably, but a customer-centric approach is the one that truly works. As one of the few to have such a department, OpenBet can attest to its efficacy — the products and services are important but so are the people behind them providing guidance, recommendations, as well as content. Operators need to be viewed as partners first and foremost, and key frameworks should be established to support them.
Susan Quach is the senior director for customer experience at OpenBet. Having previously worked as a consultant for Deloitte, she joined OpenBet as the first business analyst, establishing the role and seeing it become a critical position across many of the company’s teams. She is passionate about providing value to customers and has spearheaded many successful projects with OpenBet.