With racing enthusiasts waging over £500 million during Cheltenham Festival this March––and sports betting customer forecast to grow at a compounded 7% annually––the UK gambling industry is experiencing a period of sustained growth. This has lead to the number of customers reaching out over social with queries and questions also increasing. With the 2014 World Cup in Rio around the corner, social customer service volumes do not look to be subsiding anytime soon.In fact, the 2014 World Cup is set to be the biggest gambling event to date. With such a large choice of gaming companies, all offering highly competitive odds and offers, customer service is a way to differentiate and stand out in a crowded marketplace. An efficient social customer service strategy gives brands the ability to win new customers, whilst ensuring the retention of existing customer base.
There has been an increasing shift in the last 12 months as more brands see the value of social as a means of customer support––and rightly so, with downloads of betting apps for mobile phones numbering in their millions. This, coupled with an ever more socially savvy consumer base, means companies are looking to support customers no matter what their choice of contact channel is.
With this in mind, I decided to compare the performance of the UK’s biggest sports betting companies on Twitter, to see how prepared they are for the upcoming World Cup.
**Methodology: In all cases we used the Twitter Search API to find all mentions of @ mentions (up to the first 2001). We then gathered the replies that the brand Twitter handle made. We automatically matched replies to mentions and calculated the time taken in each case, excluding the slowest 5% of tweets (which can otherwise disproportionately affect the results).**
Average Response Time & Responsiveness:
- Average: 37 mins
- Best: 5 seconds
- Worst: 3 days 2 hours
- 87% of responses under 1 hour
- Avg Mentions per hour: 12
- Avg Responsiveness: 20%
-Speed is Key: with bets being placed immediately before, and even during sporting events, real-time customer service is imperative. With 5 of the 7 (@WillHillBet, @skybethelp, @Betfairhelpdesk, @Betfred and @AskPaddyPower) reviewed companies making a first response to customer service enquiries in 30 minutes or less, we can see that this is clearly understood by the industry leaders.
-Dedicated Social Customer Service Handles: 4 of the 7 (@skybethelp, @Betfairhelpdesk and @AskPaddyPower) Twitter handles were either dedicated care handles, or in the case of William Hill, a sports betting dedicated handle (numerous companies in the gambling industry also have handles for different products, such as poker, or casino). Dedicated handles work well by offering customers a resource just for their issues, and saves time working through “noise” or non-customer service messages. With customers going to dedicated channels for other products, such as poker, it also allows resourcing by agent skillsets allowing improved service, with shorter handling times.
-Prioritizing Customer Service Messages: Betfred and Bet365’s responsiveness levels are all below 15% of directed content. Sifting through noise on social is time consuming, and detracts agents from concentrating on solving customer issues. By prioritizing actionable content, agents are able to work systematically through the messages that require a more time sensitive response, especially pertinent when in-play gambling is taking place.
With the huge sums of money set to be wagered on sporting events such as Royal Ascot and the World Cup this summer, gaming companies are looking to differentiate themselves from the competition. This can be achieved through fast and efficient social customer service. Volumes are growing, and companies need to be available through the customer channel of choice, or risk them going elsewhere.
Great service can turn one-time customers into loyal advocates, with a customer experiencing positive social customer care four times more likely to endorse you than those who don’t. Done right, social customer service can not only retain current, but also attract new customers. Discover your Twitter customer service performance below.