Expectations for quality customer service and experience are at an all-time high across nearly every industry. Given the number of solutions that serve to fulfill these expectations, such a trend only makes sense. We explored several aspects of designing a strong customer experience for the 2017 EGR Affiliate Report.The full article can be found on page 15 in the report’s online edition. We’ll be presenting the article here in two parts, with the first part available below. Look forward to tomorrow when we’ll publish the second and final part.
-According to Econsultancy’s 2017 Digital Trends report, 21% of company respondents and 31% of agency respondents believe that creating a customer experience (CX) that is “easy, fun and valuable” will be the most important means of differentiating themselves from competitors over the next five years.
The challenge of developing a CX is that no single solution guarantees higher conversion and retention rates. Fortunately, egaming stakeholders are often willing to embrace inclusiveness when setting strategy. Building on this receptiveness, we can identify three areas where affiliates and operators may focus – and potentially collaborate – to spark effective CX: teamwork, technology and user experience (UX). Revelatory
TeamworkAffiliate marketing’s continuous evolution as an acquisition channel is bolstered by the stamina of its stakeholders and their collaborative relationships. Affiliates and operators hoping to develop a valuable CX can harness that stamina to foster a culture of cross-functional initiatives essential to such an achievement. Each share the common goal of maximising conversions, which also provides incentive to open lines of communication across their respective teams.
Accenture Interactive’s Expectations vs. Experience: The Good, The Bad, The Opportunity, which is a study on CX transformation efforts in global enterprises, identifies several untapped CX opportunities regarding personnel and team building. The report showed that only 42% to 48% of brands surveyed had some skills in CX (areas such as innovation management, data analytics, and customer journey mapping) while just 34% to 50% (across five categories) claimed to have “strong internal collaboration for improving digital customer experience”.
Applying these insights from the broader CX discussion, affiliates and their operator counterparts can position themselves to recognise gaps in the collaborative process and fill them accordingly. Ensuring that the right people are brought together with access to relevant tools, serves to empower teams and contribute to a CX that strengthens acquisition and retention.
Writing in Chief Learning Officer, Heidi K Gardner, author of Smart Collaboration: How Professionals and Their Firms Succeed by Breaking Down Silos, explained: “On average, when product development specialists teamed up across three different business units, revenue from their customers was 160% higher than the sum of their individual sales in the prior year.”
Gardner’s words could inspire a variety of applications in CX development; however, in the case of egaming, a deliberate cross-functional approach is emerging as more necessity than ‘nice to have’.
Big data & techEgaming stakeholders, long captivated by big data and how can it act as fuel for decision-making, know that its influence over CX is also expanding with technological advancements in areas like machine learning. The most important activity for affiliates and operators, when it comes to embracing this technology, is to be considerate with identifying needs and procuring suitable tools and personnel to address their unique challenges.
Qubole, the big data-as-a-service company, recently published its State of DataOps Report, which states that 98% of the 406 participating IT and data professionals “face numerous challenges with their big data initiatives”. Although there can be no technological advancement without clearing a few hurdles, this statistic underscores the persistent complications associated with big data and its applications.
Moreover, 78% of respondents indicated that they “deliver big data projects on a ‘project by project’ basis” as opposed to providing a self-service platform. These figures reflect a broad spectrum of digital marketers, data scientists and business developers who are clamouring for more effective and flexible means of converting big data into meaningful customer-focused initiatives. Given egaming’s data-heavy nature, affiliates and operators have much to gain from tools that could help them make more informed CX decisions based on user behaviour.
The leveraging of machine learning, like many other data-centric advancements in tech, can be a pricey proposition. However, as asserted in SAS’s 2016 report, The Evolution of Analytics: Opportunities and Challenges for Machine Learning in Business, the cost is largely justifiable when considering potential gains. The report states: “Developing a data culture, implementing the required business processes, and investing in the appropriate technology… is the primary challenge of creating a data-driven organisation that can capitalise on the advances in machine learning.”
-Once you’ve read the second and final part of our contribution to the 2017 EGR Affiliate Report, in which we look at the role of the user experience (UX) in customer experience, please share your thoughts in the comments section.