The ‘Get Communication & Rewards’ experience is one of the seven key Customer Experiences Kindred is focusing on to embrace a customer outside-in approach to how the business operates, organises, designs and delivers change.
As the name indicates, the experience focuses on improving two distinct, although highly connected, experiences: what, how and when we communicate to our customers on one hand, and how we better reward them for their loyalty on the other.
The vision for the ‘Get Communication & Rewards’ experience is to offer an experience to our customers that is personalised to customer needs, in a way that they feel valued by the brand and therefore keep coming back. It is our job to ensure we reward loyalty beyond just bonuses and communicate to customers in a manner that they value, at the right time, and in a way that is easy to understand.
Considering the large scope of this experience, this article will solely focus on shedding some light on how Kindred has been improving the ways we communicate with our customers until now and how we intend to keep improving this moving forward.
A follow-up article will tackle all the challenges related to the need to better reward our customers and even rethink the way we reward loyalty altogether.
The need for more personal conversations in the age of the customer
The online gambling industry is renowned for its well-spread use of bonuses. Some would even argue that the word ‘bonus’ could actually describe the whole online gambling industry. This has resulted in a vast majority of online gambling brands' communication with customers being transactional. We believe that our customers yearn for a relationship with us that goes beyond promotional communication.
Indeed, in an age where technology has tipped the balance in favour of the customer, who often knows more than companies do about their products and services, pricing, or reputation, brands that oversell are more exposed.
It is no surprise that our customers expect us to respect that power, and ensure that messages sent to them are timely, personalised and relevant. The most powerful messages are now becoming those that create a personal conversation as customers are increasingly demanding a two-way, meaningful conversation with their brands if they are to remain loyal and engaged.
So, how are we engaging our customers in those meaningful conversations?
Deliver value to customers:
We’re aiming to balance the need to market with the need to be helpful. Focusing solely on promoting our brands means losing sight of what matters to customers. They need us to pay attention to what's going on in their lives and provide solutions to their challenges. We need to find ways to show customers that we are empathetic and that we care. Tone-deaf self-promotion signals the opposite.
Value for customers is shaped by their personal situation and comparisons. A company’s products or services have no intrinsic value. Instead, context determines customers’ value perceptions. Therefore, we need to have a clear purpose when reaching out to customers and determine what kind of value we are adding. Do we want to communicate economic, functional, experiential, or symbolic value?
Ask for feedback & Close the loop:
For more than 6 years now, Kindred has been systematic at soliciting feedback from its customers across several aspects of their experience with us. Year to date, more than 120.000 customers have already shared their opinion. This feedback is essential for us to keep improving our customer experience. In order to make our customers feel that their thoughts are valued and actioned upon, we are becoming systematic at ‘closing the loop’ and letting them know about all CX improvements derived from their input.
Build stronger relationships with our community:
Unibet brand has been building an online community that today is 25.000 members strong and keeps growing. This online community allows our customers to learn, share and collaborate.
Unibet community is a tangible example of how we want customers to engage with us and each other and how we build meaningful relationships with our customers, including some of Unibet’s biggest advocates and brand ambassadors. This then translates into greater brand loyalty and upsell opportunities.
By breaking down the traditional one-way exchange of information and opening up our communication, Unibet community delivers value far beyond expectations. When we are able to tap into people’s unique perspectives and invite them to share their expertise and knowledge with others, we inspire engagement and connections that are relevant and meaningful.
Clear, timely and effective communication is vital for great CX
How brands engage customers is more important than ever. This was true before the pandemic, but since Covid 19, consumers’ expectations of how brands engage, respond to and help them have increased further.
Using advanced customer analytic models we’ve been developing over the years, we understand the impact of clear communication on CX and how it is virtually synonymous with trust.
Indeed, clear communication shapes customer perceptions of whether we are trying to help or deceive, it makes customers more likely to forgive a mistake and it also affects many aspects of CX throughout the entire customer life cycle.
Despite this, the harsh reality is that many companies often engage customers with no clear purpose. Their communication is often poorly timed, scattered and not consistent across channels. All those communication blunders fragment customer experience and leave the door open to miscommunication and mismanaged correspondence.
So, what are we doing to deliver clearer and more effective communication to our customers?
Let customers choose how they receive communications:
We are now giving customers the freedom to select how and when they want to interact with us, with the aim of creating a connected experience.
Orchestrate messages across channels:
When choosing how to communicate with customers, channel matters. If our content is not urgent and a must-know, we don't need to communicate it via a more intrusive SMS notification. Player safety-related warnings or service outage notifications have a time sensitivity that marketing messages don't necessarily have. Too many companies fail to account for this and select the wrong channel. We’re making it a priority to use the right channel depending on the content and nature of the message to be delivered.
Optimise message timing:
We have all paid a bill and then received a message that the bill still hasn't been paid or is overdue. It is always frustrating, and it says a lot about system silos at a company. Timing matters. We ensure that our communication responds to a customer's most recent activity. Customers may ignore such slip-ups once or twice, but constant errors in timing can result in frustration and loss of trust.
Results so far and the road ahead
With the ‘Get Communication & Rewards’ experience having been set up last year, the new model has already delivered some promising results. The satisfaction Kindred customers have in the communication they receive has improved by +11 points since Q1 2019 (from 68% up to 79% in Q4 2020).
We have fully embraced the fact that the way we engage and communicate with our customers can make or break the relationship. Moving forward, we aim to keep improving the ways we engage with our customers by designing and delivering an even more robust, consistent, and empathetic customer outreach.