The ‘Play Sports’ 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.
The ‘Play Sports’ experience includes all journeys where customers engage with and bet on 'odds based' products like sports, racing, e-sports and politics as well as Random Number Generation (RNG) products that offer a sports-like experience such as virtual sports.
The vision for the ‘Play Sports’ experience is one that is fast and enjoyable, customised to individual needs, and recognised by players as being fair and trustworthy. It must be quick and easy for customers to find the events and information they need to place the bets that they want. After an event, it’s our job to ensure bets are settled quickly and accurately, and, if needed, provide a clear and fair explanation as to why it was settled that way.
The importance of relevance in a constantly changing massive offering
The nature of sports means that our offering is constantly changing over time. Leagues start and end, and big events such as the World Cup come every four years, meaning the offering we present to customers is never the same. At any point in time, there are thousands of events and hundreds of thousands of bets offers to choose from.
Betting customers also have very different preferences in terms of what they bet on:
- Sport (football, tennis, E-sport)
- Pre-match or live
- Big leagues or small local ones
- Single bets or combinations
- Low odds or high odds
- Offering (fulltime, final score, corners)
To be able to give our customers the most enjoyable experience, we need to be as relevant in what we present as possible, trying to predict what they are looking for, so they don’t have to spend time finding it. We are currently using both real-time statistics as well as personalisation algorithms, but we still have a long way to go to reach our vision of a play sports experience that is uniquely personal to every customer’s individual needs.
Placing a bet needs to be fast
Imagine that you are at the pub and you want to place a bet on the football match you’re watching on TV. You want to bet on who will get the next goal. You take out your phone, find the bet you want to place, try to place the bet, but by the time the bet processes, the next goal has already happened.
Time is always of the essence when it comes to betting, since what you are betting on happens in real time. Customers do not have time to wait, the odds might change or the offer might be closed. To guarantee this speed, we need to make sure that the client is rendering fast, displays the latest odds and that the bet placement is processed quickly.
But we also need to work closely with the other experiences ‘Join & leave’ and ‘Pay and Withdraw’ to make sure that the customers end to end journey is as quick as they expect.
One example of this is login speed and session times. If you log in and place a pre-match bet just before the game starts, you don’t want to have to log in again mid-game to place additional bets or to withdraw your winnings when the game is over.
The other aspect of speed is bet settlement and pay-out. Customers expect their bets to be settled and paid out almost instantly. Since this can be a challenge, specifically during big events, we also see communication as being an important aspect to improve on this. The customers should always know the state of their bets without having to enquire. We want them to trust us to keep them up to date.
Without trust, there is no love
As in all our experiences trust is key. For ‘Play Sports’ trust is centred around being fair to our customers.
In order to avoid customer disappointment and unnecessary contacts, we must settle bets accurately and pay out winning bets quickly, our betting rules need to be fair, and information about the settlement should be available.
Customers should trust that we offer good odds for both pre-match and live betting, and that they can cash out to a fair price at any point.
We ensure that we keep the offering available as long as possible, specifically the live offering, and that we allow cash out on as much of the offering as possible.
We must provide relevant statistics and information to the customers so they can make informed decisions on what bets to place, there should be no need to go elsewhere to find information.
Results so far and the road ahead
I have good news and bad news.
Let’s start with the good news!
The good news is that the areas where we have made improvements for the customer show clear uplift. We have done a lot of navigation and relevance improvements on the web, and we can see the benefit of these reflected in the Customer Satisfaction Scores below.
The bad news
To be able to improve on the key metrics Speed & Relevance for native, we realised early that we needed to change the fundamentals of how the app works. This has however taken more time than we initially thought. So all the investments from the last couple of years are just now starting to give value to the customers. We can see some positive trends but also negative ones. The negative trends are not us getting worse, but the competition being ahead, customers expect more than what we are currently delivering.
We have high targets this year, specifically for the app. We expect to experience the fruits of our investments that we have made to deliver a faster and more relevant app experience, meeting our customers’ expectations and hopefully exceeding them!