Establishing a strong customer base is extremely important, and this includes attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. The latter often poses a difficult problem for many businesses. Strangely enough, statistics show that it costs significantly less to retain loyal customers than to attract new ones – 5 times less, to be precise.
Expanding your customer base will require you to continually tweak your products and services to stay on top of the competition. On the contrary, defining what existing customers want and need can be achieved through direct feedback.
Online gambling companies are riding the wave of customer retention. A significant part of online gambling services involve customer retention strategies, so they are an excellent example for many other industries to follow. But before we delve into the methods used to retain online gambling customers, we’ll first define customer retention and how to calculate it.
What Is Customer Retention and How Is It Calculated?
|Customer retention refers to how many customers remain loyal to a business over a given period|
Keeping track of the increase or decrease in your customer base is just as crucial as monitoring your sales revenue. They go hand in hand since the more loyal customers you have, the more revenue you are likely to earn. This theory has strong backing, as it has been proven that 65% of a business’s sales actually come from previous customers.
For online gambling, retention is the ability of an online casino or sports betting site to retain players that are already registered on the site. There is a mathematical formula for calculating customer retention, but it’ll be useful to take an illustration for better understanding.
Imagine an online casino with 5000 customers at the start of the fiscal year. During the year, it records activity from 200 new players. By the end, it churns (loses) 700 customers leaving 4500.
Using the formula for calculating customer retention:
((4,500 – 200)÷ 5000)) × 100 = 86%
Calculating this doesn’t require you to be a math genius. A handy calculator is really all you need.
The above illustration portrays a casino operator that is doing really well in retaining its customers. The period used was a 12-month span, but it can be calculated yearly, biannually, quarterly, or monthly, depending on the size of the business or personal preference.
Finding your retention rate is often the first step before you consider any customer retention strategies, and with online gambling, there are quite a few notable mentions.
Which Strategies Do Online Casinos Use to Retain Their Clients
The competition in the iGaming industry is second to none. Online gambling is undoubtedly a profitable business. The continuous demand for virtual solutions to practically everything has only fueled its growth. Like predators on the hunt for prey, operators waste no time in taking advantage of this lucrative industry. That is why the number of new online casino operators is on the constant rise.
Consequently, this breeds high competition levels as each online site aims to entice players with better offerings than the next casino. From user-friendly websites to excellent customer services and tons of bonuses and promotions, casinos have multiple tools to achieve this.
Generally, implementing any customer retention strategy requires a three-step process:
- Unify your data – Businesses have so much data from various sources. It is even worse for virtual-based ones like the online casino. You need to bring all that data into a single data warehouse for easy access and reporting.
- Understand customers using behavioral analysis – Casino players are a versatile bunch, and the range of online gambling products available is even more so. You need to understand why players join a casino in the first place and what prompts them to stay loyal or leave.
- Improve the features that nurture interest – With unified data and behavioral analysis techniques, you can pinpoint factors that influence customer retention and improve them for a higher lifetime value per player.
Excellent Customer Service
82% of US customers stop doing business with a brand if not satisfied with the customer service. Apparently, customer service can be the deciding factor to make or break a client-customer relationship, whether physical or virtual. Online casinos take this aspect even more seriously. Players have a lot at stake when playing for real money, and they expect value in exchange for their bets.
Whether during the signup process or when making that initial deposit, every site has its specific set of rules. So players often need to reach out to the casino for various inquiries. Payouts are the endgame for most online casino players, and when the support team is unable to resolve issues pertaining to withdrawals, it can be a major turn-off.
Imagine shopping at a real-life convenience store where the store manager seems genuinely happy and interested in having you as a customer. It almost becomes a force of habit to visit that store for every need that it can satisfy. It is exactly the same for online gaming sites.
With so many casino options, players can jump ship as many times as they wish. But once a support team leaves a good impression, anyone looking for an all-around amazing casino experience will have a good reason to visit again.
To increase player lifetime value, casinos usually leverage the following:
- Friendly and professional response to inquiries – Representatives should be cordial and portray expert knowledge of gambling-related matters.
- Prompt and efficient replies – Representatives should resolve issues in the quickest time possible.
- Availability – 24/7 live chat support is the latest trend among the top online casinos. So players can communicate with a team member at any time of the day.
- Personalized treatment – Addressing players by name makes them feel significant and relevant members of the site.
Constant Bonuses and Promotions
Casino bonuses and promotions are probably the most prominent customer incentives in the iGaming industry. They are designed to attract new players to a site but are also effective for retention. Research survey indicates that 91% of customers are more likely to shop from brands that recognize and provide them with relevant offers and recommendations.
At the online casino, the following bonuses are available for existing customers:
- Reload bonus – This offer is designed to match your deposit to a certain percentage. For instance, a 50% reload bonus on a $200 deposit will award you $100 extra to play with.
- Cashbacks – You win some, you lose some at the casino. But cashback bonuses will ensure that you get rewarded even when your bets are unsuccessful. This offer will pay back a percentage of your losses.
- Loyalty scheme – Loyalty scheme is a tiered program and is often a continuous casino promotion. As the name implies, it is designed for existing customers to play, earn points, and advance in levels. Each level comes with perks that range from cash bonuses to free spins and numerous other gifts.
- VIP Program – This promo is reserved for high rollers at the casino. For spending huge sums, players get special treatment such as VIP manager services, free event tickets, and even all-expense-paid trips.
- Tournaments – With tournaments, players first get to benefit from interactive gameplay and enhanced engagement. There’s the motivation to make it up the leaderboard and earn achievements along the way. Finally, the top players will be awarded various cash prizes and other rewards.
Creating User-Friendly Websites and Apps
Casino gaming is a very visual concept. Players are attracted by the game quality and features. The ways promotions and bonuses are presented also play a role in how customers react to them.
The very first impression is in the website design and layout. Opening a casino site with an unappealing design causes interest to diminish. Also, a complicated layout makes it hard to navigate to the desired page or find the preferred game. One or both of these factors could prevent customers from coming back to the site.
In addition to an attractive website, a dedicated casino app makes access even easier. The mobile casino is in vogue, and maintaining players’ loyalty requires casinos to leverage mobile apps. These downloadable apps enable gaming on the go. Since people are almost always with their smartphones, players can log into the casino more frequently than ever before.
Last but not least, a seamless interface is the basis of any good website. Extended load times will reduce a site’s Google ranking and limit your click-through rate. More importantly, there is evidence to show that 53% of visitors will abandon a site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. In that case, players won’t even get the chance to be impressed by that cool-looking website. So as a precursor to promoting retention, casinos strive to achieve quick loading times.
Safety Is a Must
When land-based casinos were the only gaming destination for players, people didn’t bother about security. The casino is usually well safeguarded, and the greatest security threat is probably getting mugged in the parking lot.
Online casinos, on the other hand, face ever-evolving cybersecurity attacks that are invisible but very potent. So players are increasingly concerned about the safety of their personal information and funds. Casino security has become a crucial element in increasing player retention since customers are always on the lookout for the safest sites to play at.
A reputable casino license is the first step to calming players’ security worries. A licensed casino is obligated to keep to international regulatory standards that protect both the casino and its members. Some of the prominent authorities in this regard are:
- UK Gambling Commission
- Malta Gaming Association
- Kahnawake Gaming Commission
These sites also implement a minimum of 128-bit or 256-bit SSL encryption technology to keep players’ data safe and discreet. The top casinos not only use strong measures but also let customers know the kind of security in use. Players can find an SSL certificate displayed at these sites. A logo of the licensing body should also be available at the footer.
Employing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems
CRM is a system that helps businesses monitor customer interaction. Using CRM, casinos can obtain tons of useful information, including:
- How often a player visits the casino;
- The time spent per gaming session;
- What bonuses and promotions attract them the most;
- How often a player wins or loses;
- The most played games;
- Periods with the highest activity;
- The average amount the player bets, etc.
CRM Systems provide more structured data for customer retention. The above-listed information can be used for targeted advertising of new products. It also allows the casino to establish an individual approach to players. The operator can provide tailored treatment, personalized offers, and recommendations based on the collected data. Ultimately, players enjoy better customer service.
To achieve all this and more, the proper CRM software for online casino platforms should provide:
- Seamless, user-friendly interface to easily navigate and find the required information;
- Diverse gaming functionality to cater to slots, table games, and live dealer options;
- Multiple currencies to support an international customer base;
- Clear and comprehensive analytics on player activity;
- Feedback reports and request management to better understand the players’ needs.
Sending Messages and Notifications
Another worthwhile customer retention strategy is to make sure that players always have the casino on their minds.
Casinos keep customers updated with the latest happenings in the industry. New gaming trends, newly released titles, and most especially promotions that benefit players. They do this by sending emails and notifications regularly, without being spammy, of course.
With apps, casinos commonly use push notifications to alert players of new developments. By letting players know what’s going on in the casino, they are continuously reminded about the brand. Those who had a pleasant experience before would be tempted to visit once again.
Affiliate marketing has grown significantly because of its potency in raising awareness and expanding the customer base of online casinos. The process involves a partnership with an affiliate (sites, blogs, etc., that generate traffic to the casino site). The affiliate usually has a prominent social media or blog following and promotes the casino to its audience. They are rewarded for every user that visits the casino using their affiliate link.
This technique is inarguably the most effective way for online casinos to achieve ROI. Its major benefit is customer acquisition, but it has various advantages, including reputation and recognition. Since the top affiliates have the trust and confidence of players, casinos that are advertised on their sites earn fame and credibility. By strengthening the value of the brand, affiliate marketing favors player retention over time.
How Do Casinos Improve Their Retention
Customer retention stats tell us that businesses miss out on $1.6 trillion from losing customers to a competitor yearly. Even with the most loyal customers, 50% will still direct their loyalty to another business within 5 years.
New online casinos are always ready to do something unique to get players’ attention. So every site needs to keep improving its relationship-building strategies, and these tips will prove useful:
- Set goals – Set a player retention goal. A casino with a 50% retention rate could aim for 70% or 80% in a given period.
- Map out an expected customer trajectory – Find out the phases that lead players to conversion. For instance, how they became aware of the casino – Google, social media, etc. Tracking the route from prospect to customer, it is possible to figure out what prompted the decision-making process.
- Always make a good first impression – Start new players off on the best foot, and there’s a huge chance they’ll return for more.
- Pay attention to your brand value – Customers opt for top brands to get the best value for their money. The concept of value is even more heightened with real money gambling.
- Facilitate quicker payouts – Speed up the checkout process, and cut down on ID verification times. A casino with a smooth checkout process is a treasure for players.
- Deliver quality content – Players are after popular game titles with the best graphics and lucrative payout percentages. Purchasing games from the top developers will guarantee both.
- Stay on top of customers’ needs – Change up your approach to meet players’ evolving needs. Applying CRM systems will make it easier to gather detailed player data and insights.
Retaining casino customers isn’t a one-time fix but an ongoing endeavor. Compared to other industries, however, online casinos have a sophisticated approach to customer retention, as we’ve discussed so far. It’s a good idea for businesses to implement online casino retention strategies.
Providing bonuses, for instance, may not be a feasible technique for some industries, but it is possible to take inspiration from the concept and work around it. Think loyalty cards with discount offers. VIP membership also works across all industries. Whichever method is used, the important thing is to continuously provide customers something fresh and interesting to reduce churn.