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UK Online Gaming Sites Improving Customer Service, But Still Lagging in Other Areas

January 14, 2008

Customer service is important, no matter what industry the company is serving. For those companies operating in the arena of online gambling in the UK, the good news is that customer satisfaction is improving.

An independent audit has revealed a significant improvement in the customer service provided by UK gambling websites. In addition, this sector is predicted to grow by 30 percent.

By embracing such technologies as online chat and improving accuracy and speed of responses, the 100 online UK gambling sites included in the audit have increased their average score from 54 percent to 61 percent from 2006 to 2007.

To complete this audit, Talisma contacted 100 of the UK’s most popular gambling websites. The audit revealed that UK gambling websites have improved customer service levels over 2006 in three main areas, including:

-- Responsiveness - the percentage of e-mail response increased from 60 percent to 74 percent, with the number of telephone calls answered within 10 seconds increasing from 84 percent to 90 percent;

-- New interactive channels – 42 percent of companies now offer online chat, up by 12 percent from 30 percent. In 2006, only 70 percent of requests for an online internet chat session received a reply, yet in 2007 all sessions received timely attention by agents;


-- Accuracy of information – an unheard of 100 percent of all chat sessions and e-mails, and 98 percent of all telephone calls, that were answered provided accurate and complete information.

Despite these results, the audit also found that certain sites are failing in areas of customer service which can significantly improve service efficiency, boost customer confidence and help retention efforts.

Only 8 percent of those phone calls answered were personalized, compared to 33 percent of the chats and 78 percent of the e-mails. Few of those websites audited demonstrated blending of communication channels, with only 23 percent of telephone agents and 19 percent of chat agents with the ability to track previous e-mails sent to the company by a customer.

What’s more, up to 92 percent of websites were unable to provide a knowledge base that enables users to easily search and access information online. Such access has a tremendous effect on customer acquisition and retention. It can also eliminate unnecessary pressure on agents.

“While it is encouraging that the UK online gambling sector has significantly improved customer service in 2007 there is still huge scope for improvement. In a growing, competitive market customer acquisition and retention is key. UK gambling websites have a global customer base that wants easy access to information and immediate responses to enquiries, particularly when their money is quite literally at stake,” said Jon McEnroe, vice president international operations at Talisma, in a company statement.

“Gambling websites need to evolve a customer-focused strategy that provides high quality, round the clock support and empowers agents to manage an increasing number of interactions across a growing number of communication channels.”

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.

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