Since launching to the market in early 2021, EdgeTier’s intelligent monitoring and alerting software has established itself as the key competitive differentiator for our gambling industry clients. The AI is preventing costly service outages and accelerating issue detection times in a growing portfolio of international, market-leading gambling contact centres, ranging in size from 50 to 3000 agents.
The tool is transforming how growing gambling contact centres monitor customer conversations at scale by greatly improving issue reaction times and how they understand customers. Specifically, through a dynamic feature set of:
- Around the clock AI monitoring
- Proactive and instant issue alerting
- Real-time quantification of issues and reporting.
Already the AI has had a phenomenal impact on gambling contact centre metrics being described as an ‘insurance blanket’ for the modern gambling contact centre as they cope with increased contact volumes.
At EdgeTier, our mission is to empower good contact centres to do great things with AI. We’ve created this white paper to dig a little deeper into why gambling contact centres should be considering a move toward AI monitoring and alerting to keep customers happy and contact centres performing to a high level.
We hope you enjoy it.
If you have any questions on the below we’d love to help: [Get in Touch]
To understand the challenges faced by gambling contact centres we need to unpack the current state of the market.
Bloomberg has reported that online betting has soared under coronavirus lockdowns. Projections calculate growth from $465.76 billion in 2020 to $516.03 billion in 2021 at an annual growth rate of 10.8% for the industry as a whole. This means higher levels of customer engagements in contact centres and increased pressure to ensure all issues are reacted to and quantified quickly.
The growth is mainly due to the companies rearranging their operations and recovering from the COVID-19 impact, which had earlier led to restrictive containment measures involving social distancing, remote working, and the closure of commercial activities that resulted in operational challenges. Covid has also forced a change in consumer gambling habits pushing customers online. [Source Global Gambling Market Report 2021]
Embracing Technology: Bloomberg reports the gambling sector will embrace AI and Machine learning in online gambling to improve customer experience and also to improve responsible gambling online.
In light of the above, this white paper will look at the following areas:
- Key challenges faced by gambling contact centres.
- The current process in contact centres.
- Solution: The role of AI and anomaly detection in overcoming these challenges and improving processes.
- How gambling contact centres will embrace monitoring and alerting AI.
- Takeaway lessons for gambling contact centres.
The Challenge for Gambling Contact Centres
Forbes reports that poor customer service and slow reactions are costing contact centres $75 Billion dollars millions in lost customer revenue each year. This is compounded by the fact that contact centres are struggling to identify and quantify customer issues and frustrations within an appropriate time.
This is a worrying problem and contact centre leaders must not sit idly by as their teams become overloaded as the market grows. Organisations are acutely aware of the problem but, to date, finding a solution has not yet been straightforward.
Contact centres need to see everything but they can’t
There is overwhelming pressure on gambling contact centres to act as a feedback loop for their entire organisation to improve customer experience. As markets grow it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain visibility of a contact centre. This lack of visibility is causing missed issues and leads to lost revenues.
The current situation is that customer support teams are struggling to uphold standards as contact volumes increase. Broadly speaking, this added pressure has the following impact:
- Slow reaction times: Important customer issues only get noticed hours or days after they happen, and it often takes managers even longer to fully quantify and understand issues. This leads to missed SLAs and uninformed responses to customers.
- Lack of customer understanding: Customer service leaders are constantly playing catch-up to understand what is driving customer contact and never feel they have a ‘pulse’ on what issues are impacting their customers. Additionally, quantification is a challenge as teams are in the dark in regards to the overall severity of an issue.
- Poor customer experience: Untreated issues build over time and lead to overall drops in customer experience.
Typical causes of issues in gambling contact centres
Agents will deal with thousands of contacts per week and month. Inevitably, these will be problems in need of resolution. For context it’s important to understand what typical issues look like in a gambling contact centre:
- Withdrawal issues: Customers cannot withdraw winnings.
- Website display errors: Betting not appearing on the website page or is the promotion removed mistakenly by the website team.
- Depositing issues: Customers have issues making deposits.
- Referral issues: Problems around the referral process are common.
- Account verification issues: Customers often cannot verify their accounts and have an issue signing up for a promotion.
- Free bet issues: An error in how a customer accesses their free bets often leads to a rapid spike in contacts.
The current process in Gambling contact centres
The current process in understanding customers is slow and manual. It does not support the scaling ambition of most modern gambling organisations. If not improved it will ultimately cost huge sums in lost revenue over the next decade.
Let’s unpack this sub-optimal process. The pressing issue is that the majority of issues in gambling contact centres can either go unnoticed for hours or even days, or simply, not noticed at all.
Here are the key factors that influence this misfiring process:
- Spotting Issues is Manual and Slow:
Most contact centres have extremely manual processes for examining issues. This is an example of a typical flow:
Part 1: The management team noticed a 10% increase in ‘Login’ issues in their daily report. A team member is assigned to investigate the issue.
Part 2: Agents are asked if they noticed anything unusual related to logins.
Part 3: The team manually examines all ‘Login’ related queries in the hope of finding something unusual.
2. Lack of Tools for Data-Intensive Work
These demands come alongside the expectation to deliver high-quality customer care cost-effectively. However, most gambling contact centres do not have adequate tooling or skills for such data-intensive work and often customer issues go unnoticed i.e. a cash-out option during a Champions League football match has the potential to cause pressure within a contact centre if not detected.
3. Missing Critical Events: Customer Service Agents Are Failing to Spot Trends:
There is an expectation on gambling customer service agents to collectively spot and report on major issues to management so that they can be investigated; e.g. noticing that people are having login issues more than normal or responding to an influx of covid related sporting fixture postponements impacting bets.
Typically major issues are spread across the entire team of perhaps hundreds of agents and individual agents are unlikely to spot anomalies. For example, issues like customers having account verification issues can go undetected causing customer frustration.
Remote working adds to the difficulty of trend spotting since the ‘water-cooler discussions between agents don’t happen anymore. Often patterns and anomalies go unnoticed and cause outages. This challenge has been central in the conceptualisation and building of Edgetier monitoring and alerting.
This process is not optimal and does not work for four clear reasons.
- Firstly, the process only starts long after the actual issue occurred. Sometimes this is hours later, sometimes it could be a day later.
- Secondly, the process is manual, time-consuming, and inaccurate.
- Thirdly, spikes in contact cannot be understood or resolved quickly, leading to drops in customer satisfaction.
- When the issues are eventually identified, accurate quantification is difficult unless somebody manually reads through every single query received.
The solution: The role of AI and anomaly detection
Understanding the issue: Built for purpose AI
In 2020, EdgeTier interviewed over sixty contact centres to understand their key issues. We recognised a pressing need for an AI-powered monitoring and alerting solution that quantified issues in real-time.
This solution would be essential in helping contact centres monitor all customer contacts and detect unusual events and anomalies and understand f they are negatively impacting the customer. After reviewing the fine details of our interview notes, we went back to EdgeTier HQ to create a solution that would improve the current malfunctioning process within gambling contact centres.
Our team developed a tool that’s core aim was to greatly improve the time it takes agents to react to customer issues and detect unknown issues to make customer service teams more informed in general. Since launching to the market our AI is transforming empower contact centres in three ways:
- The AI takes the effort out of understanding customers by scanning conversations and showing managers what’s going wrong, in real-time, in any language.
- The solution quantifies issues in real-time and traces the issue back to a player or contact ID.
- Improving reaction times faster when things go wrong with immediate notifications of abnormal customer conversations, trending topics, and missing SLAs.
24/7 Monitoring: Anomaly Detection and Alerts in Action
What types of things does the ai detect?
The AI monitors all activities and reports on any anomalies it detects. The anomalies broadly tend to fall into two types of patterns:
- Sudden spikes in customer contacts: EdgeTier AI will identify sharp spikes in customer contacts and provide detailed information on the cause of the issue. This is common in areas where system issues or promotions impact a lot of customers at the same time (e.g. withdrawals, depositing and faulty website promotion pages).
- Hidden anomalies: The EdgeTier AI detects subtle issues that may only be impacting a small set of customers, and alerts the contact centre manager before a larger problem occurs. Examples of these kinds of anomalies in the sports betting and casino space would be account verification issues that only impact a small number of customers, payment gateway issues or things like referral links not working for a set of customers.
What information will I get when I receive an anomaly?
EdgeTier AI reports in real-time helping contact centre managers understand and quantify issues. Below are two examples of information contained within an anomaly, the first is a sudden spike in customer contacts, while the second is a hidden issue that may go undetected for some time.
Detecting and Explaining Sudden Spikes In Contacts
In this example, EdgeTier AI detected a large number of customers contacting about a free bet promotion. The customer service AI quickly identified the issue, localised it to a particular group of customers, and found the root cause of the problem with multiple examples describing the specific issues that customers had. In this instance, it was a free betting issue.
This allowed the customer service team to provide the product and technical team with all the information they needed to resolve the issue. It also allowed the customer service team to clearly and easily explain why their response times dropped and they missed their SLAs.
Figure 1. A free betting issue causes a sudden spike in contacts.
Hidden Anomalies. Sample Alert
This next example highlights what would have been an unnoticed issue in a company that may have taken weeks to spot.
In this case, this gambling company had a referral program, and there was a product update that made a shareable link unusable for some customers.
EdgeTier AI spotted this subtle increase in contacts and was able to alert management about the issue. While this wasn’t a catastrophic issue by any means, this issue would have not been resolved had it not been detected and reported on, particularly as many of the tickets relating to the issue were buried across different contact reasons.
Figure 2. EdgetTier AI quantifies a hidden issue
Figure 3. Example of customer chats detected in the travel and aviation industry
Looking Ahead: Contact centres will embrace ai
A better way to spot customer issues
Technology has an important role to play in the contact centre. Gambling is set to embrace customer support artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve two critical areas:
- Online customer experience.
- Responsible gambling support to those most vulnerable to gambling-related issues.
The current process isn’t scalable and Heads of Customer Support are poised to bring AI into the contact centre to improve commercial metrics, customer satisfaction scores and overall customer experience.
Five Take Away Lessons for Gambling Contact Centres
Some things will never change. The customer is still always right and the burden to keep them happy falls solely on the shoulders of the contact centre. The goalposts have shifted in the form of increasing contact volumes but the goal remains the same. Organisations must continue to provide customers with a stellar experience or risk commercial loss.
The key to unlocking this complex situation is relatively simple. Contact centres must turn to tech to understand what customers are saying about their service at scale. AI offers a solution to all of this.
Here are key 5 reasons your contact centre should consider embracing AI in 2021:
- Better Customer Experience
EdgeTier Alerting notifies contact centres with immediate notifications of abnormal customer conversations, trending topics, and missing SLAs. This empowers fix service issues for your customers and users faster.
- AI Monitoring keeps you safe in any language:
EdgeTier offers 24/7 monitoring in any language. The AI alerts offer busy contact centre staff peace of mind.
- Hundreds of hours saved.
EdgeTier Alerting scans metrics and conversations and shows contact centre managers what's going wrong with only a few clicks. The AI will send a rapid alert to a contact centre manager and offer learnings from the event.
EdgeTier Alerting classifies this as root cause analysis. This information is essential in escalating a problem to the technical support team who in turn fix the problem and keep customers happy.
- AI Gets to Work Straight Away
There is a misconception that optimising the way a gambling contact centre understands and uses data is a cumbersome process.
EdgeTier Alerting seamlessly plugs into existing technology meaning integration and deployment is a routine set-up.
- Gambling is set to embrace AI for greater customer insights
The gambling industry is embracing technology for great levels of customer understanding. AI is offering a solution to ensure that all unusual insights are surfaced before they cause harm to the bottom line and customer satisfaction scores.
If you would like to hear more about EdgeTier monitoring and alerting AI
EdgeTier are a software company that adds intelligence to customer contact centres through the use of AI systems to help customer service agents and administrators. Based in Dublin, Ireland, EdgeTier power customer conversations for thousands of agents daily across the travel, e-commerce, government, and online gaming industries. EdgeTier is backed by a suite of investors including Episode1 ventures, ACT Ventures, and Enterprise Ireland. The company is growing quickly and is poised to take advantage of the AI revolution that is happening in the customer contact centre industry globally.