7. How can we better engage with online customers to nudge them to safer play?

The challenge

More and more gambling is moving online. It can be difficult to engage directly with customers who often want to remain anonymous – especially when they can simply switch accounts or ignore messages or emails flagging concerns or offers of help. This is a challenge that many online businesses face. The table talked about ways to better engage with customers who are increasingly moving online to gamble – and nudge them into safer play.

The discussion

People were excited about the opportunity that the growth in online presents, especially in building stronger relationships. And there’s so much to be learned from many other industries that have growing numbers of online customers.

The tools of online communications can be really useful to building stronger relationships, because they can be targeted through responsive messaging, at specific times and across different preferred channels. That means we can engage with them when they’re in a cold state and before any interventions might be required. It also means getting familiar with customer data and behaviours.

There was a lot of discussion about keeping communications and engagement positive to build strong relationships with customers. And by keeping it positive, messages don’t stigmatise gambling-related harm, making any future interventions easier. One way to do this is by partnering with trusted organisations to share stories about positive behaviours, making it part of the online experience – not a separate part of the customer experience.

And everyone agreed that operator websites are a great place to keep a huge amount of valuable information for the customer to keep those relationships strong.

Top solutions

  • Make limit-setting the default, by nudging people at the point of sign-up when they’re in a ‘cold state’ and before problems arise
  • Focus on preferred channels - texts and pop-ups - to engage customers, and continuously test and learn for what works to influence behaviour
  • Get pre-emptive. Send alerts before customers hit limits, and take advantage of moments when they’ve taken a break from play and will be more receptive to messaging