The Importance of Being a Truly Customer-Led Business

What’s best for the customer is best for business… understanding and engaging your customers is vital for your venue to grow and thrive. Tabcorp’s Insights and Research Manager Georgina Puli reveals why.

“There is only one boss: the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company, from the chairman, down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”– Sam Walton (Walmart founder)

According to Georgina Puli, Insights and Research Manager for Tabcorp, successful companies are placing greater emphasis on providing a positive customer experience. Improving customer satisfaction needs to start by understanding the whole customer journey, and customer needs at different points. It has been shown companies ranked as customer experience leaders by the Forrester global customer experience index significantly outperform laggards.

To lead in delivering a successful customer experience, it is vital to understand who your customer is, how they interact with your venue products and services, and what delights and frustrates them. It is also critical to understand what motivates them to visit your venue and how you can best meet their varied needs and motivations.

When dealing with your customers, a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works. They all have their own reasons for visiting your venue or using your products or services.

Many businesses develop a customer framework or segmentation based on people’s different underlying needs and motivations. It is a powerful approach that helps in developing products or services that truly meet individual needs and desires. Once the motivational segments are developed, they are overlaid with the behaviour and value of the customers to create a holistic view. Understanding the size of each segment, their value and, importantly, their motivations allows you to clearly set your business priorities and tailor marketing activities.

In 2017 Tabcorp developed a comprehensive customer segmentation (enlisting the help of its research partner The Nature). The research comprised a significant period of consultation with close to 9000 customers, with Tabcorp spending over 120 hours interviewing them to understand their involvement in gaming and other gambling-based activities. Nine distinct high-level customer segments, defined by their different motivations, were identified in the findings.

“We set out to deeply understand what the key motivations were in the category we defined as ‘activities that allow you to win or lose money.” The results have now formed a customer framework we apply across all our businesses (e.g. Wagering, Media, Lotteries, Keno and Gaming). To capitalise on this framework and as part of their solution model, MAX has begun offering Customer Experience surveys as a value-add service. This will enable venues to engage with their member base, and gauge insights on the holistic customer experience, as well as benchmark their performance against the existing customer network. These Customer Experience surveys will help venue operators understand what their patrons think and feel at every individual touch point in and around the venue. As part of these surveys, Puli applies Tabcorp’s segmentation to help individual venues understand the types of patron they are attracting.
These insights will help to:
• provide a view of customers that venues attract today
• manage services or product plans to best meet customer needs to retain and grow the customer base
• deliver more personalised CRM offers and communications
• better tailor marketing messages, and
• identify prospective customer segments that may be potential sources of growth.

Gaining such detailed information about their customers and what motivates them makes it easier for venues to find ways to attract and keep them.

Such feedback provides venues important information about how they may need to modify or adapt their product and service offering to encourage customers to visit more often and/or increase the money spent during each visit. Getting to know their clientele, their tastes and interests, will help venues drive business performance and increase customer satisfaction. For example, as well as catering to the electronic gaming machine (EGM) market, venues must understand their overall customer experience to ensure they are not focusing on one area at the exclusion of another high value segment.
Venues may, for example, need to create different dining and entertainment options to appeal to this sector of the market.

Understanding your customer is the way to shape the future of your venues and gaming.

This article was first published in State of Play, Issue 5, 2019

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