Automated chatbots have already been recognized as a way of adopting automation to assist the burgeoning iGaming industry with a two-pronged approach. Given that online casinos are now operational 24/7, 365 days of the year, the ability to rely on chatbot technology allows iGaming operators to optimize the amount of human support staff needed in their customer service department. Furthermore, by accelerating customer resolution times, iGaming platforms can experience improved brand reputation, something that is so beneficial in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Advances in AI development mean that the global market for intelligent chatbots could be worth $1 billion by 2024.
Although the iGaming industry may not have been the pioneers of bot adoption, it is undoubtedly a sector that will gain a lot from chatbot technology – across all platforms. AI-enabled chatbots are now also utilized across the leading real money native mobile iGaming apps that are designed for installation on iOS or Android-powered smartphones and tablets. This allows customers to ask frequently asked questions and obtain immediate, accurate responses that provide clarity and certainty.
2017: Ushering in chatbot technology into the iGaming scene
2017 was the breakthrough year for automated bots in the iGaming space. However, these AI-enabled bots were not actually programmed to offer 24/7 customer support, they were designed to assist an iGaming brand with their next phase of online recruitment. The unmistakable face of Sky Sports News, Jeff Stelling was used as part of an “Ask Jeff” recruitment chatbot, which combined AI and natural language processing to onboard job applicants, providing an end-to-end interactive experience of the brand from application to the first day in their new role. The bot was also activated on Facebook’s Messenger platform, with applicants able to use interactive buttons within a chat window to get updates on the status of their applications.
Just a few months later, another leading UK bookmaker became the first to usher in AI technology and chatbots exclusively for customer support. The bots have also been integrated into the bookmaker’s Facebook Messenger platform, allowing customers to compose direct messages for the branded chatbot. The platform also enabled customers to make direct requests such as balance checks, personalized updates on live sporting events and even place bets via the chatbot.
The importance of chatbot intelligence for tailoring content
Given that Facebook Messenger has a target audience of more than a billion users, it is understandable why iGaming operators have sought to integrate their AI-driven chatbots into their Messenger platforms. It’s a chance to reach out to prospective customers and improve the user experience of existing customers. In the purest business sense, the primary function of an AI-driven chatbot for an iGaming operator is to develop conversations with users that will ultimately generate conversions. A chatbot can operate in the background as a brand-new salesperson or customer service adviser, taking the management of customer relations to a whole new level. These intelligent chatbots can also be used to provide reminders to active customers. In the iGaming industry, this could be anything from a reload bonus for an existing customer, to an exclusive new customer promotion for users the chatbot pinpoints as interested parties.
A recent study by eConsultancy found that the majority (57%) of users surveyed preferred to use a live chat functionality than calling or emailing a business, as it helps them get the information they need faster. iGaming brands that have successfully implemented intelligent chatbots have also sought to monitor and track the topics of conversations with specific users and prospects. For instance, a customer that asks questions mainly about video slots rather than card games will see the chatbot tailor and prioritize its responses and content based on the video slots they are more likely to be interested in.
There is nothing stopping chatbots from having personality either. In fact, in order for chatbots to leave a lasting impression of iGaming brands on users, the personality and tone of voice of a chatbot is becoming incredibly important. Stilted, scripted conversations with a chatbot are no fun for any consumer. They simply won’t be motivated to engage and divulge any details that could enable the chatbot to gauge user intent and tailor its content. Going forward for the iGaming industry, for chatbots to become an effective long-term investment and not an expensive wasted effort, online casinos need to think outside of the box and challenge prospects and customers with fun, vibrant AI personalities. Only then can these ‘characters’ become a vital extension to a human customer service department.