Published on 21 November 2014 by Rhi
When it comes to Customer Support in online gaming, I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I worked in customer support for an online casino for a few years and I’ve also been a player having to contact customer support. In my experience, neither one is much fun and both have aspects which are incredibly frustrated. The key to giving and receiving good customer service for/from an online casino is to always put yourself in the other sides shoes.
As a Customer Support Agent
As a customer support agent, you must be empathetic. You must recognise that the player is coming to you for help and all they want is a clear, simple, understandable answer. The quicker you help them, the quicker they’re done and you can either take a break, or crack on with the next customer- improving stats and probably bonus pay! Give them what they need, even give them a little extra help, and they’ll have no reason to complain about you and there’s no way you can get in trouble. It’s easy to calm down already angry players, just by being as helpful as possible, but it’s equally easy to infuriate an otherwise perfectly happy player, by not listening correctly and failing to help them quickly and effectively.
As a Casino Player
However as a player, you need to understand that the agent wants to help you, because the quicker you’re helped, the quicker you’re done and dealt with. You should also know that they put up with a lot of abuse and will either be really quite hurt by your rudeness, or otherwise so used to it, it will have no effect. It certainly wont get you any better service. Don’t get upset, rude or angry. Simply detail your query, as simply as possible. If you don’t get a helpful answer, ask to speak to someone else until you get what you need. Depending on your query, remember, what you want might not be possible, so appreciate when someone is doing all they can to help.
Customer Support Channels
Most online casinos these days have 3 main customer support channels- e-mail, telephone and live chat.
Personally, my least favourite channel. As an agent, I hated the phones and as a player, I hate them just as much. For one thing, it usually costs to call, and I don’t believe players should ever have to pay for support. It can be a little harder to get your question across, telephone lines can be hard to hear on properly, especially if either one of you has an accent the other isn’t familiar with. Information can be misunderstood, accents can be hard to understand.
On the other hand, it’s immediate. You get through to the agent and ask your question, they can only be on one call at a time, so you know they’re going to answer right away. If the agent doesn’t know the answer though, you can end up on hold, which can be very frustrating.
Email can be good and bad. I think it’s much easier to be clear and concise with your question in written word, however if the agent doesn’t fully understand, or gives the wrong answer, it takes at best hours, at worst days, to get a response, respond and get another reply back.
However, e-mail is a great tool for agents who really care about customer support- you can give all the information the player needs, plus a little extra if you think it might help. It’s not hard to write a really helpful email and players will appreciate it hugely.
I have a love/hate relationship with Live Chat. On the one hand, it’s perfect. It’s immediate. It’s quick. You can do other things whilst engaging in the chat. But, in my experience as a player, it’s incredibly hard to get a straight answer. It’s almost as if the agents aren’t trained on the product or site at all, and either have standard ‘canned’ responses, or links they can direct you to. I find it incredibly hard to just get an answer from agents on Live Chat. I can end up on the same chat for 30 minutes, with the agent still not just giving me the answer, or going around 2 or 3 agents until finally someone has the knowledge to help.
I also find Live Chat is so easy to be bad at. Agents will all be offline during ‘support hours’, or they’ll accept a chat then forget about it midway through- maybe they’re very busy with lots at once but it’s infuriating to wait 10 mins between responses on chat.
For example, I had a quick question recently for Casinofloor. Their support themselves claim “We have our Livechat open between 11:00 and 00:00 CET.” however around 19:00 CET I tried to contact Live Chat for 20 minutes but it was offline the whole time. I left a message asking why it was offline at this time and simply received the previously underlined response.
Advice to Players for Getting Good Customer Service
- Be polite. However unhelpful, unknowledgable or down right frustrating an agent may be, always be polite. Being rude wont make them inclined to be any more helpful. If they’re not helping you, ask to speak to someone else until you find someone competent.
- Be clear and concise. Don’t over complicate, don’t send huge paragraphs. Ask simple questions.
- One question at a time. Even if you have lots of questions, stick with one at a time. If you send an email with 3 questions in, chances are one or more will be missed/ignored. Via email just ask one question, send another email for another question. On Live Chat, don’t mention your second query until the first is fully understood and answered.
- They don’t make the rules. Remember, support are there to answer questions about the service, educate you and help. They don’t make the rules, they didn’t build the site, the games, or the company, and they can’t change any of those things. If you have a serious question or complaint about the casino, then either go straight to a manager, or contact the licensing body.
Advice for Customer Service Agents on Giving Good Service
- Be polite. This goes for you too. However stupid you might think a question is, however rude a player is being, remain polite. If you end up being sarcastic, aggressive or rude then whatever the player has done, you are the one in the wrong. It’s your job to help so just do your best. If the customer starts off rude and wont calm down, simply check with a manager if you can end the conversation.
- Listen. It sounds so simple but so many agents fail on this one. Listen to the customers query and try to understand it. If you don’t fully know what they mean, ask them. Make it clear you want to help, but you aren’t sure what they’re asking exactly.
- Know your product. You can’t give good service if you don’t even know the service you’re dealing with. Read up on the site, ask colleagues and managers.
- Help the customer. Even if the information is available on site somewhere, you can still give the customer the help. Tell them where they can locate it in future, but give it to them then and there.
For example, I wanted to know what languages customer support is available in on Bet365. It took me 40 minutes and 2 different chats to just get an answer.
The first agent told me there is a list if I click the ‘register’ button, which there is, but the languages are in the native languages so I couldn’t understand what lots of them were (and they weren’t copy/paste-able so I couldn’t check online translations!).
I told her as much and then I got a link for another section of the site and was told the information was there. I looked and looked but couldn’t find it, but the agent couldn’t tell me where on that link to look.
Again and again I just asked for a list, in English, of the countries that support was available in but I got ‘look here’ or ‘look there’ then 10 minutes would pass with no response, I’d get a ‘sorry for the delay’ then their last message pasted again.
I started another chat with another agent whilst I was waiting for Agent 1 to (hopefully) help me and then asked my very simple, clear, polite, concise question (“Can you please give me a list, in English, of the available customer support languages on your site?”) and was asked why I needed to know. Ouch. However finally, on my second chat I got the answer but it just left me wondering;
Why is it so hard to get help from customer support in online gaming?
In my experience as a player, I’ve always found Paddy Power and LeoVegas to be two Netent casinos with incredible customer support. The agents are all friendly, upbeat and knowledgeable and will go out of their way to help you.
I’d love to hear your experiences with customer support for online gaming. Click our Facebook link over on our Contact page and let me know! Do you find casinos helpful over all? Have you had a particularly good experience, or a particularly bad one? Let me know!