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Customer interaction guidance for remote gambling operators

Customer interaction describes how you identify people who may be experiencing, or at risk of developing, problems with their gambling, and how you interact with them to offer help or support.

Interact

When you are concerned that a customer may be at risk, acting early and quickly could help stop the harmful behaviour getting worse.

For some customers, making them aware of their behaviour may be enough to prompt them to change. Some customers will need more support or advice. 

Your interactions should have an outcome. Knowing what impact your interaction had will help you support the customer and help to keep improving your approach. 

What we expect you to do

  • We expect you to be curious, and if you spot harmful behaviour, assume that the customer is at-risk until you know otherwise.
  • Make all reasonable efforts to make contact and interact with a customer, find out whether they received your interaction, and what impact it had on their behaviour.
  • You should choose the type of interaction based on the extent of the potential harm – from automated responses to human contact – and adapt your messaging to try to get the best outcome.
  • Think about what information you should give the customer, such as the type of behaviour they displayed or practical help or support where appropriate.

Using the right interactions for your customers 

You can interact with your customers in a number of ways: email, telephone calls, live chat or pop-up messages. The best way could depend on the circumstances:

  • what you need to know from the customer, and what you already know about them
  • what information you want to give to the customer.
  • how urgent it is to make contact.
  • how many times you have already interacted with the customer.
  • the outcome you want to achieve.

A customer interaction has three parts:

  • Observation – behaviour you have spotted or something the customer tells you
  • Action – contact to prompt the customer to think about their gambling, and an opportunity for you to offer information or support
  • Outcome – what you or the customer did next.

Tailoring messages for your customers

You may already target your marketing messages to different customers. You could also use insight about your customers, such as how the customer prefers to contact you, to decide the best way to interact with them about their gambling. 

Industry-led research shows that messages that get customers to think and make their own decisions based on the information they are given can be more effective, than messages that seem to be ‘nagging’. Research also shows that personalising feedback can also improve impact with customers.  You should test different types of messaging to see what works best. 

Offering help and support 

You should suspend direct marketing to customers who show signs of harm, so that you are not encouraging them to keep gambling, until you are able to interact with them. 

If you have difficulty making contact with a customer, you could suspend account access until you are able to interact with them. 

A self-assessment questionnaire can help customers think about their own behaviour. Their shared responses, alongside their gambling behaviour, can help you work out the right kind of help and support to offer. 

You might direct the customer to responsible gambling information, or suggest suitable gambling management tools to address the harmful behaviour. You might need to signpost them to sources of help and specialist support from organisations who deal with advice and treatment for problem gambling. 

You may need to interact with some customers a number of times. Your records of previous interactions with the customer will help you decide how to provide the right help and support.  In some cases, you may need to take action for the customer, such as setting limits or closing their account. 

Questions to think about

  • How do you decide the best way of interacting with a customer?  Do you use different methods for different groups of customers?
  • Do you tailor your method and message depending on the extent of the harm?
  • Do you know if the customer received and acted on the information you gave?

 

Next: Guidance on evaluating your interaction with customers