• Kevin Jones

Shahar Attias: Hybrid Interaction - Why the wrong solution can add to your customer problems.

Gaming Eminence converses with CRM expert Shahar Attias CEO of Hybrid Interaction to undercover how operators should be looking at their customer management. Topics include understanding the right system and tech, legacy systems, staff, and looking at building your own system.


GE) The old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” however, every year technology is improving and becoming more sophisticated that some businesses take advantage of and some don’t. If we take the majority of iGaming/Gambling operators what are the common areas they are falling short with their CRM management that wouldn’t be apparent right now, but by not being aware of could put them at a disadvantage in the future?


SA) Many companies make the right decision to automate their retention marketing and CRM as much as possible, by implementing technologies that would allow for better segmentation, filtration and personalisation of applied tactics. However, many of them base their decision making on challenges that are being faced at the moment, which limits their imagination to whatever happened up to yesterday, meaning: “let’s see what the player has done up to yesterday and try to win them back”. This potentially leads them to obtain technologies that can only deliver a limited version marketing automation, good enough for 2022 - not for 2024. By expanding the horizons to real-time, your main goal levels up from “winning back the players I’ve lost” to “decreasing the dissatisfaction of a player while he’s logged in, so I don’t lose them in the first place”. Conclusion: a real-time marketing automation system gives you the ability to cover real-time scenarios and think one step ahead.


GE) All things come in different shapes and sizes, this is precisely the case for operators. Attempting to update or change a legacy CRM system at a larger scale business, could be a costly and potentially disruptive process. That being said, if the change needed to be implemented, what would be your recommended approach?


SA) Take a consultant :) If there’s one thing I can share, is that at the highest level, from a very strategic perspective, CRM solutions should serve the processes, meaning - regardless of the technology that is being selected, you need to optimise the processes and make sure what you do really fits and meets the team, the needs, the targets, the company goals and everything that has to do with your working routines. Rather than taking a solution and changing the way you work to fit the solution’s capabilities, find a solution that accommodates you best. Whatever floats your boat!


GE) A real time marketing function is key for customer retention, specifically with bonus management, personalised messaging and segmenting users. What are some of the common problems you see in the backend management of the data, that can cause this function not to work as effectively as an operator would like?


SA) The 3 main pillars of REAL real-time are Detection, Action and Communication. While many solutions have the detection, it requires a very specific and deep level of integration to be able to take action, meaning: triggering a bonus via the bonus engine. Perhaps the most beneficial way of communication is the message in real-time by using a popup that could be witnessed while the player is still engaged within the gaming platform, which allows to read the massage without having to exit in order to read an email or an SMS. Or, fax. Yes, some solutions are really outdated.


GE) Technology can be intimidating and one problem operators can overlook with their CRM, is in fact the people who will be using it. How should operators approach those staff who struggle to embrace innovation and change?


SA) Implementation of a new CRM system that is designed to optimise the ongoing processes in their daily routines, will be easily and happily adapted by their teams. However, if they need to learn about a large new system that is incomplete and was bought off a shelf, yet to be adjusted to their needs, clearly there is bound to be some level of antagonism. During the selection of the system, the operator needs to keep in mind the initial goal of the purchase - to resolve the issues faced by the team, rather than to add on existing ones. In a few words: Getting a system that is not designed to solve your problems, will be your next problem! Picture this: You’re a 9-5 employee with tons of paperwork piled up on your desk, you go to your boss with hopes to simplify the task, and what he does is add more paperwork on your desk in the form of a 300-pages manual for the new CRM behemoth he purchased while doing Patron Café shots with the lovely sales director of Omnidick or whatever. They would have to look for a replacement if it was me.


GE) As an operator is it more suitable to build your own CRM solution or work with a third party platform provider? What are the pros and cons of both?


SA) Ball your hand in a fist, now look at it. Look out the window in the morning and count the stars in the sky. How many pineapples would you like on your pizza?

That’s how many pros you would get as an operator building your own CRM. Being an operator means leading a team of people specialised in marketing. Building your own technology will interfere with the focus on getting your people to do what they’re best at, which is…marketing. On one hand we have the option to use a professional tool designed to fit your needs like a glove and built using decades of experience from top class software engineers, on the other hand we have the time-consuming and costly option of hiring low-waged developers to put together something that would surely stand no chance with the best solutions in the market. And we haven’t even started to discuss the painful maintenance cost post-launch… The answer is as simple as it gets: no Pineapple should never be on any pizza! That’s an abomination.


About our contributor

Shahar Attias is a Globally recognized iGaming expert, a CRM strategist, and a frequent speaker at leading events (WGES, Sigma, OptimoveConnect, G2E, iCE, EiG/iGB Live, LAC & BAC, iGAsia, RGW). Following a career as a senior executive with 888, Playtech and PokerStars, Shahar has founded Hybrid Interaction - a boutique consulting agency, made by a premier team of experienced hands-on specialists from across the industry. To date, they have held more than 150 successful consulting projects across all verticals and through most jurisdictions, including online migration projects with brick-and-mortar casinos in the Dutch, Swiss, Georgian, UK, and US markets; among their clients are gambling powerhouses such as Hard Rock NJ, Casino du Lac (Partouche), Holland Casino, Grand Casino Baden, Horizons Casino, Groupe Barrière, Entain / GVC / BwinParty / Sportingbet / Bet.pt, IGT, William Hill, Crocobet, BetConstruct, Pin-up.ru, EvoPlay, bgo, Win2day, Neto, DazzleTag, GetsBet.ro and Platin Casino. Visit https://www.hybridinteraction.com/