Whetson director Thimon de Jong urged delegates at the International Casino Conference today (Monday) to customise their digital offering and build trust with customers in order to ‘future-proof’ their businesses.
De Jong explained at the Hippodrome Casino in London that a balance has to be struck between satisfying the increasing digital obsession with the desire of consumers to “disconnect” from time to time.
To highlight his argument, De Jong noted that a variety of places are now deliberately offering “tech-free” zones and “digital detox destinations” due to the apparent backlash from customers. “The further we digitalise a society, the bigger the urge to disconnect as well,” he said. “Everyone in this room will have a digital strategy, but you should have an ‘unconnected’ strategy as well.”
De Jong also said that gaming companies must cut through the clutter of big data to customise experiences. “Smart customisation is about responding to behaviour,” he added. “It is about where we are going rather than where we have gone, and using data to predict somebody’s behaviour.” However, he acknowledged that there is a split between generations when it comes to embracing such tools, with critics insisting that such policies represent an invasion of privacy.
“Young people – those under the age of 35 – think it’s a great idea,” he said. “They believe it’s like having a personal assistant, but there is a very big difference between the generations. “In the future, you will have to ‘smart customise’ your casino customer experience so it is more individual.” De Jong warned though that gaming companies will have a challenge to ensure their customers trust them due to “blurring realities”. He added: “There is so much information online, we don’t know who to trust.
“Formal and institutional trust is shifting over to informal and personal, and companies will have to respond to that. “You will have to look at the personal and informal networks, and staff in a casino, for example, will need to have extremely good soft skills.”