How to build a foundation of automated CRM

We are all looking forward to a time when self-learning, 1:1 experiences in CRM are the industry standard. We will be able to set up libraries of content that machine learning models can pick and choose from to create the most effective engagements for each individual player and send them at the right moments.

In order to prepare your business and teams for that step, you first need to build a strong foundation of automated CRM.

Automation is the key to scalability. Without automation, your only option if you want to grow is to create larger teams doing more of the same. When you introduce automation, you are able to scale in a more efficient way. You can build up from the bare minimum, start experimenting and make incremental improvements.

If you are considering introducing automation into your CRM strategy, or looking at ways to automate more than you already do, it can be hard to know where to begin. In this blog we will help you answer the following questions:

  • Where am I now and what is my next step?
  • What do I want to automate?
  • What data do I need?
  • How will I know what works?

Where am I now?

If you are like any of the hundreds of operators we have spoken to, you are likely to be in one of these positions:

1. I have no, or very limited, automation in place.

What an exciting place to be! You have so much to look forward to on your journey towards automation. Before you start looking at fully automating all your CRM though, let’s take a step back.

The first task is to free up time for your CRM team. A great way to start is by auditing the different internal and external tools you are currently using and thinking about: what you want to keep using, what you want to replace and what’s missing. Then you can use a platform like Fast Track CRM to centralise the management of all of them and enable complex automations across multiple channels. You can read more about centralising your CRM here.

Automation works best when your team has the time to consider what they want to automate, decide how it will work best and build it out strategically.

2. I have managed to build some automations but I am missing real-time data to really take things to the next level.

When we speak to operators who have already made some progress with automating their CRM, the one thing in their way (apart from centralising orchestration) is nearly always real-time data. It is an absolute must have if you want to truly automate your engagement and be able to engage players “in the moment”.

At this stage, it’s time to start thinking about what data you would need to do the things you can’t right now. For example, if you want to automate a big win celebration, you need to know a player’s spin or bet value, the size of the win in comparison to this and maybe some information to further personalise the message like the player’s name, the game name etc. You then need to be able to action that data in real time; which is where a platform like Fast Track CRM can really help you out.

What do I want to automate?

Knowing that you want to include automation in your CRM strategy isn’t enough on its own. You need to think about what you want to automate.

Here are some of the common types of automation that we see operators working with in our platform:

1.Lifecycle Management

We usually advise that the best place to start is with lifecycles. You can start with building automated onboarding flows and move on to retention and churn prevention activities.Once you have these fundamentals up and running, you can start to look at more creative and unique ways to engage players.

In what ways would your player onboarding (eg. engagement from registration to third deposit) be improved with real-time automation?

2.Transactional Communications

Many operators achieve some level of automation with transactional communications. However, this tends to be based on single communication channels and sometimes without real-time capabilities.

If you are migrating all of your CRM orchestration to a central, real-time platform, it is worth also considering migrating your transactional communication. This will allow you to use the same capabilities and workflows to manage these as well as give you a full overview of player communications.

Can you think of any transactional communications that would be improved by being migrated to a centralised, real-time platform?

3.Real-time Engagements

This is where things start to get really exciting! Once you have automations running in the background for the day to day stuff, you are freed up to create “in the moment” player experiences. You can immediately congratulate players on big wins, trigger messaging with information and support when they have a less positive experience, or update them with progress and rewards related to gamification or loyalty programs.

The idea is that you should be able to deliver the same expertly crafted individual experience as a top hotel concierge service.

What are the moments in which you would like to be able to engage with your players that you can’t right now?

4.Internal Notifications

Sometimes creating the best experience still needs a human touch. Automated internal notifications can help teams to respond more quickly to player wants and needs.

For example, you can alert a VIP manager when one of their players logs in so they can keep an eye on the session and send personalised communications depending on how it goes. Or in another case, you could alert RG teams when potentially harmful behaviours are picked up during a session so that they can review immediately and take appropriate action.

When would instant notifications to your internal teams improve the overall experience for your players?

What data do I need?

Once you have established what you would like to automate, you need to consider what data you need.

This usually falls into three categories:

1.Player profile information

This includes all the information you have gathered about an individual player. For example, you need to know what market a player is in so that they receive lifecycle automatons that comply with local regulations. If you also want to send offers relevant to their interests, you need to have data on their preferences: a slots-only player isn’t likely to be responsive to free bets on a football match.

2.Real-time behaviour and experiences

This is the data that is constantly being generated throughout a session: games played, bet sizes, wins/losses, deposits/withdrawals. To be able to respond to a player’s experience in the moment, you need to be able to act on this information in real time. For example, if you want to congratulate a player on a big win, you need to know the bet size and win size (relative to the bet).

3.Performance metrics

When you start to work with automations, it’s important that you can see how they are performing. You need to be able to get an overview of how players respond to different offers, which channels are most effective for communicating with them etc. When you are able to see this information all in one place, you are able to make data-led decisions on how to improve. We will take a deeper look at how to see what’s working below.

Let’s start with the basics: What data will you need to automate your lifecycle management?

How will I know what's working?

You have your first automations running and are looking forward to seeing how they perform. How can you see what’s doing well and what needs improvement?

1.Experimentation

The great thing about automating the majority of your CRM activity is it frees you up to create experiments. This can be as simple as a traditional A/B test of offers on different games or email subject lines. Or you can take it to the next level and look at how to vary entire lifecycle flows to see if, for example, different frequencies of communication or varied channels has an impact on conversion and retention.

2.Reporting

In order to see what is working, especially when trying out something new, you need access to be able to see relevant data presented in an accessible way.

Within Fast Track CRM, we have created the Data Studio. This enables our partners to create their own dashboards that show real-time updates on the metrics that matter most to them. We also provide standardised dashboards based on the data we know most operators care about.

As an operator, you need flexible, real-time reporting on all your CRM activity in one place. It’s important to consider which metrics are important to you, where the relevant data needs to be collected from and how you want it to be presented.

What next?

If you have a good idea of what you would like to automate but need support to make it a reality, we can show you how Fast Track CRM can provide you with all the capabilities you need.

If you need support in exploring the possibilities of automation you can also book a personal consultation with us and we will support you in creating a plan to build the foundations of automated CRM for your brand through a collaborative discovery process.

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