Providing quality customer support is cardinal in practically any service industry, with digital entertainment making no exception. Often, to gain competitive advantage, tech industries – and the iGaming vertical in particular – dedicate most of their resources to product design and user interface solutions so that they appear attractive and easy to deal with.
However, established real-money gaming platforms know that behind the flashy appearance of the latest games they need to deliver solid and efficient solutions to the “boring” fundamentals – payment processing, a fair gaming environment and the best possible player support they can muster.
Our study illustrates how KTO tackles customer service on structural and instrumental levels. We also provide concrete examples of the best practices in the iGaming industry, with clear reference for their reasons, goals and implementation contexts.
The Growing Value of KTO’s Player Support Department
Investing in a first-rate Customer Service (CS) department is not only about ensuring quality but also about maintaining a good reputation. More often than not, superior CS is the key brand differentiator in today’s competitive tech landscape.
KTO’s own business data shows that improving CS has had a direct impact on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as “churn rates” and life-time value (LTV). Those are also reflected in more practical aspects such as word-of-mouth feedback and user reviews. We have had consistent proof that investing in the CS team produces long-term value for both the business and the players.
The graph above shows the growth of the CS team at KTO over time. It acquired more weight within the organization, along with the rising online traction and visibility of the operator. New employees were added each year into a globally oriented team. Crucially, all 25 CS staff members are fluent in Portuguese as Brazil is one of the most important markets for KTO.
The KTO team takes pride in offering a premium service to customers. The entire concept of the operator – and our work ethic – are built around the idea of providing a personalized experience, with as much clarity and transparency as possible.
Knowing the odds is just the start: the mission has always been to provide a fair and trustworthy gaming experience, rendering the journey positive and enjoyable. Inevitably, this entails a commitment to exceptional CS.
With cash stakes involved, real-money entertainment often leads to sensitive issues and even emotional dimensions. These are much more common than in casual gaming and competent player support is crucial – from a technical, financial, legal and purely human perspective.
Ultimately, customer retention is essential for any business. Keeping existing players happy is the basis for rating well on the dynamic global iGaming scene.
Channels and Content Served
The quickest, most efficient and preferred method of contacting the CS team at KTO is the live chat feature. It is easy to spot in the bottom right corner of the screen – clicking on the “bubble” evokes the assistance of the available agents.
Considering the fact that KTO has loyal player communities around the world, the chat needs to accommodate different time zones. In Brazil, users can receive live assistance for 15 hours continuously, between 9 am and midnight (BRT). The same hours apply for Chile. Customers in Peru can contact CS in real time between 7 am and 10 pm (PT), while in Canada those would be the hours between 8 am and 11 pm (CDT). For players located in Europe, KTO live chat is available from 2 pm in the afternoon until 5 a.m. in the morning (CET).
What is useful to know is that CS staff answers chat prompts within a minute, 58 seconds on average to be precise. As for chat durations, players spend around 9 minutes with CS agents (KTO data shows 8 min 23 sec in January and 9 min 26 sec in February 2023).
Such minimal delay times on reply and ample durations reveal why the live chat is the quickest and most user-friendly CS channel. Naturally, KTO can also be reached via:
Customers in Chile and Peru also have a more substantial following on Facebook, making it a natural potential channel for communication with KTO staff.
How Fast Does KTO Reply to Player Support Requests?
Despite all CS channels being convenient enough, there are differences in the reply times and nature of content that players might expect to get assistance with. The average reply delay over e-mail have been reported at around 5 hours (e.g., 3 hours 36 minutes in January and 7 hours 16 minutes in February 2023).
Clearly, while the integrated live chat is the fastest way to reach out to CS, an e-mail may be more useful for extensive and detailed requests that don’t require an immediate response.
Most other channels are less “natural” for elaborate and personalized support, making them less appropriate. For Instagram, replies arrive on average after about 9 hours. A response on external review platforms like Reclame Aqui may come as late as 15 days, despite the best of intentions (see more on Reclame Aqui below).
Still, while third-party platforms and services are not ideal, the CS team strives to monitor, respond and redirect KTO players to more efficient solutions and channels.
Average Workload and Path to Satisfactory Response
Primary KTO data allows us to reveal the volume of customer support requested on a monthly basis. In January and February of 2023, the amount of general topic CS requests were 723 and 636, respectively. This breaks down into a little over 23 daily requests for January and a little under that for February.
However, these requests do not take into consideration additional specific workflows dedicated to issues like:
- deposit and withdrawal history,
- VIP requests on chat,
- withdrawal proof for come payment methods, and
- any issue not related to casino game rounds.
This roughly doubles the number of above-mentioned daily requests. More importantly, despite the growing number of players at KTO over time, those reaching out to CS are not growing noticeably.
The table below shows a six-month overview of consumer support activity over the three main KTO contact channels.
These numbers allow us to point out certain distinctive traits of the two-way CS communication between players and KTO. Live chats have had a stable and commanding share of CS, outnumbering by 20.24% e-mail requests, on average. Both these channels have maintained comparable monthly numbers, with the exception of November and early December, when the 2022 FIFA World Cup brought peaks of sports betting activity around the world.
After a relatively quiet month of January, the total amount of CS interactions had a small increase during the following month. Only Instagram messages saw consistent growth percentage-wise, however they still have only marginal importance for both parties involved.
The total number of requests also includes CS “tickets” that take some time to get a proper solution (e.g., hours) until their satisfactory end is communicated to the clients.
What is interesting to observe is the amount of time it takes CS agents to respond over chat. The highlighted average time of 58 seconds is brought up mostly by the peaks in November, as well as the slight growth in workload in February. The latter caused KTO to increase its CS personnel by 15%. The results of this move are seen statistically in decreased response times for March 2023.
External CS Delivery and Third-Party Verification of Customer Concerns
In addition to said customer service channels, there are third-party platforms that operate in the CS niche. They also provide valuable resources and support to consumers, mostly in the form of review and opinion sharing.
KTO collaborates with trusted external sites as means of supplementing in-house CS, providing more choices to the gaming community. Whatever customers address in terms of both subjective and objective concerns – e.g., gameplay challenges or technical issues – contributes to improve everyone’s gaming experience.
One of the most reputable such channels is Reclame Aqui, a Brazilian site for company reviews and complaints about products, services and client experiences. Manager by the Óbvio Brasil holding, the site is free for both consumers reviews and company responses. User data is kept anonymous to the public at large but accessible to company CS staff so that a personalized solution is enabled.
In the past year, KTO has had more than 60,000 views on ReclameAqui. The company is proud to emphasize that, in the last 6 months alone, its overall rating is “Good,” with a score of 7.1 out of 10.0.
This is well above most competitors: out of the 75 companies in the “Games and Jogos” category, the average rating is 4.15. Considering real-money gaming operators alone, ratings are even lower, 3.8 on average. Arguably, many of these operators suffer the thousands of unanswered claims and reviews.
The semester in question is the same that we have seen record an increase in CS staff, resulting in an improvement in overall ratings – namely the type of investments we spoke about earlier.
We need to keep one thing in mind – “Reclame Aqui” is literally a complaint platform where people typically share negative experiences. Yet, KTO has solved almost 70% of issues reported through this platform. Even better, 96.2% of complaints, reviews or opinions have received a direct response from KTO’s CS department. This means either providing a quick solution or referring users to the proper channels for adequate resolution.
Ultimately, despite the brand prompt to “Complain Here”, as much as two thirds of users would still recommend playing on KTO.
Such partner platforms reveal additional aspects that KTO objectively cannot share outside of its relationship with players. These are the topics, concerns and concrete issues that users have and discuss openly and publicly.
According to the above site, the most common issues reviewed and discussed are related to:
- The overall company profile and services offered (or content delivered);
- Most frequent questions (FAQ) on KTO
- Welcome promotions
- Cash out strategies
- Withdrawal requests
- Account activation; and
- Clarifications about the main CS channels to handle player concerns.
Grouped into areas of company operations, these topics are represented by the graph below.
The very games offered by KTO are the most discussed (41.25%) group of features. This category does not reveal individual reasons for having issues with the games – be those complex rules, game mechanics or returns to player (RTP). Some simply inquire about game strategies or other explanations.
A broad grouping of “Products/Services” come next, followed by Network issues (13.17%), Website content (8.32%) and functioning (5.03%). Impressively, not a lot of users are bothered by inconsistent or misleading advertisement (2.60%), something which KTO is very proud of.
Lastly, there is also a KTO page profile on Trustpilot which is also a review platform that serves primarily to verify and represent the company on a global level.
Clearly, player issues cannot be effectively dealt by leaving a review on such websites. These channels are intended for consumers to share their experience, in most cases unilaterally. Still, KTO strives to respond to users and point them to the official CS channels. Notably, 60% of Trustpilot reviews assign 5 stars to KTO.
Corporate Transparency and Consumer Related Policies
Considering the growing importance of KTO on a global level and in LATAM in particular, it is worth pointing out the corporate commitment to fairness and clarity of all services delivered. The KTO Group website lists an e-mail, a phone number and an online feedback form.
Naturally, these channels are destined for business-to-business contacts and enquiries. Still, company staff has had occasional misdirected requests, forwarded instantly to the proper CS channels. The same is true for the Group’s Facebook page and especially its LinkedIn company profile.
KTO Group highlights commitments to quality operations, compliance and risk management across all markets where the brand operates. Of course, these expand into and includes separate and explicit Cookie and Privacy policies.
All properties make a clear reference to licensing and regulatory standards that KTO has covered by obtaining and maintaining a registration with the Curaçao eGaming Master License holder.
In the end, however, the dedication to Responsible Gaming is probably the most important among all these policies and corporate commitments. KTO supports a series of initiatives and awareness campaigns, encouraging its customers to adhere to safe gaming, including through integrated RG tools. Most KTO Group sites advise players to stay informed of activities and programs offered by the Gambling Therapy, Gamblers Anonymous and Responsible Gaming consumer support groups.
Prevention before Solution
Management philosophy at KTO has always prioritized prevention over seeking remedies for problems later on. To begin with, the general Terms and Conditions (T&C) cover a variety of important topics, such as account management, player responsibilities, identity verification, anti-fraud measures, personal information protection, payment procedures, website maintenance, and intellectual property rights.
KTO’s T&C also outline the process for making claims, requests and notices that require direct support from the operator, including the means, terms, and timeframes for handling them. By clearly defining these aspects of user experience, KTO aims to provide a secure and transparent platform for its customers.
The Payment Options section also raises crucial aspect for players. The page provides particularly detailed instructions on top payment methods like PIX, Pay4Fun, Boleto, as well as cryptocurrencies. However, there are more than 10 payment methods available on KTO.com, including Banco do Brasil, Bradesco, Directa24, Itaú, Paylivre. The main payment providers in Brazil, such as COINDIRECT, DIRECTA24, INOVAPAY, PAY4FUN, and PAYLIVRE are all covered.
KTO posts detailed information and user-friendly resources to ensure customers have a positive experience. This includes comprehensive rules and regulations for both sports betting and casino games. Sportsbook explanations include settlements, cancellation of bets, bet types, and sports markets.
In the casino section, each game is explained with its logic, objective, rules, and RTP. These outlines are supported by actual data, research and even company profiles of the game providers and their B2B licenses.
Needless to say, KTO reveals all the necessary information about welcome and bonus offers, cashback terms. If all of the above resources fail to answer player questions, there is a separate FAQ section that guides users and also points them to the Customer Service channels in place.
Finally, the platform also provides a blog with news and explanations of odds for major events.
Popular CS Requests and Common Player Needs
There are questions that players often ask but are not listed in the FAQ section, simply because they require personalized handling by Customer Support. The most popular requests in that sense are related to clarifications on Know Your Customer (KYC) rules and requirements.
The top 5 of most frequent CS topics on KTO also include withdrawals (deadlines, status, reasons for outcome), bet explanations, account information and CPF validation. For sports betting, users ask how a market works (reasons for outcome or a request for settlement delay), while casino players need explanations of promotions and game rules.
Services or product issues include interface challenges, site functioning or other discrepancies with player expectations and standards.
Going back to ReclameAqui, we see the following specific selections made among typical gaming industry challenges:
Exactly 20% of users have had some kind of issues with the establishing fair values – to game returns or otherwise. Considering we have more than half of players opting for sports betting, quite often punters don’t agree with the values and coefficients assigned to match outcomes.
About 1 in 6 players do not think the advertisement practices they encountered have been fair in one way or another – unclear, incorrect or misleading for them. Still, these are reasonable shares of advertisement aversion or disagreement.
Less than 15% encounter problems with payment (and withdrawal) methods. To that we can add 7.9% that believe the amount they paid for a gaming session should be returned. Less than 1 in 10 have challenges with a suspended account.
All others (23 out of 28) are more or less marginal, as they represent less than 32% even when lumped together. Arguably, some reword similar issues and can be addressed and resolved through established means and channels.
Player Satisfaction and Retention
Naturally, the company monitors standard business KPIs, such as turnover, net gaming revenue (NGR) and deposits. However, the effectiveness of out B2C performance is defined mostly by KPIs that measure consumer loyalty, including Month-on-Month Retention based on active players, Depositing Actives, Sports & Casino Actives, and Cross-selling activity. (Players are defined as “active” if depositing or playing at least once in a given month).
Player loyalty can also be seen in the life-time value (LTV) of their gaming journey with KTO. The graph below shows the proportion of average NGR attributed to a group of players that began playing in the same month.
Player activity starts with a first-time deposit (FTD) in a given period over the past 20 months‘ timeframe. The average amount of FTDs is taken as a main unit of measure, with monthly NGR represented proportionally.
Evidently, the same groups of players continue playing with us to this date. We see them register a gradual decline in activity, with some peaks corresponding to important events. The biggest upturn was seen in November and December, as mentioned, for the World Cup. Many have registered specifically in time for the global forum.
Previous peaks include the Quarter-finals of the Copa Libertadores in August which saw 5 out of 8 teams from Brazil (against 3 Argentinian rivals) raise national pride and betting activity.
If we color code the same player activity on KTO throughout the 20-month period, we see the following visual representation:
Once again, we see a minor and gradual decline by early incoming groups but never a definitive withdrawal. We see that NGR almost never drops below 0.3 times its average rates, save for 6 occasions identified in the data matrix. This is exactly 2.6% of the user-month combinations.
Interestingly, there was one particularly successful month for the KTO gamer community. February 2023 saw players win over 1.5 times the average amounts typically deposited.
It is worth pointing out that KTO bets on superior service and personalized support instead of heavy automation for user prompts and reminders. Onboarding automation is a standard of the gaming industry, yet it is only set for newly registered customers (NRC) on KTO. It serves to provide welcome information after first registration and guidance through all potential next steps.
Among typical retention-raising channels, CS uses only e-mail. There are no SMS or phone calls placed to clients – KTO does not abuse player trust and does not push excessive communication. E-mails are used for reminders of existing balance, new promotional campaigns available (bonus or upcoming event) or a follow up on earlier issues discussed even after a positive resolution. Crucially, offers and segments are built manually by KTO staff.
In a highly competitive industry, where numerous online gaming sites offer similar services, KTO strives to stand out for its consumer support. Players need to feel heard and satisfied quickly and effectively.
High-quality customer support is not an abstract concept but a way to build trust and loyalty in both directions. In a way, satisfied customers can even become informal brand ambassadors, promoting the platform through word-of-mouth and social media.
Market experts are unanimous – superior consumer support in iGaming creates value and leads to player retention. More importantly, it can elevate brands to prominent national and global levels. The customized multilingual support at KTO has managed to attract and retain wide audiences, increasing visibility and brand recognition across various markets.
That is why KTO sees Customer Support as the foundation for efficient business performance and the basis for sustainable market growth.