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by: Arnold P..
I am sitting here in the back of the call center, admiring how well things are running these days compared to the past...quietly sipping on an ice cold Bombay martini (I cleaned out the one store that carries my favorite brand of gin a few days ago) and started thinking of our web sites.

I have been dumping a lot of advice over the last little bit due to changes in webdev and customer service and recently have been thinking of putting some basic principles down that are working well for us that everyone can take advantage of. Any ways...here is my opinion on why our web site is so good in general principles (note this is customized for our industry and not in order cause I am too lazy now that I have most of my first drink polished off):

1. End user psychological profiling drives everything. We need to be in their heads so we can simultaneously give them what they want while getting them to do what we want.

2. Speed is always important.

3. The less clicks the better...anyway you can remove steps - do it. Lowest possible barrier to entry always.

4. Never let the users be more than one click away from customer service. We have a customer service email link on every page in the same spot.

5. Use graphics to excite the players to get them to do things we want, but once they start doing what we want...keep the process the definitive utilitarian maximization...clean and fast. When you do use graphics...use the right amount...see 2. above!

6. Do not make anyone think if you can design it so they do not have to...keep it simple.

7. Out source the management of any content you can since this is not our core business. Our embedded research links gives us the best info available to our players at almost no management cost to us.

8. Use pop ups properly...they can be a huge advantage for sophisticated users or a huge pain in the ass if not done properly. Avoid multiple replication of the same pages in different windows and make sure the pop-ups are named properly so users can manage them.

9. Make sure the repeat users do not have to suffer through something just cause the newbies will like it.

10. Do not collect useless information...just to 'let' someone do business with us. Again...lowest possible barrier to entry.

11. Put the 'meat' of the site out front...let them drill for the insignificant stuff.

12. No dead-ends...if there’s nothing there don't let them in.

13. If you have a link on the site...make sure it works.

14. If you change the site...make sure the site copy (the information) is still accurate.

15. The first level of customer service is the web site (actually being able to easily and simply use the product is the ultimate customer service) itself...the users will only call in because the system or site design is not good enough. Improve the site using customer 'advice'.

I gotta go refill my glass, so anyone else that can think of anything I didn't touch on can add to this and someone can actually do up a more formal web site manifesto from this that can be used as a training aid for the entire team. Anyway...gotta go fill my glass :-)

By BoDog.com Sportsbook & Casino CEO Cole Turner

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