Craig Troop, Deputy Director of Research, and Carol Powanda, Research Analyst at the Pennsylvania Lottery share these tips based on their experience leading the PA Lottery Insiders insight community. They involve their players early on in the product life cycle in an effort to optimize games and accelerate innovation.
Why Should You Care about Running a Successful Member Hub?
The basic premise is simple: keeping people engaged and excited about giving feedback will keep them coming back for more. In a consent-based insight program, where people opt in to share their perspective, do more than just ask them questions. Consider the insight process as an extension of your brand, ensure that members feel heard and recognize that their feedback is not only valued, but is also applied in a meaningful way.
Craig recommends being creative when talking to customers; consider your insight community an extension of your brand experience, and try to balance both a fun and educational component with the content.
Give some background about what the insight community is all about and what you hope to learn. The Pennsylvania Lottery team said it was surprised to see the number of people who commented and introduced themselves, saying “Hello from Pittsburgh!” and “Hello from Harrisburg!” The Lottery team also posts an “Insider of the Month” to make everyone feel more connected to the community.
Meet the Team
Introduce your team members. Being personal, transparent, and authentic in your introduction will encourage people to be more open with you too. Remember, you are building an ongoing relationship and want people to understand that their feedback is important and valued. Knowing there are real people listening can really boost engagement. Pennsylvania Lottery staff shares some details about who they are and their background.
Share What You’re Learning
Closing the feedback loop is a critical step in building trust and long-term engagement with your customers. It doesn’t have to be complicated or a major investment. At minimum, share some results that aren’t confidential, and where possible let your customers know what you’re doing with their insights. Involving your internal stakeholders with a quote or short video can also help show that you’re listening. The PA Lottery team also sends a monthly newsletter with links to the posts from that month.
Involve Customers in Fun Decisions
The Pennsylvania Lottery has a mascot named Gus. Lottery staff asks members to vote on outfits that Gus wears and asks trivia questions about Gus. This can be a good way to engage with your customers if you’re finding it challenging to share results from more confidential studies.
Behind the Scenes
Giving your customers a behind-the-scenes look at how you make decisions and how you operate is a great way to engage with your insight community and makes your customers feel even more valued and important. The Pennsylvania Lottery sometimes uses trivia questions to give this new perspective to its players. Below, is an example of a monthly question that was asked about how long it takes the Lottery to develop holiday-themed Scratch-Off games. In another example, Lottery staff received a question through the member hub about how the balls work for draw games. After consulting with its security team, Lottery staff responded with an overview of several procedures that are followed in regards to drawing ball sets and the execution of each drawing.
Share Information That Already Exists
Sometimes you have great content that already exists in other places and it may be hard to find. Re-purpose that content to engage with your customers even more. In the example below, the team shares a map of where PA Lottery winners are located across Pennsylvania. They also share coupons and promotions monthly about what is available to players.
Looking for more ideas for engaging your insight community members? Check out these posts with more proven best practices.