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Keeping Lottery Retailers Supported 24-7 x 365

Efforts to advance the lottery industry’s retailer experience earn global recognition.

Winning best in the world for the IT Team category at the 19th annual Top-Ranking Performers Awards hosted by Contact Center World in Lisbon, Portugal (L to R): Andrew Pierce, Michael Saraiva, and Thomas Martinez.


By IGT (International Game Technology) February 16, 2024 NASPL Insights Online



One critical component of lottery support happens largely behind the scenes: providing retailers with readily available support for every type of inquiry.


Yet this valuable work took center stage not long ago, when the world’s largest contact center association, Contact Center World, hosted its 18th annual Global Top Ranking Performers Awards in Lisbon, Portugal ─ and recognized the lottery industry for call center support: specifically, the leading-edge IT and people-management skills required to serve lottery operators and their retailers around the clock.


Annually, the organization Contact Center World receives over 2,000 entries from various industries in more than 80 countries – from among which it recognizes the top-ranking performers for contact centers, employee engagement, customer experience, business strategies, and tech innovation. In June of 2023, a team from IGT initially won the gold in two categories at Contact Center World’s North American competition, as well as the Dream Team award, allowing them to advance to the World Championships in Lisbon, Portugal.


At the global competition in Lisbon, in November 2023, the IGT team was again successful: Andrew Pierce, Workforce Manager, IGT National Response Center, won Best Operational Manager after a presentation to the judges about understanding business objectives, resources, and analyzing data while being an adaptive and empowering people manager. “I have been fortunate to learn from a lot of highly skilled, highly motivated professionals in this industry, and I feel as though it’s my responsibility to take what I’ve learned, add my own perspective, and pass that along to the next generation of leaders at IGT,” said Pierce.


The IT team of Michael Saraiva, Supervisor System Engineering, Contact Center Services, and Thomas Martinez, Technical Support Engineer, presented the latest innovations implemented by IGT’s National Response Center, including cloud solutions, automation, and IGT’s first self-service resource, which is leveraged by more than 186,000 lottery retailers across the United States.


They also explained how they enable the work of 640+ IGT employees across the company’s various contact centers, supporting 35 U.S. and global lottery jurisdictions: “With hundreds of associates working remotely, it is critical that we provide resources that are easy to use, reliable, stable, and available,” said Michael. “Previously, there were limitations on how and what we could offer to our customers. With the new resources provided to our agents, they are performing to a new standard within our contact centers.”



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Retailer Goals Are Our Goals

Contact center agents’ most important job is to keep every retailer in operation, including providing information and responding to retailers during periods of high call volume ─ such as large jackpot runs and weather anomalies ─ or on the rare occasions when they encounter a service issue. IGT’s National Response Center operates four geographical locations within the continental U.S. (Florida, Rhode Island, Texas, and West Virginia). All four have successfully incorporated a fully remote work-at-home program, and all locations support retailer contacts from all U.S. time zones.


As consumer and retailer needs change, so too must industry norms. IGT has moved forward by providing traditional retailer support through several channels that take full advantage of modern, adaptive solutions:


  • Phone Support: One toll-free number routes callers into a fully customized Integrated Voice Response (IVR) system where they can navigate selections to reach the agent best suited to assist them. That agent will have a window into the caller’s registration and account information for a fast resolution time.


  • Retailer Self-Service: IGT’s National Response Center offers retailers a self-service website, iGNIE, that can be accessed for guides and troubleshooting steps for common terminal-related issues like paper jams. iGNIE is uniquely tailored to each jurisdiction based on their equipment. Lottery retailers in participating jurisdictions can seek assistance online, 24x7. Reporting for iGNIE is available for usage rates via Google Analytics.


  • Live Chat Support: The National Response Center offers a Live Chat support tool. Chat requests are queued in the order received, and retailers are informed of their expected wait time and position in the queue. Retailers then enter an interactive chat session to resolve their questions and concerns.


  • Chatbot: As IGT progresses on its roadmap for Artificial Intelligence (AI), retailers in participating jurisdictions can seek assistance for common problems and inquiries through AI services. These innovations will be launched with 24x7 availability to ensure that retailers will always have assistance when they require it.


  • Supply Ordering Automation: Retailers in participating jurisdictions have the option to order consumable inventory via an online web-form. This feature will allow retailers the comfort and convenience of ordering supplies at any time of the day.


  • Automated Callbacks: Lottery retailers in participating jurisdictions can choose a callback option if they are holding in queue for longer than 60 seconds. Once selected, the Interactive Voice Response system holds their call in-place, allowing them to disconnect the call. The Center’s call management system then contacts the retailer when their call is next in queue.



IGT’s retailer support channels now include chat, self-service, email, and automated supply ordering.


IGT also uses the Genesys Cloud™ solution, an advanced, all-in-one telephony system that is designed to manage modern day contact center needs. The Genesys Cloud platform delivers inbound voice routing; outbound campaign calls; digital channel capabilities, such as chat, email, and SMS messaging; workforce management tools; quality assurance monitoring; reporting and analytics for metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and more.


“Andrew, Michael, and Thomas have done an outstanding job and sustained IGT’s reputation as a leader in service delivery and support. Their contributions, innovations, and strategic planning will continue to enhance the customer experience and set new benchmarks in the industry.”

“Though we have grown in many ways over the past 30 years, we are still the same trusted partner, ensuring the best customer service for our customers’ retailers from a diverse and talented team,” said Michael Carpenter, IGT Senior Director of Call Centers. “Andrew, Michael, and Thomas have done an outstanding job and sustained IGT’s reputation as a leader in service delivery and support. Their contributions, innovations, and strategic planning will continue to enhance the customer experience and set new benchmarks in the industry.


This isn’t the first time IGT’s National Response Center has won gold. Since 2014, IGT has been awarded First or Second place 22 times in the World Championship. The next competition for the Americas takes place this coming May in Las Vegas, Nevada.





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