Content creation specialist Kaleidovision has enjoyed a long relationship with gaming company the Gala Coral Group over the years, first through its casino operations and now with its large Gala Bingo estate.
Recent times have seen the bingo experience become even more popular, which, despite being a positive for Gala Bingo, also created problems for the chain. An increasing array of product choices available to customers – launched to match higher demands – resulted in lengthening queues around the Booksales areas of the clubs, where all communications had previously been paper based.
“By introducing our ‘price smash’ initiative we had given customers more choice, but made the pricing more complicated, resulting in dissatisfaction at purchase point with queuing times,” explains Gala Bingo marketing director Andy Goram.
“We realised we needed a queue-busting metric and asked Kaleidovision whether they could bring our 2D static pricing to life so that people could make an easy, informed decision — enabling the purchase of either paper or electronic bingo,” he continues. “This, along with a new self service area had created the need for a new bingo buying journey.”
Kaleidovision was tasked with providing the solution in the form of an elegant, easily updatable three-screen ‘infotainment’ system to replace the old paper point of sale. The new systems would be part of 11 new-look Gala Bingo sites which had been earmarked for upgrades from the 137-unit estate.
The screens would guide customers to the appropriate queue, depending on their preferred purchase type, filtering the crowds so that each customer quickly and simply made his or her purchase.
Prices on the units can be set and changed locally via Kaleidovision’s content management system (CMS), through up to 15 different sessions per week.
“This differs substantially from most retail digital screen set-ups, where pricing is pumped down centrally rather than managed at site level,” says Andy Pitman, Kaleidovision MD. “Whereas most signage stays the same all week, this ‘freedom within a framework’ presents them with a dynamic process in which standard brand templates and central pricing are seamlessly presented alongside locally-selected pricing.”
Kaleidovision had already been engaged by Gala Bingo to supply venues with background music and jingles (via its KL4 media player) as well as corporate training videos. By using bespoke software for the KL4 and multi-level CMS, displays can present the complex pricing and changing offers during different trading periods in a graphical, operationally intuitive manner.
“This exercise has been developed specifically for Gala to bring clarity to customer-facing pricing communications, which can get confused with multiple bits of POS displayed in a tight area,” explains Amy Henaghan, Kaleidovision account manager. “With customer-facing screens all the different pricing can be seen by queuing customers at a glance, while the unit managers have local control simply by going in through the web portal. Customers are no longer having to ask questions, which lengthened the queue time, and so this is an important time saving mechanism.” Ultimately the new system facilitates decision-making, subsequently reducing queue sizes at peak times.
Customers can also use the Electronic Bingo Self Service area, equipped with tablets and an ATM that enables cash to be loaded onto their account. Here the intuitive screens will also guide them easily through the process and purchase options available.
Gala’s new look bingo halls have been designed to broaden the appeal of bingo, by separating the main area into two sections: one for dedicated gamers where bingo is the main focus, and another more relaxed area called the Lively Lounge for more sociable games.
“[The new layout] has required little capital expenditure other than updating our KL4 players with the new software, as we have been able to repurpose many of our existing LCD flatscreens,” explain Goram. This allows Gala to run the scrolling ticker info, with a maximum of three editable messages.
“We are now back to speed at Booksales, with better use of existing kit and the screens are working harder,” Goram confirms.
Down at the flagship Gala Bingo in Feltham — with nearly 900 capacity in the main hall and 250 in the Lively Lounge — general manager Mike Ellis agrees that it has clearly sped up the customer journey at a single point of purchase.
“The screens are simpler, a lot clearer and easy to read fonts. In fact, it’s the best signage we’ve ever had and what we get from Kaleidovision now is much more tailored to the business. We can just go into the web portal and update as we want. It’s contemporary and modern and definitely fits within this environment.”
And Andy Pitman confirms, “These developments ensure that both the customer and the colleague experience are top-notch — and that’s vital to ensure ease of use and buy-in.”
The new trial is proving a success as it prepares for roll-out. A positive sign for Gala Bingo which has 1.2 million active members on their database and over 15 million visits per year, As for Kaleidovision, it means they can carry out online monitoring and diagnostics by logging into their own CMS.