Gergana Kaneva, Delasport’s recently appointed Senior Vice President of Operations and Customer Experience, is an industry expert with over 15 years of igaming and account management experience.
Before joining Delasport, she held numerous leadership roles at some of the biggest companies in the field, including director roles at DraftKings/SBTech. Here she discusses her new role, her beliefs and some predictions for the igaming sector.
SBC: How do you plan to incorporate your vast experience in your new role as SVP Operations and Customer Experience at Delasport?
Gergana Kaneva: Having been on all sides of the business is extremely helpful when taking on such a responsible role. Due to my experience, I’m now able to think from all angles and points of view and craft a strategy that is satisfactory to operators, players, and us, as a supplier. Throughout the years, I’ve seen the importance of treating customers and partners with the individual attention they deserve, and since this is a huge part of Delasport’s values, I’m confident I’ve found my place.
SBC: What does a day of an SVP Operations and Customer Experience look like?
GK: Meetings, task organisation, strategizing, and coffee breaks to keep my mind sharp. I try to make sure on a daily basis that we’re providing the best service possible, so often I personally talk to our customers and request feedback on their satisfaction level and what they’d like to see implemented. Thankfully, my team is extremely talented and hardworking, so I don’t need to micromanage. I make sure to touch base with them and spend quality time together even outside of work. And one more thing I’m grateful for, we find the time to have fun at the office. I love the fact that we don’t let the serious essence of our work affect the fact that we’re also great friends.
SBC: What have you found to be key in ensuring good customer experience in a B2B environment?
GK: Individual attention, proactiveness, being present, active listening, and good processes in place. When talking to a person who represents a whole business, you’re indirectly talking to hundreds, sometimes thousands of people. The key is in the combination of a confident approach with data and facts – being as rational as possible – and empathy towards all parties involved in the process.
And the process itself is also an integral part of a successful partnership. If the customer sees chaos in our systems, they wouldn’t be willing to trust us with their business and data. This is why I’m very content and proud of the polished processes we have in place at Delasport.
SBC: What efforts does Delasport make to provide excellent customer experience?
GK: We strongly rely on our client management capabilities. We offer end-to-end personalised client experience, starting with a dedicated onboarding team and project management assigned, working on the specific need of the client according to integration type and software solution offered. The client is then transferred to our operations team and a dedicated account manager who continuously takes care of all their needs. Those needs vary. They can be technical and operational, trading support, performance analysis and improvements, upgrades, and many more.
We also have 24/7 support for all production-related cases, both technical and trading.
Another key effort we make is in the form of regular communication with established flows. We have a habitual approach to supporting the ongoing lifecycle of the client.
And last, but not least, we regularly conduct proactive security reviews and improvements, send notifications and provide incident reports and measures for prevention.
SBC: What sets Delasport apart from other igaming suppliers in your opinion?
GK: I would say ‘many things’, but in order to be concise, I’ll point out two of them for now.
The first one is our strive for innovation. We keep thinking of ways to help the businesses that choose us to differentiate in their highly saturated markets. Since everyone in igaming has access to the same content (games and sports fixtures) right now, we’ve come up with ways to provide operators with an edge: personalization features.
Our flagship suite – My Era – provides three key innovations: My Sportsbook, My Event Builder, and If Bet. With them, we prove that operators shouldn’t be afraid of giving control to their players but should see it as mutual empowerment. Nobody knows what players want better than the players themselves. This is why the feedback we’re receiving about our personalization tools is incredible.
The second thing is the fact that we’re growing with incredible speed, but still maintain a personal approach. We treat customers as individuals before anything else.
SBC: What are the core values you base your professional decisions on?
GK: One of the values that drives my professional decisions is order. When you manage even a part of structures and processes as large as Delasport’s, you need to have great organisation in place to not feel like you’re about to lose the ground under your feet. Order keeps me calm and provides me with the headspace needed to do my job in the most efficient manner possible.
Another of my core values is loyalty. I believe mutual trust is a key component to a meaningful life and being loyal is an integral part of this process. Lastly, I would mention one more value I hold highly – kindness. Not losing the human face, being kind, and a nice person in general is a priority both in my personal and professional life.
SBC: Where do you see the igaming industry heading in the near future?
GK: I know a lot of people believe that AI is the future. Yes, AI, machine learning, and algorithms are certainly here to stay, but the igaming industry needs a radical change towards treating players as the individual people they are. We intend on achieving this by providing them with more control over what they see and how they bet as well as protecting their well-being with numerous tools to ensure they’re playing safely.
Responsible gaming is becoming more and more important in the times we live in and compliance with the respective laws is essential. As professionals in igaming, we need to have peace of mind, knowing we’re strictly providing entertainment and being responsible to people at risk.
It might sound like I’m speaking only about the future of Delasport, but I’m confident most of the industry is going to follow our lead in these efforts.
Gergana Kaneva – Senior Vice President of Operations and Customer Experience @ Delasport