An integral part of IGT’s culture is its “Customer First” approach. Although the precise definition of “Customer First” may vary from one IGT executive to the next, all IGT leaders will agree: helping IGT customers grow their businesses, while delivering superior customer service is a top priority.
“Everything from product roadmaps and R&D investment, to content creation and in-market customer support are guided by our customers’ immediate and long-term business needs,” asserted Bugno. “For IGT, ’Customer First’ is not just a mantra, it’s a commitment to a way of doing business.”
nitiated organizational realignments, and most importantly, adopted new practices and standards to ensure that the Company is positioned to quickly and effectively respond to its customers’ needs.
“In recent months, IGT has implemented a series of operational and organizational changes to better position the Company to serve the individual needs of our gaming, lottery and interactive customers worldwide,” explained Bugno. “Through a more localized approach to a number of disciplines such as field services and content creation, and by strengthening IGT’s in-market presence in many geographies, IGT now is more agile in our operations. This de-centralized approach empowers regional leaders to respond to our customers, their needs and changing market conditions more quickly.”
Principles in practice
In the few short months since Bugno and his executive team committed to localizing many aspects of the International business, IGT has made changes, both big and small, that continue to yield meaningful results for IGT’s customers. Bugno provided many examples of these principles in practice from regions around the world.
“IGT recently presented at the Australasian Gaming Expo in Sydney,” recounts Bugno. “We featured new games such as Hyper Hits, Elephant King and Wild Fury Jackpots that we adapted locally to meet the player demands of the Australian market. Our market-attuned games were met with positive responses by local operators – many commented on the noticeable shift in market relevance of IGT’s portfolio.”
Bugno went on to share that IGT has a game design studio in Australia, making games for that region, as well as a studio in China, focusing on content for gaming destinations throughout Asia. He also explained that IGT’s test bank process is market- specific, meaning that IGT will test a game in multiple geographies and gauge the viability of a game on a region-by-region basis. “Just because a game excels in one region, does not guarantee that it will excel in the next. When an IGT game earns the ‘Proven Performer’ distinction, we want our customers to know that they can put those games on their floors with confidence,” he noted.
For IGT, localization is not exclusive to market- attuned content; it extends to field services, operations, decision making, and strategic partnerships. Bugno furnished concrete examples of changes that IGT has implemented in Latin America to ensure speed and freedom of response, along with enhanced customer-facing support.
“Rather than our customers having to go through a global contact center, we have realigned all our contacts to the local markets so our customers experience much faster response times and can work with familiar faces. This shift has made the customer experience much faster than before,” said Bugno. In August, IGT announced the acquisition of Zest, a respected and leading provider of video bingo games. Multi-card video bingo is popular with players in Mexico and The Philippines, and is projected to be a hit in Brazil, should that market open up.
“Zest’s multi-card video bingo solution is recognized as one of the best in the international market,” said Bugno. “Bringing IGT’s gaming expertise and Customer First approach together with Zest’s proven video bingo solution allows IGT to generate value in existing and new markets.”
In Europe, IGT is placing a keen focus on localized operations. The Company now leverages its Amsterdam office as an operations hub for many of its European customers. The benefits of this structure are many.
“Through the localization of operations in our Amsterdam facility we have been able to improve our entire supply chain and ultimately, improve the customer experience. We are speeding up delivery of finished products, increased spare parts availability and IGT is quickly becoming a more efficient partner for our customers.”
Bugno concluded by outlining the adjustments that have been made to the product and content management organizations within IGT’s International organization. He shared that product management teams have been assigned for each individual region – allowing for IGT to execute product roadmaps that are more attuned, responsive and relevant for the individual regions.