BetRegal

BetRegal diary: Passing the tipping point between repair and replace

Aly Lalani, Head of Marketing at BetRegal, discusses passing the ‘tipping point’ between repair and replace and ‘biting the bullet’ by migrating to a new software partner.

“In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”

I have always been a fan of that Warren Buffett saying. Not only is it a beautiful use of language, but it speaks to a really important point in the decision making process, not just in business but in most life decisions. If something is broken, how much time should you invest in trying to fix it vs. working to replace it? How do you know when that tipping point is between repair vs. replace?

This is a topic that hits close to home for us at BetRegal. Over the last few months, we felt our website had a fundamental problem.

I won’t get into specifics, but our issue had something to do with the customer experience on our website. It was an issue that we felt was limiting our ability to present our brand as we had envisioned.

Due to some decisions we had made early on in the process (see diary on getting to market quickly), there was a little more reliance on external sources than I would typically like – talk about consequences of strategic decisions. After working tirelessly to try and effect the change we wanted, we reached that line in the sand where the discussion had to take place.

Are we at the point that Ol’ Warren was referring to in that quote above? After much debate, the decision was made. Yes, we were ready to bite the bullet. It was time to stop patching our leaky boat and devote that energy to changing vessels.

I am extremely excited to be able to say that as of 1 November, BetRegal.com has migrated to a new software partner who is much more aligned with our strategic goals.

Improving, evolving, optimizing, enhancing – whatever words we choose to describe the process we have just gone through, the core remains the same. We made a change because we feel we are a better brand and product with our new software provider. We feel we are in a better position to acquire and retain customers, and more importantly in a position to offer our customers a better overall gaming experience.

This isn’t a decision that was taken lightly. After all, a decision like this comes with a tremendous amount of risk, not to mention investment. What if there was negative feedback on the new site from customers? What if there were migration issues that caused customers an especially bad customer experience?

Of course, there was also the capital and technical investment of going through such a migration. This is us choosing to embark on a stressful, costly, risky move to a brand-new software provider. These were all vital discussions that had to take place.

At the end of those long meetings, the correct decision (in my opinion) was made. First and foremost, we have to consider our customers. The focus of our strategic decisions has to have a customer-centric motivation. In our case, the goal has to be providing the best possible UX we can. If we are settling for (what we consider) a less than optimal product, they won’t be our customers long anyway.

One last thought that touches on the experience of being a ‘start-up’, whatever that means. Let’s call it the advantage of being a small lean company is that decisions like the ones we just had to face are able to be evaluated, agreed upon and executed in a relatively quick fashion. I am sure many of you have worked in environments where large scale changes take months and years before actual change is brought into play (I know I have worked in those environments).

I really hope as we scale, the level of flexibility can remain. I suppose that’s a fundamental challenge of a growing business – how do you remain nimble and efficient as headcount and decision makers continue to grow? It’s a challenge I am excited to face.

The new and improved BetRegal.com site has been getting positive reviews so far from customers, affiliates and contacts, which makes me feel more confident that we made the correct decision.

It’s a good thing Warren Buffet was there to point us in the right direction.

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