Good player support can help lead to increased customer satisfaction, better retention and an overall better fun game experience.
Speaking at Helpshift’s MORE Gaming Summit 2017 in San Francisco, a panel of mobile and online game experts offered their advice for best practices in player support during live operations.
Wargaming Director of Customer Support and Quality Metrics Fernan Kalaw said to provide better player support he had to immerse himself in the games industry and deal with tickets himself from the start. He had previously worked outside of games with NetGear.
One of the first ticket queues he was involved with concerned rules violations, and how the company deals with that.
To reduce negativity and toxicity in the community, Kalaw said the team took that feedback seriously and came out with official guidelines on rules and the penalties for breaking them.
On the flip side, he said Wargaming also reinforces good player behaviour by providing awards each quarter to those not breaking the rules.
He stated if players aren’t happy while playing your game, that won’t be good for retention.
Keeping communication lines open
Armada Interactive Head of Marketing and Comms James Cramer said one of the key aspects of player support is to communicate early and often.
He also advised not always linking yourself to official communication channels, and reaching out to others to make announcements about the game.
Cramer said at previous companies the teams reached out to influencers to make announcements, which he claimed was probably “one of the most success things we’ve done”, as players enjoy being involved with the game.
Data vs. fun
Nexon M Associate Director of Community and Customer Support Christopher Whittington offered another tip – while data is important, in the end it’s important not to forget what it is just to have fun in the game.
He added it’s important that executives aren’t just looking for ROI, but also focus on enjoyment.
Whittington stated that player feedback can be important to new feature proposals, as what the developers think is the best feature to add may not necessarily be what players are clamouring for on social channels.
One of the best pieces of advice he said he ever received was to research the person issuing a support ticket. He described a senior in employee at Blizzard who, before taking a live ticket, would look up the person’s character name on platforms such as Google and bring up what he learned in the conversation.
Whittington said a gesture like this can turn the situation from customer support to a customer experience, and is a “wow moment” that any front-line agent can do.
Another best practice from PlayRaven Player Experience Lead Gabriele Aimone was to empower staff and give them ownership of their role.
He explained that to create a successful player support system, the team needs to feel empowered to take any decision they want.
“I want my team to own the players,” he said, also advising that a good practice is to establish a relationship with your user and ask them to reach out directly to you the next time they have an issue.