Gaming companies want players to have fun. But many don’t know they can leverage outsourced player support services to elevate the gaming experience and drive additional revenue. Publishers tend to focus on measuring metrics like lifetime value, average transaction rates, active daily or monthly users, and average revenue per user, all of which are important to assessing a game’s success. But customer satisfaction (CSAT),First Response Time (FRT), and re-open rates are what truly reflect player experience.
You need to get the ticket answered in the right amount of time.
You need to secure the right people to work a ticket.
You need to get the appropriate content in the ticket.
The first thing you need to worry about is the speed of answering, (First Response Time – FRT). The longer gamers have to wait, the more dissatisfied they become. And if the response takes more than 12 hours, your CSAT is going to fall off the deep-end!
Moreover, expenses can increase with longer response times. If it takes too long to get an answer, a player may open a second ticket. This means you now have two agents working on one issue – and the added expense associated with that.
In most cases, you need to ensure your highest paying players get the quickest response times – because every minute they’re out of the game means they are spending less money (and maybe even playing with your competition). Intelligent companies ensure they have a customer segmentation process in place to address their lucrative players with a sense of speed and urgency.
Your goal is to ensure your FRT is as low as possible. It shows your players that you are taking their inquiries seriously – and that you’re intent on getting them off the sidelines and back in action!
Speed of answer is only the first step. The next element of importance is the response quality. Did you answer their question? If a player writes back because an agent didn’t fully address it, the ticket is reopened. High re-open rates drive up servicing costs and leave players waiting even longer for answers, which increases the likelihood they will stop playing – and paying.
A critical component in answering right the first time is staffing. Publishers whose player support teams know the games and the lingo can answer questions right the first time, which improves the player experience and increases retention and quality scores.
“You have to get the response right, but you need to get it right quickly!”
Nyetta Jackson,Vice President, Client Services, Goodbay Technologies
An important metric to track is the re-open rate: the number of responses it took to close a ticket. The goal is to have one reply – not a back and forth with the player. If a ticket is touched more than three times, you have a problem. You could have handled three more customers in the time it took to address the original inquiry. Higher re-opens mean you need more agents (and that will cost you more) to handle the same number of players.
There are a couple of ways to address an excessive re-open rate. If you notice a particular set of agents are getting high numbers, training may correct that. They might be missing something on their approach or in their response. There could also be a problem with the game. For instance, if the agents are instructed to tell customers to go “left-left-right” to drive a specific action, and there is a high re-open rate on that dimension, it might mean the game is programmed incorrectly.
The next area of opportunity lies in content. The way you respond can have a massive effect on satisfaction and experience.
Having avid gamers as your player support team turns basic customer service into an authentic player experience. Players like to interact with other players, in their own “language,” even for inquiries. Addressing players by their screen name personalizes support interactions, adding a human element that appeals to…well, humans. If their game name is “Champion of the World,” you want to address them by that vs. their real name.
Reflexive listening is also essential. If an agent responds to a complaint with “I would be super frustrated as well if I couldn’t use that tool,” this conveys that the agent is not just a person answering the ticket. Instead, it demonstrates that they are also a player.
Techniques like positioning positive information at the beginning of a response and using the same tone of voice (assuming it’s not angry) also helps improve CSAT scores. When one publisher decided to try personalization and information positioning, their CSAT score increased from 3.7 to 4.49 on a 5-point scale. In CSAT parlance, this took them from the bottom of the heap to the top with just that minor adjustment.
To score a real home run – every customer interaction is an opportunity to expand a player’s understanding of the game. Providing a player with additional information that was not in their original question can enhance their experience.
For example, if someone had an issue with getting into an event, you want to tell them where they went wrong (in the nicest possible way), compensate if appropriate – AND – update them on events (or items that may help them) that are coming up for purchase. You want to take their experience to the next level by telling them something they would not have otherwise known.
You need to create the best possible player experience and understand which factors are essential in driving the success of your game and winning big. Player support is vital. An experienced outsourced support team who knows your product and your customers, understands the importance of critical industry metrics and is operationally savvy will set you apart from other gaming companies. More importantly, it will help drive revenue and secure the longevity of your game and your company.
Sapan Shahani is the CEO of Goodbay Technologies and is based in Chicago, IL. For close to two decades, he has helped digitally disruptive businesses deliver superior customer care. His passion is turning small businesses into international phenomenon – one happy customer at a time! Sapan was born in Bombay, raised in Hong Kong, and educated in the USA (Wharton School, UPenn). After a successful career in strategy consulting, he launched Goodbay with a mission of delivering an intelligent approach to customer support.