• Top 6 guiding principles for implementing player support in the games industry

    July 30, 2014

    By Stefan Abadzhiev

    People_SportsRm

    With both the Games Developer Conference Europe and gamescom descending upon Cologne, Germany, August 11 to 17 collectively, we’ve got gaming on our minds! You see, since 2005, TELUS International has partnered with leading games companies to deliver player support services. And recently, we’ve expanded our support to include games localization and testing. From console, to mobile, to social, to MMO, and from F2P and P2P – we’ve developed a customer service outsourcing specialty in this industry.

    And while we look forward to meeting our colleagues, partners and (hopefully) future clients, at these two events, we thought we’d share a few of our top guiding principles for implementing player support prior to touching down in Germany. Here are our top 6 considerations when launching a support strategy for your gamers:

    1. Make emotional connections (it’s never just a game):Studios need to develop emotional connections with players and match gamers with like-minded support representatives. It’s important to staff your player support teams not only with gamers who love to play and make it their mission to continually level-up in a game, but also with players who have the desire to help others. Players respect other players, especially ones that take the time to care. Your player support teams need to know their stuff, speak the same language as your gamers, and have the empathy to drive amazing player support experiences.

    [Showcase quote]  “Players respect other players, especially ones that take the time to care.”

    2. Understand Gen Y: Generation Y (or Millennials) are a favorite demographic of the games industry. They represent one of the largest and most influential generations of all time. Given their numbers, spending ability, and entry into the workforce, it’s important to understand what matters to this generation both as employees and customers. From a support perspective, they need to be engaged both with the company and the games they support – or they simply move on. It’s important to take advantage of their self-confident, optimistic, interdependent, techno-dependent, success driven, goal oriented, and multi-tasking nature.

    3. Customize your player support: Not all gamers are the same. For example, PC gamers are often proud of their technical abilities and are more inclined to work with websites or download patches to fix their own problems. In contrast, console players are convenience-driven and typically prefer having easy access to customer support. F2P players are used to finding support in community forums or on the developer’s website. The point is – player support needs to be customized – just like your games.

    4. Make the most of player feedback:Player feedback is gold! Your player support channels provide a tremendous opportunity to collect and analyze player feedback in real-time and share back with your developers as required. This ensures that your games always reflect the latest player demands. The result is increased player value, playtime satisfaction, retention, and ultimately, a higher likelihood to recommend the game to others.

    5. Ensure real-time, multichannel support:Many in the games community rely on peer-to-peer player support, but there is a real advantage to offering good customer service directly. Providing 24/7 multi-channel support via voice, email, online and social networks enables your players to interact with you whenever and however they want. Further, having a social media presence allows players to engage with developers in real time, in their preferred communication channel. For smaller game studios, it’s an effective way to reach a targeted and relevant audience to increase your player base.

    6. Team up:Studios that don’t have the customer service expertise in-house should consider partnering with a contact center provider that does. It’s important to focus on your core business of developing or publishing amazing games, while an expert takes care of the player support infrastructure and delivery. Outsourced providers can also scale up or down personnel to suit the development and growth of the game, globally if needed. By launching a robust player support program, you’ll improve the overall player experience. This also potentially means increasing player lifetime value, enhancing player retention, and increasing your player recommendations

    At the end of the day, every interaction must reinforce the brand, enhance the game, and deliver the best gameplay support experience. For our clients, it’s “never just a game.” And the same goes for us at TELUS International. Heading to Cologne? Connect with us; we’d love to meet you there!

    But for now, feel free to grab some of our free research. Here’s more about those influential Gen Y’ers, and how we aim to get the best of out of them in the call center when serving your players:

    stefanStefan Abadzhiev is the Senior Sales Manager for Games Industry at TELUS International Europe