Customer Experience – Voice of the Player
by Sethlans Vayu
In a saturated market of mobile apps and games, the necessity for fast and efficient help for your customers becomes an ever escalating task. We aim to drive better customer experience, to predict what cannot be predicted. New technology and the vast expanding library of games and apps available further emphasizes the need to ensure that you stand out, with Customer Experience (CE) on the ready to ensure that any customer buy-in is met with the voice and support the gamer needs.
It’s a no brainer…CE is reactive by nature, but the need for it to be more encompassing has become essential. We lack the facility to predict the future and see what issues may arise, but it doesn’t mean we can’t do what we can to ensure our bases are covered.
Let’s cover those bases and start with your bread and butter…tickets. This part of CE is all about perspective and response. If one of your customers has a problem, this a great opportunity. You are made aware or an issue you never knew existed and get the chance to smash it on the head…and for a brief but pivotal moment the “player first” mentality take over the customer’s experience, and they know they’re the centre of your universe! No longer are you (or they) in the dark about the issue at hand, and if it is not unique to that customer, you’ll know how to address the issue with future tickets.
Tickets are an opportunity given to your company…your time to shine, to show customers they will be heard. Keep in mind too that sometimes you won’t give a customer the answer they’ll like…and it can’t be helped. You will always find situations where you can simply do nothing. This is when some fairly crucial guidelines come into play. There are three things that have a massive influence over a customer’s satisfaction regarding your response:
Response time (or ‘first touch’ time)
The response itself
The manner/tone in which the response is given
Aiming to nail at least two out of those three will see your service standards in a good place. You won’t always tell someone what they want to hear, but give them a prompt answer and a courteous tone, and you’re more likely to have a happy customer, as opposed to one that got what he wanted but only after a delay with a dismissive response.
Now let’s move from the customer to the office to cover another base: inter-office communication. Some fairly simple but powerful questions can be asked to not only determine how prepared you are for tickets you may have now, but also for any potential tickets to come…such as:
What is the difference between this build and the next one?
Are they changing anything that has in the past been received well by players?
Are they experimenting or trialing anything that could impact gameplay or player reception?
The common goal with these questions is simple: try to get an understanding of what is going to happen to the game, and act as the players’ voice to the dev team. The old adage “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” springs to mind, but CE should never act as a deterrent for change, only guide it as best as it can. A customer’s reaction to a dev team’s goals are of massive importance when making decisions, but this cannot be factored in without a strong CE presence, so if you’re not there…you’re missing a chance to speak for your customers.
This in turn leads to the final base we’ll touch on today: game reviews. Tickets we can address, and sure we can be there when the dev team starts doing their thing to be sure they get the best guidance possible…but reviews (en masse) can often tell us more about what would make our customers happy over what any ticket might.
The nature of tickets tends to be that of singular issues that affect a player in a specific/definitive way. Issues that arise in reviews can often be things that aren’t problems but are problematic nonetheless. Looking at an example…a game could be great in every way – stability, design, graphics – but for some people…the game is a little heavy in size. What is perceived as an acceptable download size by some, could be seen as enormous to others. Often this can be due to internet accessibility and download cost, and you’ll find that from country to country, the gap between what is and isn’t acceptable is broad. Suddenly, we have something new to consider from a CE perspective…more information to pass on to the team. The game isn’t broken, but people who have invested are speaking, and we need to listen.
Another old adage springs to mind… ”You can’t make everyone happy”. This is true, but for a CE team to be truly worth their weight, that should never stop them from trying.（source：Gamasutra）