In today's episode of the Support Insights Podcast we talk to Tony Adams, Product Manager at Supercell, about all things Player Experience in the gaming industry.
With more than 10 years' experience in the gaming industry, Tony takes us through how the ways of working in PX completely challenge everything you thought you knew about CX best practices.
We discuss how focusing on enabling players to get the support they need quickly without having to leave the game, means that traditional CS rules you find in other industries don't typically apply.
Plus, hear Tony's advice on how others in the gaming industry can level up their PX, including the importance of being comfortable with change.
Watch the full episode, or read the highlights below 👇
How do you encourage player loyalty?
With the gaming industry being fast and on-demand, it's important that players are able to get the support they need quickly to cause minimal interruption to their gaming experience. Once a player is taken out of the game, it's very easy for them to stop and decide to go and do something else.
If they're zoned into the game and having trouble making a purchase, waiting too long for a resolution means they're likely to spend that money doing something else instead.
Your competitor is not really another game, the competitor of Clash of Clans is not Genshin Impact, it's Netflix, pizza, Disney Channel etc.
At Supercell, the priority for support is to try and get players to go from their support query back into the game as quickly as possible, but this isn't always possible depending on the nature of the issue they're raising.
Sometimes it's better to tell a player quickly that you don't have an answer for them so that they can resume gaming, than to keep them waiting for a more accurate response. Sometimes players are happy to wait, it's not always easy to determine which issues are time-sensitive.
What has worked best in the past is to let the player determine whether they want a quick response or a longer solid solve. For example, we used to have priorities - this is more important than this - but it turns out that sometimes what is important for us is not important for the player and vice versa.
To better meet the needs of players on a case-by-case basis, Tony's team opted to remove all assumed priorities from their processes, and instead let the player decide whether they want to leave a message for support to get back to them or chat live.
This removes the guess work from figuring out whether a player is looking for a quick response or a detailed resolution and respects the player-agent workspace.
How do you define what good looks like in PX?
As an immature industry, it's hard. What works for one company might not work for another. But what's worked for me is you map your success to the business success.
In the free-to-play game industry, the three core metrics are player acquisition, retention, and monetization.
Once you've got your success criteria for the game, you can map it to retention and the metrics you track within support, e.g. measuring how response time on certain types of ticket queries compares to players staying in the game.
One big difference between CX and PX is quality control in support. In CX in other industries, quality may assess your grammar, your language level and tone of voice, however in PX, in Tony's experience, this doesn't matter in the same way.
Some players might be children, some might be emotionally driven, some might just want an immediate confirmation of a query, which means abandoning all traditional quality control can work far better than following a message structure.
Rather than adhering to a tone of voice, it's more important that agents can actually feel the game and interpret the type of player they're speaking to to know what kind of support to offer them.
In a fast moving industry, how do you stay prepared for change?
The key for being prepared to iterate, in Tony's experience, is to focus on capabilities instead of features.
What I have to do is get the agents used to the fact that what they're using today might have nothing to do with what they're gonna use in a year, two years, three years.
Getting the agents used to change - change management or change enablement - is more important than what change you're doing exactly.
Gaming is an industry that evolves especially fast, with new technology and better graphics coming out constantly, and trends starting just as quickly as they disappear.
This means that, among other things, the speed of recruiting and developing agents is very important, so that you're always ready to support the latest update.
Your knowledge cycle will also be being constantly built, changed, torn down and built back up again. For example, if a game has releases every two or three months, and if you have five games, that's a lot of changes constantly happening that you need to be supporting.
Music: Savour The Moment by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com
Watch the Episode
- In the next 5 years, customer experience is 45% of companies top priority.
- Investing in CX initiatives has the potential to double your revenue within 36 months.
- 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.