by 5CA | May 14, 2021
Gaming companies know how much effort it takes to turn a non-paying customer into a highly lucrative Very Important Player (VIP) who drives revenue. The holy trinity of mobile gaming is to get them to stay, play and pay. Makes it sound easy when it’s put like that, doesn’t it?
But once you have turned a casual player into a fully signed-up fan of your game, helping you create revenue for your business, you need a retention strategy to make sure you keep them. It’s good business, in every sense, to look after your VIPs. Good for them, rewarding them for their customer loyalty and advocacy, and good for your repeat revenues and bottom line.
So how do you do it?
VIPs are clocking up some serious time on games they love. It means they get to know every nuance of the world they inhabit and its PX. They will know when they’re getting the standard responses to questions.
Just like a restaurant that lets its best customers order whatever they like off the menu, smart player experience teams will make sure their PX is VIP-centric.
This means building customized responses based on player profiles, as well as personalizing their language support and making sure you’re across their preferred channels. Make sure your most valuable customers don’t feel like they’re ordering from the same menu as everyone else.
Great PX needs great people to make it happen. So why wouldn’t you try and romance your VIPs by finding them the CX agents of their dreams? Gamers who love and understand the games as much as they do? It’s why we call our customer service agents Fans of Brands, because at heart, that’s who they are. You can take your player experience for VIPs up a notch by creating dedicated VIP service desks.
Think of it like Top Gun, but for CX. Fewer planes and testosterone, granted. The best of the best CX practitioners, with the strongest gaming and service skills, dedicated to making sure that your best players get the support they need almost before they even realize they need it.
Your VIP service desk will be staffed by agents who specialize perhaps in one particular game, so that their knowledge of the game is levels-deep. After all, VIPs are often the world’s most experienced players of the games they play – they need people with knowledge and experience that is just as deep – maybe even deeper – to help them.
For your very, very best customers? Get them their own dedicated agent, whose job is to know them and their preferences inside out. Think of it like offering a top-of-the-range concierge service: the very best are proactive rather than reactive. Know what your VIPs will need before they do.
You’ll want to give your VIPs plenty of ways to connect. Can you go multi-channel for your total base of players? Maybe not. Do you need to? Maybe not.
In some ways, it’s the wrong question to be asking, because your customer service offer doesn’t need to be a monolithic, one-channel-fits-all approach. Focus your firepower, even if it’s limited, on your best customers and stretch to be where they prefer you to be.
Crucially though, whatever service channel strategy you create (and customize for your best customers), you need to be able to deliver. Speed of response is key, so don’t tailor a channel for your VIPs if you have capacity issues.
On one level poor response times for VIPs (and the rest of your player base) will obviously damage your brand, but there will be equally serious repercussions for your revenues. Player downtime while waiting for support has a direct impact on the profitability of your game. Less time playing equals less time spending. Don’t let it happen, particularly to those players who spend the most.
There are moments when you need to reward players to compensate for service outages, in-game glitches and more. No amount of hard work on your part to fix what’s gone wrong will be as effective as in-game compensation, in whatever form that takes.
Sometimes, no matter how seismic the service screw-up, even the worst situations can be turned to your advantage – as long as you have a smart compensation strategy already in place.
The important thing is to make sure whatever levers you pull, from credits to in-game multipliers, are closely tailored to your players tiers of spend in your game. What does real generosity look like to a high-rolling VIP?
Otherwise, what might seem like extravagant largesse to a casual player could feel like paltry chicken feed to one of your big-spending players. And you’ll feel that displeasure where it hurts – in your customer satisfaction ratings and gaming word-of-mouth.
Like an oil tycoon searching for their next payday, you should never lose sight of your pipeline. While your player retention strategy should rightly focus your attention on your big-spending VIPs, you should have a nimble recruitment strategy to go in tandem with it to create the next VIPs.
How you target those players who are enjoying the game but not spending anything will be just as important to your long-term success.
When we hire our fans of brands, we scour a global talent pool to find exactly the right people. We only hire them if they love your brand as much as you do. So if you’re looking for a CX partner that treats you and your business like you’re Very Important, we’d love to talk.
At 5CA we’re obsessed with great CX as well as the people who help to shape it. In our new ‘Conversations’ series we sit down with some of the most passionate, interesting people in our industry to talk about what makes for standout customer experience. To kick off our series, our very own Rory Stark is here in conversation with Pascal Debroek.
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