Why it takes a gamer to know (and help) a gamer

by Lisa van Hesteren | January 27, 2021

 

After the year we’ve had, it’s no surprise that the whole world is gaming longer and harder than it ever has before. Mobile gaming in particular has had a stellar year, as millions of us have turned to our phones to stave off lockdown boredom. 

Mobile is booming 

The numbers on mobile gaming are huge. According to a recent report from App Annie, the number of weekly downloads in mobile games is up 15% year-on-year, to more than 1 billion worldwide. In Q3 of 2020, customer spend in mobile games accounted for $20 billion across app stores. Zynga has just announced its latest figures and its number of daily active users (DAU) hit 31 million, up 53% year-over-year, and a mobile MAUs of 83 million, up 23% YOY. 

That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that, away from the small number of massive games, keeping those mobile gamers playing your game is an uphill battle. According to an industry report by GameAnalytics, less than 15% of mobile games is able to keep a third or more of their players after day 1. Even some of the best games only have an average 6.5% retention rate by day 28.

How to prevent churn 

There is an extra challenge with mobile games, which is that so many of them are F2P, so minimum investment is required from the gamers. You don’t like it? No problem, simply download another, then another… and once those players have gone, how many ever come back?     

Some of this churn is linked to the game design itself. Studies show that technical issues and glitches are significant reasons why gamers walk away from a game. There is also quite a high attrition rate when gamers feel like they are stuck in a game, and unable to move on. This can be because they know what to do but find it too difficult, or because they simply can’t work out how to proceed. Any of us who play games (on whatever platform) know that sinking feeling as a game begins to feel unsurmountable.

In an attempt to address the issue of retention in the segment, publishers have been increasingly focusing on CX. Many key players have been investing into multilingual omnichannel support, community management and VIP support programs, to provide the best Player Experience possible. However, many CX leaders have quickly realized that providing excellent customer support can be difficult, as the segment continues to experience enormous growth and there is a need to scale up quickly.

As a result, many game publishers outsource a portion of their CX operations, while also relying on their in-house customer support teams. Some of the largest market players have introduced a multi-vendor strategy, to ensure business continuity (if you’ve not checked out our multi-vendor strategy assessment paper, it’s well worth a read – find the link at the bottom of this blog!). 

Make a difference 

One thing is clear – freeing frustrated gamers from the rut they’re in, getting them back into the game and keeping them playing. The highest level of CX is reached when support staff can see it from the gamer’s point of view and understand how frustrating it can be when a game is glitching, when there’s a technical problem, or when you get stuck and are simply unable to play a game you were enjoying.

After all, gamers who reach out to customer support are obviously invested in the game and are looking to maintain that investment. They want to feel like their frustrations are being heard and understood. So who better to help than other gamers? They understand the gamer’s mindset because they share it, they live it. They’re able to help unlock their progress in a way that feels authentic.

Where do you start? 

Finding these gamers who can level with your players isn’t easy of course, especially when you are bound to a certain location from where you can recruit. As pioneers in work-from-home CX, we have access to a global talent pool, so we’re able to handpick the best WFH talent from anywhere in the world. For any game, we are able to find the people that love those games, to support the players in the best way.      

Our experience is that fueling our clients’ CX with these fans of brands, boosts customer satisfaction, retention and player spend within the games. Because our fans of brands already know the game so well, we can recruit and onboard them at lightning speed, so we can scale up rapidly when there are spikes in demand. It creates a team of intrinsically motivated people who are engaged with the brand they are supporting and absolutely love their jobs.    

 

More information on the future of CX and insights into the pros and cons of single vs. multi-vendor strategies can be found in our Analyst Viewpoint Assessment by industry expert Peter Ryan 

  

Never hesitate to reach out to me to talk about how fans of your brand can elevate your support operation! 

 

 

Lisa van Hesteren