To be truly competitive, a business must constantly reevaluate its policies and procedures to determine how effective they are.
One of the most important elements of any company’s long-term success is the way it supports its customers. This is doubly important for the video games industry,
where negative experiences can lead players to loudly complain on social media and thus influence a game’s sales.
At PTW, we’re driven to ensure that all our services are as robust as they can be. We feel that it’s important to remain on the leading edge of best practices and keep up with current trends for Player Support. To that end, we’ve hired Neil Long, our Senior Director, Global Player Support. We asked him to weigh in on the idea of how innovation can drive and support success in Player Support.
Neil has a wealth of experience and strong ideas on how Player Support can be improved. “I think it’s clear to most how valuable Customer Service can be when it’s good. Conversely, we all know how detrimental it can be when it’s bad, especially in today’s social media age where terrible experiences travel fast, ” he says. “Irrespective of what industry you’re in, Customer Service is ultimately an extension of a company’s brand, products, and services.”
To Neil, it’s not just about providing great player service, but also how it can be done in a cost-efficient way. A practice must be sustainable to have lasting impact. It’s here that Neil sees a key role for innovation. Technology has and will continue to transform interactions between customers and businesses.
“Customer expectations continually evolve and are constantly re-shaped by companies who have innovated their experiences. Ever been surprised by how easy it was to do something? Be it needing to return a parcel, make a purchase, receive a refund, submit an application, or make an appointment, these experiences have all been transformed by technology that has streamlined and shortened these processes and made them more bearable. Those kinds of experiences raise the bar and become the standard for what good looks like.”
Customer Service is ultimately about convenience. When it comes to the gaming industry, players are interested in one thing: playing their favorite game. Clearly, players don’t want to spend time trying to resolve problems or raising queries, and game companies don’t want poor player support to be a reason for a player churning. Player Support’s role is to enhance the game experience in two ways: helping to maximize the enjoyment of the game, such as sharing something relevant about how to beat that level or boss; and minimizing the time and effort to resolve issues when they do occur.
“The greatest opportunity to innovate is through automation,” Neil stated, “which can come in a
variety of forms and levels of complexity. Knowledge is key to providing great support, so ensuring
that your knowledge base is accurate, concise, and kept up-to-date will help your agents resolve
more requests on first contact. Taking that same knowledge base and making it public will allow
players to self-serve, saving them time and the company’s money.”
Finding ways to help players consume information efficiently and effectively at the point they need it most is the ultimate goal. Players don’t want to read through FAQs to find the answer, or chat with a bot for 10 minutes, or worst, not be able to talk to a human. So, while technology can help, if not designed and implemented correctly, it can be a major source of frustration and dissatisfaction.
Neil also revealed some of his plans: “My goals are to move beyond some of the more obvious ideas and try to solve the key support challenges that gaming companies face. At PTW we have access to great technical talent and a long history of innovation, which allows us to develop our own technology, and work with industry-leading tech partners and suppliers.”
We finally asked if Neil had any advice to companies trying to trigger their own Player Support transformation:
“There are always pitfalls and being aware of them helps but doesn’t always guarantee you won’t fall foul of them. There are three key things I believe are important:”