When it comes to customer service, entertainment fields can be incredibly tricky. First and foremost, a customer wants immediate access to the content that they’ve paid for. Whether a video streaming platform or a free-to-play mobile game, consumers expect instant fun. Second, they may not be a digital native.
That means that customers might not be able to easily navigate whatever platform they’re using, which can make things incredibly complicated for support staff. And because gaming is already a highly specialized industry, those demands can become even more specific and complex.
Basic Approaches to Support
With this in mind, gaming developers have innovated new ways to address customer concerns. Let’s cover a quick example. One basic practice is to provide all information upfront and in a handy manner—especially when related to finances. For an online casino provider that offers real-money poker games, one way to curb customer support demands is to list information on payment options on a single page, including an FAQ section.
This lets customers answer some early questions themselves. The poker site quickly breaks downs the ins and outs of withdrawals and deposits, for example. Other platforms might go even further. Steam is used by millions of gamers worldwide. Their support page includes a multi-step process so users can specify their issues right off the bat. Then, they’re directed to the appropriate customer service channel.
Both of these examples highlight how companies might choose to be proactive about their customer support approach—but what sorts of customer service features are specific to gaming?
Specificity: Players & Platforms
Above, we mentioned online poker and a gaming distribution app called Steam. Both highlight just how diverse the gaming industry can be, which creates specific challenges for customer support groups.
First and foremost, customer support should be trained to handle specific games. One agent might be able to walk a player through setting up a poker game, while another might instead focus on troubleshooting in FPS titles like Call of Duty—or even a casual mobile game like Subway Surfers.
Along with educating a customer support team to handle a specific type of game, they should also be made aware of how these games vary across different platforms. The most common platforms include consoles like Xbox and PlayStation, along with PCs and mobile devices. Users will face different issues playing on each, which means customer support should be specifically trained in one or two areas.
Offer Real-Time Support 24/7
Along with dealing with incredible variation in game themes and hardware platforms, customer support teams should be prepared to work around the clock. Steam, the distribution channel mentioned above, is used worldwide. Teams should be able to offer real-time support for players from Taiwan to Canada to Brazil to India.
This presents another unique challenge: multilingual demands for customer service. While many companies stick to English, Spanish, Mandarin, and other high-population languages, there’s a growing need for customer support teams that can also speak Portuguese, Malay, French, Russian, Korean, and many more.
Engaging Gamers Throughout the Process
There are two ways in which customer service teams can focus on the issues their gamers are facing specifically. First, they can target these issues during the hiring process. Gaming is highly specialized, whether that’s the game itself, the platform, or the device its played on. Any customer service agents who have hands-on experience with a title or platform will be all the more prepared to resolve issues faced by other gamers.
This is also important for the gamer, as they’ll have an easier time explaining their issue. Not only does firsthand knowledge signal to the user that the company values their experience, but that they’re going above and beyond to curate that gaming experience from a grassroots (and gaming-first) perspective. In other words, customers will know that they matter.
Second, customer support teams can seek out feedback from users. This is standard practice for all support teams but can be specified toward the games and platforms that they work on. Rather than asking how a user’s experience was in customer support, they can ask how to improve their process.