In part one of this blog, we’ll discuss the unique customer makeup of gamers: who they are, how they think, and the level of support they’ve come to expect.
The wild, wild world of interactive entertainment has led to millions of loyal gamers around the globe. And let’s be real — players are NOT your average run-of-the-mill consumer. They’re chock-full of unique quirks and personalities that come with their own preferences on support and interaction with brands — meaning that when it comes to gaming customer service, traditional methods simply aren’t going to cut it. Only by understanding today’s gamers can companies and studios truly connect with and support their player-base and fans.
Recognizing your gaming customer
The gamer demographic comes in all shapes and sizes, from the super competitive types to the creative souls who like to wander around and explore virtual realms. These digital creatures are different from your everyday consumer — mainly in the fact that they are not passive consumers. They’re not “one-and-done” purchasers. They dive headfirst into the game, forming deep emotional bonds with their favorite titles. Whether they’re cheering with their friends over Discord after a big win or breaking their peripherals in frustration due to dying for the 300
th time, their feelings are 100% real.
The passion for their favorite series and loyalty for brands is unmatched, and that love can sometimes last decades. Consider one of the top MMOs,
World of Warcraft, where countless players have been actively returning to Azeroth for nearly 20 years to fight off incoming invasions from the Legion and traveling to the worlds beyond.
And this is not unique to die-hard players. The average gamer will pour countless hours into their favorite titles as they hone their skills, traverse epic virtual landscapes with their friends, and solve puzzles that would challenge even the sharpest minds. This level of dedication to a product is like spotting a unicorn in the entertainment world. For this reason, when you’re crafting your social care strategies, don’t forget about your seriously dedicated fans. Your interactions should acknowledge and respect that passion, providing support that’s on par with their love for your games and services.
Understanding the gamer psyche
Speaking of social, gamers are (usually) social creatures. They seek camaraderie in online communities built around their favorite games. They want to discuss the level that drove them crazy for two days before finally overcoming it, share tips on how to level faster or get that end-game weapon, and make friends to overcome challenges together in some seriously epic multiplayer adventures.
A healthy community is one that interacts with each other — which will typically be measured by the rate of successful peer-resolved solutions and how quickly they respond to each other on these forums. Balancing these aspects with a healthy number of interactions from your community managers and moderators is key. Remember, it’s not just a consumer platform to boost visibility of your product and services — it’s where your players and fans can come together and celebrate the sense of belonging they get when playing your games. Understanding this is vital in player care and ensures you can create a fun, welcoming, positive online community that builds trust between your brand and its users.
Building brand loyalty
Outside of just overall community management strategy for games, how do we keep our players coming back for more? The average gamer loves the sense of success they get from progression, reward, and achievement systems and this is something that is heavily fleshed out in your game design strategy. A beautiful customer system is one that is blended between standard support and game design.
Things like gamification, leaderboards, and badges for returning customers can be easily adapted to your customer care strategies. Think loyalty programs and surprise-and-delight rewards for customers who engage with your support services.
Just as important, your customers are experts in your games and products, so your support team should be too. Understanding game mechanics, recognizing common issues, and being aware of gameplay quirks should all be part of your hiring profile when it comes to the folks supporting your care teams. The on-point assistance will ensure your care teams are always seen as the experts of the space and gives your customers the opportunity to “geek out” about the games with a fellow fan during the interaction, leading to not just great, but LEGENDARY customer service.
Your support service should also be interactive and engaging, as gamers prefer a more interactive experience. This is going to look like in-game support, live chats, and messaging — offering real-time service for things like “Can’t Pay Can’t Play” (we’ll cover the contact types in a later blog), or even progression-locked content, such as a broken quest. If your company can switch to a dynamic support journey, you’re going to win some serious brownie points with your fans.
In a nutshell, the gaming world is like a colorful and diverse subculture with unique personalities, values, and needs. Recognizing these differences and
tweaking your customer care strategies to suit the gamers investing in your products is crucial for the longevity and success of your brand. Great service keeps them happy, but legendary service keeps them happy AND dedicated. By doing that, your company can build strong relationships with your community, boost brand loyalty, and create a seriously awesome player experience.