Over the past decade, the telecom industry has invested billions upon billions of dollars into developing much-hyped 5G networks. While there are numerous use cases for 5G — from smart cities to autonomous vehicles — one that is expected to promote the highest user adoption is multi-device cloud gaming and untethered VR/AR experiences. In fact, the global cloud gaming market is expected to grow from just $765 million in 2017, to $6.226 billion in 2026.
The hype around 5G for cloud gaming and untethered VR was apparent at last week’s Mobile World Conference Barcelona 19: Sprint announced a partnership with Hatch Entertainment to offer mobile cloud gaming services on 5G; Nokia’s booth showcased Spider-Man: Far From Home as a multiplayer game streamed on 5G; and Qualcomm’s cloud gaming and VR platform was used in multiple conference booths. With 5G and cloud gaming poised to become the hottest new advance in the gaming industry, we decided to take a look at how this development will affect player support for mobile gaming providers.
- 5G will create new player expectations for response times and on-the-go access
- New expectations for in-game experiences will drive new expectations for player support
- Gaming CX teams will need to meet new player needs without breaking the bank
- The ability for player support teams to scale will depend on their level of automated technology adoption
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Meet Evolving Player Expectations Through Reduced Latency and On-The-Go Service
The most significant benefits that 5G will bring to mobile gaming are reduced latency and untethered VR and AR gaming, allowing users to access content from anywhere (Vodafone has already teamed up with PlayGiga for this service). These two developments — speed and convenience — will alter player expectations for what they expect from mobile gaming experiences in general. Players will begin to view lightning-fast responsiveness, as well as remote and on-the-go access to their games, as the new normal.
Likewise, players will expect the same level of response from player support that they receive while playing the game.
We’ve seen before how consumer technology informs customer service expectations: with the advent of email, and then messaging, customers increasingly began to expect faster response times and access to customer service on their mobile devices. Now, with 5G, new technology will once again push the customer service industry to provide more convenient service for players.
How to Provide Speed and Convenience at Scale For Your Mobile Players
While every player support team would like to provide a response within five seconds of receiving an inquiry — having a fully staffed, live 24/7 CX team is expensive and requires serious manpower, particularly once your user base reaches a critical mass. So how do you meet (and exceed) the expectations of players who expect immediate responses on the device of their choice, without breaking the bank?
1. Leverage Bots and AI for Reduced Latency
The best way to provide fast service at scale is to leverage bots and AI. There are three primary ways these tools can be used to decrease ticket volume and improve the player experience:
- Information Collection: Bots can and should be used to get basic information — such as user, login, and payment details. Even if an agent has to get involved in the ticket later on, this bot reduces the time the agent spends on the ticket by collecting information upfront, while also offering an immediate response for the player.
- Ticket Deflection: An answer bot can use natural language processing to suggest relevant knowledge articles for the player to be able to self-serve and resolve the issue before a ticket is created.
- Automated Issue Resolution: Bots can be created and customized to walk players through specific workflows in order for them to resolve their issues without an agent. For example, a bot can help a player recover lost account information and regain access to a game.
Each of these bots can be leveraged in tandem with live agent interactions when necessary, and this is where AI comes in. For instance, say that after a bot has collected basic information on the problem, and an answer bot has suggested an article with more details, the player selects an option to speak with an agent. Based on the responses that the player previously provided, an AI engine can automatically classify and route the ticket to the agent best equipped to handle the specific issue at hand. This reduces the likelihood of having to transfer the player from agent to agent, improving time to resolution in the process.
Keep in mind that offering “escape hatches” such as the one described above is a crucial component to maintaining and improving CSAT alongside automation.
Yet if a player chooses to speak with an agent, it’s important to note that it is not necessary to have an agent immediately available. Instead, make sure that the conversation can continue asynchronously through an in-game messaging platform (similar to iMessage or Whatsapp), so that the player is not waiting around in a browser for a response and can return to the conversation at a later point.
2. Continue the Conversation Across Devices
As gaming becomes increasingly accessible on-the-go, players will expect that their support is likewise available through whatever device or platform they’re using. The best way to meet this expectation is to offer cross-device messaging capabilities. This capability mirrors the accessibility of consumer messaging platforms — for instance, users can send a FB Message or iMessage from their laptops, smartphones, and tablets without interrupting the conversation. Mobile gaming providers will need to offer support messaging that enables a seamless conversation between a smartphone app to a web client.
Get Ahead of Player Expectations During GDC with Helpshift
At the upcoming Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, we expect to see a number of 5G-related announcements and partnerships. For instance, Google is expected to reveal its own cloud game streaming service, called Project Stream. During the conference, we encourage you to consider with how cloud gaming will alter player needs and expectations for player support.
To learn more about how you can build an actionable strategy for this new era of player expectations, join Helpshift’s interactive customer service automation symposium during GDC. We’re excited to host this half day event that will include:
- An in-depth strategy session for helping you build and deploy bots and AI
- A deep dive into the future of automation with Helpshift’s 2019 product roadmap
- Great food, cocktails, and the opportunity to network with other customer service gaming professionals
RSVP here — we look forward to furthering the conversation!