Demographics and Gaming: The Key to Up-Leveling Player Support
By Alyssa Goulet
Are you providing adequate customer support for players? Good support is critical, but the mobile space comes with its own unique challenges in this regard. With so many games to choose from, customers bounce from app to app fast. In fact, most apps lose 95% of their users within 90 days, and mobile games are no exception.
To resolve this, companies must understand who players are and what they want. The problem? Figuring this out is easier said than done. That’s especially true if your company publishes several different games. So, above all else, you must be able to answer this question about demographics and gaming— Who are your players?
Let’s explore the mobile gaming landscape and how demographics play a role in providing the right support.
Demographics and gaming: who’s playing mobile games?
Before we discuss how to support mobile gamers, let’s take a look at who they are and who they’re not. There are several myths about who’s playing these games. The truth is, data shows that mobile games are popular with some surprising demographics.
Gaming isn’t a niche hobby anymore. It’s a popular pastime for the majority of people that own mobile devices. Research shows that there were 2.4 billion mobile gamers in 2019. To give that number some context, it’s about a third of the global population.
That’s a lot of players and more people playing mobile games is great for business. However, since there are so many games for players to choose from, it also means that more is on the line with each individual customer interaction. Good customer service is no longer something that’s “nice” for a mobile app to have. Instead, it can be a make or break factor in the success of your mobile game.
Here are some key demographic facts and figures you need to consider when approaching customer support for gamers.
Mobile gaming: the average age of players
Contrary to popular belief, mobile gaming isn’t just for kids and teens. In fact, according to the Entertainment Software Association’s study on American gamers, the average age of gamers is 33. Beyond that, nearly 40 percent of gamers are over the age of 45. Making sure your customer support strategy can meet the different support expectations of varying age groups is extremely important.
Males versus females: who plays more mobile games?
One might assume that the majority of mobile game players are male but this actually isn’t the case. Data shows that 66 percent of men and 70 percent of women play mobile games. Those numbers are comparable, but when we dig into actual playtime, things get more interesting. The same study shows that women spend 25 percent more time on each gaming session than men.
Cross-cultural support preferences
When deciding how to manage customer support for mobile games, it’s important to consider gamers beyond the US. The Asian market is actually the fastest growing market in mobile gaming. Beyond that, mobile gaming now accounts for close to half of the entire international gaming market. These different demographics and gaming patterns also come with different support preferences.
For example, languages and cultural norms can have a big impact on customer support. Some gamers may be fine with talking to support agents in English. However, gamers from other locales may expect support to be available in their language. This is critical if you want to keep players coming back to your game. In fact, 58 percent of organizations say having support in a customer’s native language increases brand loyalty.
Bottom line: Don’t make assumptions
The bottom line is that companies shouldn’t make assumptions about who their games will appeal to. Understanding who’s really playing mobile games is critical. If you want users to stay on your app, you have to give them the support they need to answer questions, resolve bugs and make purchases. That’s only possible when you know your players.
The importance of in-game support
So, how do you ensure that you’re meeting players’ needs and keeping them in the game? For all demographics, it’s important to make help easily accessible. Offering in-game support is the key to accomplishing this.
In the past, users have had to search for help on social media, developer websites and forums to gain access to support. Today, this method isn’t ideal for any demographic. Instead, companies have to focus on providing support where players need it most which is right in the game. What’s important here is making it simple for users to get answers and resolve issues fast. That will reduce your time to resolution, which increases player engagement.
Using technology to support all gamers
Understanding how different players change your customer support strategy may seem challenging. However, using the right technology can actually simplify the problem. Here are three ways you can implement technology to solve customer support issues related to demographics and gaming.
Players expect support to be available on all platforms and asynchronous messaging capabilities can have a big impact on gamers’ engagement with your app. Why? It makes it easy for them to pick up right where they left off, from their smartphone to their tablet and beyond. Enabling users to keep the conversation going between devices is critical to keep them playing.
Keep it conversational
New advances in automation and AI now enable gaming companies to carry out conversations with players in a way that feels more human. With this technology, you can quickly direct players to support resources when they have an in-game issue. Using bots, you can automate 70 percent of player questions. This dramatically improves player satisfaction and decreases support costs.
Do your players need more support beyond bots? The right customer service platform can empower players to self-serve without leaving the game and start an in-app messaging conversation with an agent too.
Give them knowledge
Having a messaging option, whether live, asynchronous or with a bot is helpful for some issues. However, it isn’t the only way to provide a good customer service experience. You can also make a resource, like an FAQ page available in your app, to answer common questions. This is a win-win for both companies and gamers. Gamers can find the information that they need quickly and companies can dedicate live agents to more pressing issues.
Want to boost ROI and encourage player loyalty? Give players options when it comes to how they handle their questions and issues. This makes players more likely to come back to your app instead of moving on to the next newly launched game. It also boosts your support team’s productivity by streamlining the support process.