More so than almost any other industry today, mobile gaming sees massive pay-off from fast and effective customer service responses. In an industry where engagement is king and retention is key, offering in-game support and keeping your players in-app and excited about playing is paramount to success.
Maintaining lightning-fast response times and effective resolutions at scale, however, is easier said than done. It can be difficult to balance the need for high quality service with the need for scalable processes and realistic budgeting.
So, how do you ensure that every issue is resolved quickly and effectively enough to keep your players in the game and engaged with the storyline?
Today, the answer is: a combination of in-app automation and in-app messaging with human agents. By leveraging the best of human intelligence with 2019 technology, games can deliver fast and effective in-game support without breaking the bank.
Keep Your Head in the Game With Automation and AI
The first step to keeping players in-game even when they have questions is by offering in-game support. By moving support from external mediums (email, social, etc.) you can assume your incoming ticket volume will decrease by 20 percent to start. Now, that’s just from offering in-game knowledge base articles and messaging. When you add in AI and bots, the needle moves even further.
These are the top three ways in which AI and automation in customer service can directly improve mobile gaming retention and engagement — without burning through the budget. Player support teams can and should:
1. Leverage bots for immediate time to first response
Bots can be leveraged in two primary ways for mobile gamers: they can deflect tickets and they can collect upfront information to shorten resolution time for agents. First, an answer bot can suggest relevant knowledge articles within the in-app messaging thread to help augment self-service.
Through decision tree question-and-answer structures, players can also self-categorize their issues (typical categories include account issues, billing, and gameplay questions), answer information about their specific issues, and then either be routed through a workflow that allows them to resolve the issue themselves (ie. unlocking their account), or to an agent.
This does three things: it keeps players in-game, gives many of them a path towards immediate resolution (when tickets can be solved through a knowledge base article or an automated workflow), and helps agents resolve issues as quickly as possible to get players back into the game.
2. Send push notifications to bring players back into the conversation
When it’s not possible to staff for live interactions, one of the best ways to ensure that in-game support leads to continuing engagement is to use push notifications to bring users back into an in-app conversation. These can be personalized to issue type (e.g., “Your question about z bucks has been answered!”) or generalized (e.g., “You have a new message waiting for you”). Push notifications in this context not only help players know when their issue has been resolved, but also bring the player back into the game to see the message. This enables the player to seamlessly transition from seeing the resolution to playing the game.
3. Rely on AI to route tickets to the best agent possible
No matter how good automation gets, sometimes you need a human involved, especially for VIP players. In these scenarios, AI can still help by intelligently routing the ticket based on category, agent specialty, and each agent’s ticket load in any given moment. This ensures that players aren’t passed back and forth between agents and can get their issues resolved as quickly as possible, so they can get back in the game.
When players know that they can count on fast, easy, convenient support, they are more likely to reach out when they encounter roadblocks. This reduces the likelihood of a player dropping off if something goes wrong, and helps build trust between players and their games.
Getting Started With Automation and AI in In-Game Support
AI and automation yield near-instantaneous results for gaming companies. Helpshift recently conducted a benchmarking report on the gaming industry that showed that when companies move from little-to-no automation to leveraging bots and AI:
- 70% of issues can be resolved fully through automation
- 20% of issues can be resolved through a combination of bots and agents
- Only 10% of issues require full agent interactions
- CSAT remains unaffected despite 90% of issues being either fully or partially automated
Automation, somewhat counterintuitively, makes free players feel more valued — largely because free players receive an instant response from bots instead of waiting up to 10 hours for an agent. This also means agents have significantly more bandwidth to focus on assisting VIP players.
Ultimately, in an industry that is so dependent on quickly resolving issues to get players back in the game, the price of not leveraging AI and automation is too high.