Engaging with your players helps you develop a game that will drive better retention, higher customer satisfaction, and inform your product roadmap. In part four of Helpshift’s Roadshow to GDC, Matt Fairchild, Director of Community at mobile games powerhouse TinyCo, identifies the most lucrative channels to build a thriving mobile game community.
3 Questions Every Support Team Should be Asking:
1. How do we make community visible?
2. How do we keep community insights grounded, useful and relevant to the company?
3. How do we close the feedback loop with developers, so they can see direct results from their work?
The Importance of a Highly Engaged Community and Robust Support Infrastructure:
1. User Acquisition
- Word-of-mouth virality.
- If people are talking about your game online, this increases your K factor and drives down acquisition costs.
- With CPI estimates for mobile games around $1.36 and average revenue per user (ARPU) of just $1.96; much more cost efficient to delight your existing players than acquire new ones.
- Users will come for the game, but stay for the community.
- When players contact customer support with issues or feedback, ensure that interaction is positive.
- Provide a direct line to engage your players in a two-way conversation and start to develop those meaningful relationships.
- Show appreciation and gratitude to the players who contact support with gifting premium currency. This will allow players to gain status in their communities (and keep talking about your game).
- Industry standard for free-to-play dictates only 5% of all players are expected to convert. However, among the players who contact TinyCo’s support team, 26% of those players were paying customers.
- Prioritize the players who spend money and make their experience within the game exceptional because they’re the ones who keep the lights on.
- 2/3 of people who write into support, never contact your support team again. Extremely vital to make sure your first interaction with every player is a positive one.
- Communities are forged and driven by your most highly engaged players and more often than not, have insightful feedback about features and gameplay.
- Translating player feedback plays into the product roadmap. Especially important in a competitive crowded gaming marketplace where it comes down to how you’re engaging players outside gameplay.
- A distributed community spans many channels all at once and ultimately saves you time. This allows every engaged player to help you, which means every engaged player adds incremental value to your company.
- Think of distributed community as an ecosystem. Players will tell you how to improve your game. The challenge is that they won’t always directly communicate this to you, but rather on various other platforms.
- Goal: be present everywhere your players are talking about the game and encourage the community to engage with one another.