Melsoft Games’ My Cafe is a popular mobile game in which players can set up and operate their own business: an upscale cafe with highly-interactive story lines. My Cafe follows your typical mobile gaming model that is free to play, with upgrades and in-app purchases available for those highly dedicated players. Yet the game’s ability to retain and continually engage players is not so typical. My Cafe regularly maintains a player base of more than four million monthly users with roughly a 4.5 customer satisfaction rating (CSAT), whereas the industry average is less than a 4.0.
In a world where the average mobile app loses 95 percent of its users within 90 days, brands with mobile apps should take note of Melsoft’s mobile strategy and processes. These best practices offer excellent guidance on optimizing customer support and user retention as a whole.
1. Your Knowledge Base Is Your Best Friend: Keep It Updated
Read these numbers carefully: My Cafe’s knowledge base has more than 300 associated knowledge articles, translated across five different languages. Those articles were opened 1.4 million times last year alone—meaning there were potentially 1.4 million questions to be answered by the support team. Yet these articles were so effective that only 45,000 tickets were submitted.
The bottom line here is that only three percent of the total possible number of issues were reported, thanks to the team’s dedication to elevating self-service.
Melsoft’s Customer Support Supervisor Artyom Sukhodolskiy offered some advice for achieving this high level of ticket deflection: “We always check the feedback of our players to see if the articles are helpful. We also make sure to update existing FAQs and create new articles with the release of a new update, and add content based on new features and the most popular issues from our players. Our game has a large international player base, so it is important to translate FAQs to other languages, especially those that are being added to application.”
2. Smartly Segment Your Users And Support Them Accordingly
Artyom emphasized the importance of accurately segmenting users to provide a higher level of service for everyone. Correctly tagging users and issues allows for tickets to get routed to the right agent from the get-go, and ensures that any issues with the product are identified as quickly as possible. Accurately tagging categories like technical issues, payment issues, and social issues—and also tagging users by language and device information (OS version)— allows the support team to respond to all issues quickly.
“Another important thing about our work is we try to keep conversations short but accurate, that way the players won’t be annoyed…and with each answer their mood will improve,” said Artyom. “We usually keep our average time to first reply below 8 hours and most of the players are satisfied with the first answer.”
For reference, most gaming companies strive to respond to tickets within 24 hours—that’s already three times as long as Melsoft’s response time. That can easily mean the difference between a player staying or leaving the app altogether.
This benchmark is also achievable because the team prioritizes in-app issues over issues that come in via social media or from the app marketplace. This allows the team to stay focused with clear goals and daily objectives, and prevents agents from getting overwhelmed and bombarded from external channels.
3. Always Put Your Players First
These reports are relayed directly to the producers during daily standups, and there is always an open line of communication between these teams. Artyom said this makes a tangible impact on player engagement and retention:
“We always prioritize happiness of our players, and to keep them happy we constantly keep a hand on their pulse and collect feedback,” said Artyom. It’s not just about collecting feedback though, it needs to be implemented as well. “We always write a report based on which issues are the most popular, what the players are requesting, what is going on in social media and so on and so forth.”
4. Monitor The Right Metrics
The Melsoft support team isn’t “graded” on individual customer satisfaction ratings, rather overall CSAT is used to get a general sense of player sentiment. The team just really focuses on providing an accurate response to the user as quickly as possible, and measures this with time to first response and time to resolve.
“We try to make sure that players receive an answer to their tickets as fast as we can, it is crucial for them to know that their opinion and feedback is valuable to us,” said Artyom. “This policy allows us to keep average time to first response below 8 hours, and players don’t ever wait for more than a day.”
5. Keep Your Product Timely And Relevant
Proactively engaging players with incremental product offerings is another key ingredient for high user retention, and paying attention to seasonal opportunities is a great way to do just that.
“To keep players entertained between updates we host and support game events in social networks and these also help to create a holiday atmosphere,” added Artyom. “For example, in February we will have a new update with a romantic atmosphere. Our traveler Diego will be back at the café looking for his first love, Comet. Players will be able to help him in his search!”
Founded in 2008, Melsoft Games has released more than 20 games and is based in Belarus. The gaming company has been using the Helpshift platform to support its users with advanced self-service, in-app messaging, smart user segmentation and analytics.