Scopely is redefining how Gaming Studios need to be providing top-notch player care. Newzoo recently said it expects global mobile games to grow from $25 billion in revenue in 2014 to $30.3 billion in 2015, with the dollars eclipsing those generated by console games this year.
Scopely recently announced a partnership with Ireland’s Digit Game Studios to make new mobile games based on a major intellectual property.
What does this mean for the gaming industry?
“Scopely is the partner of choice for the world’s leading free to play game developers,” said Tim O’Brien, the chief revenue officer at Scopely, in VentureBeat. “We are looking to partner with the world’s leading mobile game developers of specific genres, and see Digit as an emerging market leader in strategy games. We are excited about helping accelerate the studio team on their path to success with this multi-game publishing partnership.”
To be a market leader means providing your mobile players the best support and care at their point of need. Dean Takahashi states: “Digit Game Studios has a deep focus on strategy games, while Scopely has a proven record of getting apps to the top of the charts on both the Apple iTunes App Store and Google Play.” Part of this positioning relies on the value that their player care is providing.
I sat down with David Tamayo, Senior Manager of Player Support, to uncover how to maximize player LTV and scale your mobile games. Scopely’s Yatzee, Dice with Buddies and Slots Vacation are currently powered by Helpshift.
A bit about David…
David Tamayo is Senior Manager of Player Care at Scopely. He is a 12 year Customer Service interaction professional with 9 years of experience at Blizzard Entertainment. David believes that great brands are formed when they demonstrate a genuine commitment to all of their fans, and he is passionate about providing those experiences through each Customer Service interaction.
To truly maximize the lifetime value of your customer you need to make sure you are doing these three things:
1. Build the Right Team
2. Ensure a Healthy Marriage between Support & Product
3. Understand Your Customer
Picking the Right People to Represent your Players and Brand
- Understand the value that support brings to the company as a whole.
- Make sure you’re hiring the right people — Ask: are they doing a good job of representing your brand?
- Ensure that there are dedicated training processes in place for your player care agents.
- Empower your agents. Ask: are these customer service agents empowered to make autonomous decisions? What does management need to provide to make them feel empowered?
- Engrain in the philosophy of the business that every player’s experience needs to be optimized at all points and time.
- Demand that your Customer Satisfaction Rating is 90% or above and that time to reply is less than 24 hours. Define your team by these KPI’s.
- Set expectations for this team. Ask: What sets you apart is meeting and then exceeding customer expectations that drive retention? Believe in those values.
Feedback, Community, and Support: How These 3 Pieces Drive Product Iteration
- Product & Community is the most crucial relationship, because your business needs to be unified on all fronts.
- Your support team is on the front lines of your player’s feedback.
- Provide a two-way communication channel for your players directly to your support organization.
- It’s up to them to segment and measure in-app feedback and decide what Product needs to hear.
- Start with asking your player base, gathering information, and then going to Product.
- Implement in-app feedback: great opportunity to learn more about their customer base.
- Drive a process inside your game that allows users to create and circulate content.
- Put systems in place that inform you what your users want and how to implement those features/updates into your product and throughout your company.
- Talk to your community directly to communicate bugs/issues.
- Be honest: The more honest you are, the more forgiving your community will be.
- Providing the best in-app experience: think informative FAQs + promotional offers to offset issues in the game.
Transform your Cost Center (Support Center) into a Value Center (Revenue Center)
- Understand your customer: Customer forecasting process is necessary if looking to scale, needs to be addressed first to meet scale.
- The reality is your players are interacting with multiple different games, brands, or companies. But often then are loyal to only a handful. Ask: How can I embrace this loyalty.
- Be transparent, even when things aren’t working.
- Be open to their feedback and criticism.
- Connect users to your database.
- Start driving data information from customer support to your main database.
- Set measurable KPIs: Do customers contact support, but then never come back? What is the number of issues + time resolve.
- Identify trends in loyal customers vs. those who abandon your app/game. Examine that data.
- Give visibility into your customer feedback and speak to how is product adapting to these needs.
- Take this feedback to understand how are issues/bugs affecting your community and ultimately retention.
- Do some thorough product research. Ask: Are people able to intuitively move through your support channel to either self-serve, provide product feedback, or (when necessary) reach out to a customer support agent.
David rounded out the conversation by saying “Customer care is a pretty large touchpoint with your brand. There should be no hesitation around having the right people representing your brand. As for the user experience that you are looking to deliver, think about the experience your users have, and do thorough research on the experience of your product. What flow are they going through? What problems are they having? How will they react?
“The easier you make it for players to go through the channel of self help or–if that fails–customer support, the greater opportunity you have to drive LTV and Retention.”