Great Data Practices for Top Player Support Teams
On any given day, your average player support team is likely to process a truly staggering amount of data for any number of reasons. How they leverage that data into established practices and fresh learning opportunities is the difference between an average team and a world class one.
When we think of data these days, we think of scary things. Convoluted regulations, damaging leaks, compliance obligations, and so many other things that could give even the most conscientious and organised of us a pressure headache. Certainly, working with data does mean coming up against a more than modest number of obstacles, but it can mean so much more too!
In the right hands, data and good data management practices can be the calling card of a truly great team. It can help a support team to flag problems before they arise, identify trends that lead to proactive solutions, or even just allow one clued-in agent to go the extra mile in assisting a lone gamer who could really use a helping hand.
There’s lots of ways data can make the life of a player support professional (or indeed a games developer) easier. Let’s take a look at just a few.
Good Data Practices Start at Home
The biggest change you can make to your data management strategy is to stop looking at data as a reason to reach for the paracetamol and start looking at it as an opportunity to get better at what you do.
Leveraging data the right way helps teams perform better, work smarter, and drives growth. In essence, it breeds efficiency. That efficiency can come in any number of forms.
On one hand, tracking performance data – how quickly a team can answer a ticket, who answers the most tickets, whose ticket solves receive the best CSAT ratings, etc. – can give you real, valid information to rebuild your everyday operations on.
Let’s say Agent X takes five minutes to solve a ticket. On average, you can see by looking at the numbers that this is up to 25% longer than it takes Agent Y. However, Agent X’s CSAT rating is very often much higher than Y’s. Which agent is better? Y, who does it fast, or X, who gets a higher rating from the end-consumer?
Depending on the ticket they were solving and how difficult it was, the answer could be a coin flip. And if you don’t look deeper, using data to find patterns or consult with the agents themselves, you could be missing an opportunity to help the entire team work faster and improve overall CSAT rating.
Analysing performance data in this way allows team leaders and project managers to assess current standing, create opportunities to highlight and reward the work of those who are performing well, and develop retraining or diversification modules for those who are struggling.
What’s in a Ticket?
Let’s take another example. The tickets themselves that are sent in every day by players. You are guaranteed to be able to categorise tickets into predictable data sets: financial issues, bullying, praise (the mythical white whale of the player support world), technical issues, account bans and login issues, and really any number of other core topics that can very often vary depending on the kind of game a team is supporting.
Analysing data here is crucial and can help you become 100% better and more efficient across the board. Maybe, for example, a team tends to receive 35% more financial tickets on a normal day than any other type. If you aren’t paying attention you might miss this little fact, and if your support agents are diligent enough in their turnaround times then maybe it won’t really make that much of a difference. But the opportunity is still there to become more efficient and proactive.
In the short term, a statistic like this might tell you that you need to assign more agents to specialise solely in financial tickets to help keep turnaround times at an absolute minimum. Then again, if the nature of the tickets is often the same recurring issue with a simple resolution, it could be a better idea to create a self-service knowledge base where players can access the information they need themselves.
In the long term, this kind of information may be a red flag to the developer that there is a serious issue with how financial transactions are made within their game, and so actual in-game changes will need to be made to avoid any future mishaps.
Taking the time to stop and think about data will never steer you in the wrong direction and will more than often end up in your teams establishing practices that will make their lives easier and keep players happier from individual one-to-one interactions right up to overall community sentiment.
Data and the Developer
When thinking about the advantages data may provide you and your support team, it’s important not to forget the bigger picture – especially if you’re a vendor working with a client.
In this case, that bigger picture is the game itself. Player support operations don’t happen in a vacuum, they are intended to be a necessary add-on to support a core product. As such, the data gleaned from a support project can also help drive progress in the product itself!
Consider for a second what a player support ticket is. It’s genuine, honest, timely feedback from a person who is engaged enough with your game to reach out to you directly and interact with you on some element of the gaming experience that is affecting them. This is the kind of information and level of access that focus groups and think tanks dream of, so don’t neglect it.
Aggregating ticket data can tell you an extraordinary amount about the overall health of a game as well as the status around general community sentiment and brand loyalty levels. Regardless of whether that data is reflective of the game as a whole or some minute element of it, how an audience responds to your brand and its values, or how players interact and treat each other, analysing data from incoming tickets can help you constantly meet and exceed player expectations.
This can be especially valuable when it comes to certain genres of games. Let’s take story-driven match-3 mobile games or even MMORPGs for example. These are genres of games that, by design, are not finished on release day. They’re reimagined regularly and often have patch and update after patch and update. Another thing they have in common? Incredibly engaged and active communities.
By keeping sharp and staying on top of the data, you can harness the feedback from your players – on playability, narrative, functionality, etc. – to help drive your game into the future. If a game powered by symbiotic collaboration between developer and player isn’t a recipe for success, we don’t know what is. Proactive data management and analysis from a clever player support team is where that all starts.