The Keys to Providing Great Player Support for Mobile Games
Let’s be honest, player support can make or break a mobile game. When four out of five mobile apps and games get deleted after being played just once, player retention is a precious commodity and is essential to ensuring the satisfaction and loyalty of your players.
Player support for mobile games is considerably more complicated than support for computer or console games. As mentioned, the disposable nature of apps makes it far more likely for a player to simply grow tired of problems and delete the app, rather than seek a solution. Furthermore, the extremely crowded app marketplace means that the chances of a player returning to a game they have previously deleted are slim. Therefore, having a comprehensive and effective range of player support options for your mobile game can make all the difference when it comes to retaining players who run into issues. Let’s look at some of the channels that companies use to provide support for gamers, and how each one can be used effectively.
A website FAQ is a pre-determined list of questions that are most often asked by users, along with (obviously) their answers. FAQs are often the first point of reference when a user is looking for help with an issue. Therefore, it’s vitally important component of your player service.
DO: Ensure that your FAQ is thorough. Update it regularly to ensure it features solutions to newer issues. Lay out the page cleanly and efficiently so users can quickly find what they’re looking for, otherwise it can get very frustrating!
DON’T: Provide too much or too little detail in the written answers. Efficiency is key here – how can you provide the best answer without overwhelming the player with technical jargon and unnecessary detail? That’s the challenge!
E-mail is most people’s preferred method of communication these days, particularly when dealing with companies. Some companies get thousands of e-mails every day, so whatever system you use to work through them must be effective.
DO: Make sure e-mails get replied to promptly. An e-mail going unread for more than 48 hours is considered unacceptable for most companies. And always make sure to use the right language and tone of voice in e-mails. Many of us write very casually when it comes to personal e-mails, texts, and social media, so don’t forget to maintain your professionalism when answering e-mails from gamers. On the other hand, it’s important to strike the right tone of empathy in your message and match the style of your game.
DON’T: Pack your responses with too much. E-mails should be kept light and polite. Give the solution the player needs, or ask them for the information you need to assist them. Don’t fill your e-mails with tons of technical information, ads, or offers. That can be very off-putting.
The online community is a virtual meeting place where players can interact outside the game. This is usually in the form of a forum, where players can start threads about various topics, and reply to each other to create a discussion.
DO: Create a fun environment. In an online community, it’s important that the users actually enjoy spending time there, chatting with other users. Making the forums accessible and easy on the eye will ensure people keep coming back.
DON’T: Let the community go unmoderated. While freedom is encouraged, certain rules still need to be in place, just like with any community. Appointing moderators to watch over the forums not only ensures that users will receive replies promptly, but also means that members causing trouble can be dealt with quickly, so other users aren’t put off from being part of the community.
In recent years, player support over social media has become more and more popular. Everyone has a social media account, so it makes sense for companies to have them too. It allows users to directly contact their favorite companies, for better or worse, so social media now has a big role to play in the player support service sphere.
DO: Remember that social media is public! Far too many companies have posted tweets that offended player, whether intentionally or otherwise. It’s important to remember that, on social media, all eyes are on you. Behave accordingly!
DON’T: Use social media as your primary platform for providing player support. As popular as social media has become, it’s not the most practical platform for providing support to players. For example, Twitter only allows 140 characters, which severely limits how much assistance you can provide. Instead, social media can be used to promote and direct people to your other player support services and options.
Many companies prefer to put their FAQ in the actual game. Some companies even go one step further, providing a live chat option in the app, allowing users to talk to a player support rep as they use the app. While this means extra effort needed by the development team, it tends to pay dividends by making the process much easier for the users.
DO: Make it accessible. If you put your support in the game itself to make it an easy process, then making the help menu difficult to navigate would defeat the entire purpose. Clean, simple menus are vital, as well as a straightforward way to navigate through them. Also, from a developer’s point of view, it’s enormously beneficial to make it as easy as possible to make any updates or alterations to the in-game knowledge base – and don’t forget to notify your players of any updates!
DON’T: Make the in-game support too large or thorough. No one is expecting in-game support to be able to answer every little question. And putting too much information in the game will bloat the size of the game’s file, increasing download time, and taking up more memory on the user’s phone. Find the balance between addressing common issues and not requiring a huge amount of memory.
So there you have it, the most popular channels for providing support for the users of mobile games, and how to use them effectively. Each channel comes with their own strengths and weaknesses, the most important thing is finding which platform most suits your company so that you can provide the players with the best possible support service. Also, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t just provide one player support option and if you offer email, social media or external FAQ pages, links to these should be easily discoverable in the mobile game.
Effective mobile game player support requires significant effort, time and investment. However, in the world of mobile gaming, a reputation for good player support is worth more than its weight in gold.
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