P.S.: I love you. When gamers break up with you.

7 min read

Quick disclaimer: I am not a gamer.

But there was this one time, a few years ago, when I came home to find a borrowed PlayStation with a Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas case right next to it in the living room. It was my girlfriend who had left it there.

She had been playing it all afternoon and as soon as I got home she told me all about her plan. The idea was for us to spend a different kind of weekend together, just the two of us, playing GTA.

Little did I know that this gaming marathon would go down in history as my first and, unfortunately, my last.

We went to the local grocery store, bought some pizzas, snacks and came back home to start robbing people, taking orders from underbosses, being chased by the police, and mugging strangers whenever we felt like it. All this while listening to the official game soundtrack, which, by the way, included David Bowie, Bob Marley, The Who, Queen, and my favourite, Kanye West.

It was fun and incredibly addictive. I took my mind off work and university and I became wholly absorbed in the game. Until we got a technical issue. I couldn’t really figure out what the problem was. Perhaps the borrowed console had a glitch or maybe it was the game itself. Whatever it was, we never got to move on to the next level, even after countless reboots, forum explorations and help searches. And that was it.

We gave up and moved on with our lives.

And I never really put that much thought into it, until I started working at Unbabel and got the chance to work closely with gaming giants like King (and their 270 million active users), Rovio, or Kongregate.

Knight jumping over lava

How legendary games stood the test of time

Now, even a “noob” like me knows how much passion and dedication goes into making games like Battlefield, GTA, Uncharted, League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Candy Crush, Angry Birds, and hundreds of others.

All of this made me realise that the reason why those games stood the test of time relies on new content, be it through multiple updates, balance changes, expansions and/or sequels. However, that also leaves room for a lot of issues, bugs, and misunderstandings.

And the real gamers won’t handle those lightly. They’re passionate, loyal and highly emotional. So they will take those matters to heart and complain loudly. I mean, LOUD.

The gaming tribe is quite unique. Gamers are predominantly from a young age group (16-30), and more inclined to speak their native language. Just think of the huge German, Brazilian, Spanish, Russian, and French gaming communities. Some may speak English but you should never assume they all do because the truth is most of them are quite uncomfortable with a foreign language.

This means that if you fail to provide customer support in their native language you are turning your already frustrated customer into a monster. Not to mention that you’re likely losing customers. And the numbers prove it. Take Wargaming Mobile as an example. This year, at Game Quality Forum, they revealed that they had a near 26% sale conversation rate increase once players realised they could get customer support in their native language by using Unbabel’s translation as a service.

So if you want to keep your users loyal and passionate, and for them to be your greatest influencers, here are 7 golden rules:

Rule 1 – Be Proactive: Don’t expect for users to reach out when they have an issue. Most likely, it will be too late, and they already broke up with you.

Rule 2 – Be Supportive: Build plenty of options for them to interact with you. Ideally, this should happen within the game, through the product itself, a keyboard shortcut away. You don’t want gamers to stop playing to look for help. That just hurts. And great self-service usually helps.

Rule 3 – Be Fast: The faster, the better. No one likes to wait for help, especially when they are about to become the capo di tutti capi. Priorities…

Rule 4 – Be Multilingual: Speak their native language whenever you can. Really! It increases trust, empathy, and loyalty. Localise your help centre and games, provide live multilingual support, translate User Generated Content (UCG), in forums and communities.

Rule 5 – Be Always Available: Gamers can and will play your game at any time of the day, so expect them to reach out at any time. Support should be available 24/7, especially for massively multiplayer online games. And real-time chat is always a great option.

Rule 6 – Be Everywhere:Be where your customers are. Of course, telephone and email are important, relevant and must-have supporting channels. But don’t ignore all the other channels:

Rule 7 – Be Personal: It all comes down to this. You want your users to be happy and loyal. Gamers tend to be extremely loyal if the whole experience is fun and hassle-free. Sure, bugs will appear, and gamers will overlook instructions. Mistakes will be made from both sides, but if you can quickly solve an issue before it escalates it will pay off in the long run.
Whether you are using humans to do the job, or AI, or a mix of both, the important thing is to enable gamers to obtain the answers they need in a timely, and personal manner.

Follow these rules, and you and your gamers will live happily ever after.

Unlock the next level of multilingual customer support in gaming

At Unbabel we help gaming companies such as King.com, Rovio, or Kongregate, understand and be understood by their customers through multilingual customer support. We are seamlessly integrated with an ever-growing number of platforms (Helpshift, Zendesk, Freshdesk, Dynamics, Salesforce, Intercom, etc) delivering a super fast translation of tickets, chat and help centre content, with professional quality, in over 28 languages.

We know it’s hard to find multilingual agents to support all of your users, so we superpower your agents by removing language barriers.

When I was playing GTA I had superpowers and I could hijack any car I wanted; with Unbabel your agents will be able to take control of any conversation, in any language as they will be able to speak 28 languages, in real life, and in real time.

Let’s meet at Gamescom

Now, if you’re interested in finding out more about what we do and how we can help you deliver a global customer experience let’s meet at Gamescom 2018, Europe’s biggest gaming event.

I’ll be there, as well as Sofia Rodrigues and Jonathan Mondragon from Unbabel, ready to join our partners Peter Gerson from 5CA and Chuck Coulson from Helpshift. Together we will help you design the ultimate player experience, including translation, support tools, and player experience management.

Come and meet us there from August 21-23 at our stand (in case you get lost the stand is number D038) in Hall 2.1, in the Business Area. We would love to hear more about your users and all the breakups you’ve been through.

And remember, it’s not them, it’s you.

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