While many industries are buckling under the pressures of poor economic forecasts — with Meta slashing 13% of its workforce and retail giant Primark suffering a $2.3 billion blow from inflation — one sector seems reliably recession-resilient: Gaming.
According to PwC’s Global Entertainment & Media Outlook, the gaming market is anticipated to reach $321.1 billion in revenue by 2026 — and despite a post-pandemic slowdown, its customer base across mobile games, console games, and PC games is still over 3 billion gamers strong.
However, the gaming industry does have an unforeseen Achilles’ heel: Customer support. As revealed by Netomi’s Customer Service Benchmark Report: Gaming, gaming companies worldwide often struggle to provide an AAA customer experience to their players, with only 53% of the sampled studios offering readily available email support.
So, why is gaming customer support lagging, and how can video game brands boost their CS strategy for higher customer satisfaction? Here are the key factors to leveling up player support.
Customer support: Cost center or cheat code to player loyalty?
The gaming industry is innately service-oriented, and it owes its soaring success not just to product design, functionality, or game development, but to its players. Yet many businesses in the sector seem to consider customer support a cost center.
Out of a segment of 3,000 gaming companies, Netomi discovered that a whopping 76% ignore simple customer service queries. Those who do reply have an average response time of 39 hours, with more than half failing to convey empathy.
The data, however, reveals that investing in customer service can influence whether consumers will stick with a business or move on to a better, greener customer experience pasture. For 26% of customers, a single instance of poor customer support is enough to drop a brand, and 92% would call it quits after three. In short: They don’t play games.
What’s more, the gaming community is global and growing: From China to the US, from the Philippines to Belgium, gamers are everywhere, and offering them quality customer support in their language can drive them to higher spending, build their trust, and further increase their brand loyalty. As uncovered by Unbabel’s Global Multilingual CX Report, 74% of consumers would switch to a different brand if it spoke their language, and 64% would pay more for products and services that came with a fully localized customer experience.
With the endless alternatives spawning on the gaming market, it’s easy to see how providing great customer service tailored for global gamers can become the ultimate cheat code to crack the competition.
Investing points into the right agent skills
To offer a triple-A customer service experience, support teams need to be able to connect with both the games and the gamers, no matter which language they speak. With that in mind, should gaming businesses sink their CS points into language skills or hire for talent?
Sourcing native-speaking customer service agents for every target language can turn into a nightmare-level challenge: For one, as discovered by iGaming powerhouse Hero Gaming, multilingual representatives are in high demand, and the hiring process can be long and costly. It’s also not a scalable approach, as ensuring full-time coverage can be tricky, especially for long-tail languages.
On top of that, recruiting customer service representatives based on their linguistic prowess often means missing out on candidates with technical support know-how or a real interest in the industry — which, with players’ expectations soaring, can cause more than a small glitch in a company’s CX strategy.
The best way forward? Hiring team members for their passion and their gaming experience, and arming them with the right tools to break down language barriers.
The real game-changer: Automation
The gaming industry is no stranger to the advantages of automation: According to Unbabel’s roundtable with industry movers and shakers, many customer support teams in the sector are already at 60% automation and often leverage it to handle payments, fraud detection, and even content moderation. But its potential can also be harnessed to deliver players premium customer service in a new language, all while maintaining scalability, flexibility, and controlled costs.
Whether players prefer self-service troubleshooting (such as chatbots and FAQs) or the real-time help of a customer support agent, machine translation specifically designed to tackle customer service can grant reps the power of multilingualism, helping companies streamline their CS operations, increase agent utilization, and meet fluctuations in demand.
Wargaming powers up its multilingual CS
Boosted by human-refined machine translation, leading game developer and publisher Wargaming was able to:
Focus on hiring agents based on their knowledge and passion for gaming.
Keep costs under control without compromising the player experience.
Achieve a 14% increase in paid player conversion.
Increase CSAT scores to 82% — and consistently maintain this level of customer satisfaction over time.
Reach 95% of response time within the first 24 hours in all 10 languages serviced.
Buffing your CS strategy with Unbabel
Combined with humans in the loop to ensure native-level quality and continuous machine learning, Unbabel’s hybrid AI solution adapts to your brand’s tone of voice and needs, for a consistent CX at every touchpoint. It will also seamlessly integrate into your existing CRM and layer over any digital channel you might already be using, including email, chat, and social media.
Fuelled by a genuine passion for gaming, and with 130+ language pairs at their fingertips, your agents will be fully empowered to take your CX game to the next level.
Does your customer service strategy need a multilingual AI reboot? Get in touch with us for a free demo.