All About Customer Support, Episode 1
Gaming platforms have gone through rapid development in recent years. These days it’s a piece of cake for even independent developers to bring games that succeeded in their native language over to Japan; but this doesn’t come without its share of problems: Adjusting advertising for Japan, trying to succeed across various media platforms, localization, support systems…the list goes on.
In this first edition of “All About Customer Support,” out of the many things necessary for expanding into Japan, we’ve chosen to discuss a few things to remember about “customer support.”
To start, when you hear “Customer Support,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
For most it’s probably: “A channel of communication that allows users to make inquiries.”
So what sort of communication channels might a game have?
Customer Support Examples (excluding phones)
Contact forms and the like are probably fairly obvious.
There are also many other channels of communication: DMs (direct messages) on social media like Facebook and Twitter, replying to official posts, using the e-mail address(es) posted on the app store, or talking to representative companies who aren’t directly related to the game.
How much support can be given and whether or not there will be a team set aside for each various method will change with each company’s desired management system, but if there is no prior planning for customer support aside from simply having it, there WILL be problems.
Here we’re going to introduce two examples of problems that could pop up bringing games into Japan from overseas.
1. Different channels with no method of coordination
A. Japan’s Customer Support Center
- Outsourced communication channel for Japanese users
B. Original Customer Support Center
- Communication channel for Japanese users run by the head office
- Goes through inquiries and sends a request to A
C. Japanese Branch
- Updates social media, handles DMs and replies
- Sends all issues to A
D. Original Development Team
- Handles e-mails sent to the address listed on the app store
- Ignores Japanese inquiries
E. Head Office (Administration, general affairs)
- Ignores Japanese inquiries
It’s set up to fail from the start.
Like B sending inquiries to A, the user is forced to reach out to different channels when rejected from the one they chose.
You’ll hear things like: “I tried talking to so and so, but was told to check here instead,” and “I already talked to someone, but they transferred me here.”
The problem requires multiple correspondences to be solved:
Explaining all the details of the issue to each channel could cause significant delays, sometimes stretching the process out for days.
Sometimes the issue can’t be indentified the first time, and the user is forced to try again.
It takes two or three attempts before the problem can even start to be solved.
2 Lack of information means users don’t know who to contact
No one can identify the correct communication channel, and their problem doesn’t get solved during the first correspondence.
You’ll hear things like: “This doesn’t make any sense!” and “What does this mean?”
The above two examples could result in:
1. A significant loss in users
2. At the same time, the issues get spread around on social media
3. So, the number of new users decreases
Sales drop, and the overall lifespan of the product is shortened.
We definitely don’t want that to happen.
Companies need to have a point of contact for users to be able to freely choose their channel of communication. If some sort of strategy isn’t applied, it’s almost certain problems will arise.
To entirely cover all bases so that users can get the help they need is definitely challenging, but that’s customer support. The moral of the story is: Good customer support means satisfied customers, and that means your content will continue to be happily enjoyed.
Our company helps to fill gaps in customer support, carefully considering the issues above and how to approach them.
We’re able to back up your company using various methods, including communication channels, collecting user voices, and monitoring and managing social media. If you’re interested, please feel free to contact us here: [email protected]