What growing games companies can gain from player support outsourcing
In the games industry, newer studios face a gauntlet of obstacles. There's stiff competition, a shortage of talent and a surplus of uncertainty — just to name a few.
To up the difficulty even further, help hasn't typically been easy to find. While industry behemoths have been able to form successful outsourcing partnerships to enhance and scale all aspects of their player experience, these arrangements have been impractical for start-ups and scale-ups. Too often, the contracts are too resource-intensive, too long and have terms too inflexible for studios building toward their breakthrough.
As a result, smaller studios can miss out on the guidance that comes from an experienced partner, as well as the means to scale in the event that their next title takes off. This can be detrimental to the player experience, which is nothing to brush aside. A TELUS International survey revealed nearly half (44%) of consumers said that nothing, not even price, convenience or if it's a brand they truly like — excuses a poor customer experience.
The challenges and consequences are daunting. The gauntlet awaits. Importantly, however, help is no longer out of reach. Learn why growing games companies are increasingly looking to player experience outsourcing in order to rise to the occasion.
Navigating the labor crunch in games customer service
Building out an in-house player support operation can be complex and expensive, especially for newer studios. There are countless questions and seemingly few answers. How many agents do you need? How many can you afford? What skills do they need to have? What languages do they need to speak?
It doesn't help that there's a shortage of talent. Montreal, Canada for example, has been an established hub for international games companies for some time, but the entire country has recently seen a surge. According to the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, from 2019 to 2021, the number of active video game studios operating in Canada increased by 35%. When it comes to talent in the games industry, however, the increase in demand has not been met by an equal increase in supply. And according to federal government reports, that shortage is predicted to remain for the next ten years.
That makes things particularly tricky when you need to scale quickly. If your latest title becomes a sensation, you're going to see a significant uptick in players and support queries. Without scaling your team, wait times will lengthen and frustration will rise. Let the problem fester and you might see loyalty and your player base dwindle.
The challenges don't stop at recruitment, either. As part of training and onboarding, games companies need to develop their support agents' understanding of their titles, culture and brand. When your players have an issue, they want to feel like the representative they're talking to gets it in an intuitive way that demonstrates first-hand experience playing the game.
The constant search for, and training of, games talent takes studios away from their product.
Benefits of customer support outsourcing for games
Faced with a myriad of challenges, games start-ups and scale-ups are turning to outsourcing and expecting providers to deliver right-sized, creative solutions. Read on to learn more about what growing games companies can gain from outsourcing.
Your best weapon against the games industry's inherent uncertainty is agility.
A good outsourcing partner understands that. And by extension, they'll understand your current state and let rigid, long-term commitments become a thing of the past.
By helping you to forecast and scale your player support operation according to your needs, a top-tier partner will only enhance your ability to face whatever comes your way.
In order to truly offer flexibility, an outsourcing partner needs to be able to help you source and secure the talent you need — and quickly.
Their global infrastructure and network is your gain, helping you to strengthen your frontline despite labor shortages. And if your outsourcing partner has experience in the games industry, they'll also have specific, defined best practices and talent profiles to help you discover your next star performer.
Today, shared teams also provide a cost-effective option for growing studios. In this strategy, outsourced agents support your players on a part-time basis, lowering your cost while improving your player experience.
Access to global markets
According to Grand View Research, the global video game market size will develop at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.9% until 2030. Without question, gaming is global.
But to bring your games to would-be players far and wide, you've got to make sure you have the support structure to deliver a consistent experience. Outsourcing can set your studio up with multilingual support, and even a local content moderation presence in key markets. Not only that, but through outsourcing, studios can gain the ability to maintain "always-on" support that can keep their players playing.
There are no shortcuts to experience. If you're a newer studio, you might not have the expertise that only comes from time. But when you have a partner, you're not stuck learning everything the hard way. Growing games companies can lean on the industry expertise of their partners' in times both good and bad.
Better still, studios that partner with customer experience providers with expertise beyond games can minimize their blind spots and generate new ideas through cross-vertical thinking.
Choosing to outsource aspects of your player experience is not as simple as paying X and getting Y. With the right partner, you'll get much more than what you pay for. That becomes abundantly clear when you consider co-innovation.
By teaming up with a company invested in acquiring and deploying the latest technologies, you gain access to innovative applications without having to make big investments yourself. The types of technologies available run the gamut, from customer-facing support channels like chatbots and intelligent FAQs to behind-the-scenes tech offering robust fraud detection, trust and security support. Getting a handle on those services puts your studio in a stronger position from which to innovate — and that helps not only your customers, but also your profit margins.
Adaptable player support for growing games companies
Over the course of our more than 12 years in the games industry, TELUS International has supported studios of all sizes with over 40 game launches. We've heard plenty of feedback and developed a deep sense of the challenges facing games companies today.
That's why we're bolstering our offering with adaptable support for growing games companies.
To offer the right type of support at the right cost, our adaptable solutions get the best out of shared resourcing. That means start-ups and scale-ups can access our global reach and infrastructure to scale according to their needs — without overpaying or overcommitting. And as an added benefit, they can rely on our earned industry expertise to help navigate uncertainty.
Get in touch with one of our games experts today.