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Today’s interview is with Tony Adams, Product Manager at Supercell, the global gaming company based in Helsinki, Finland. Tony joins me today to talk about Player Experience (PX), the specific challenges that entails, the GiG metric, the horrific thought of having to type a ticket using a gaming console, the commoditisation/dehumanisation of the agent and why we should organize around a skill-based model …….amongst other things.
This interview follows on from my recent interview – What the heck is Relative Attractiveness and why it matters? – Interview with Richard Hammond of Uncrowd – and is number 454 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.
Here are the highlights of my chat with Tony:
- PX (Player Experience) is a branch of CX, but it is very different and faces its own significant challenges.
- PX is like CX in the gaming world.
- Customer experience usually entails a customer paying for something, and the payment involves certain laws, rules of formality etc.
- Players, particularly in the free-to-play gaming model, just download and play, and nobody knows who they are. There’s no formal contract.
- But, there is an emotional attachment to the game.
- There’s a desire to acquire players at scale but in a very low friction way.
- That causes support problems when someone needs help, particularly when they lose their account details.
- Supporting all of that has its challenges because you’re dealing with emotional load, you don’t know who these people are, and you have to do it all at scale.
- Moreover, free-to-play games are not sticky. So, you can have three million players playing your game one day, half a million playing the next day, four months go by, and then the three million come back again when you launch something, say, and then all these players want to get their accounts back. So, you’ve prepared for half a million players, and then suddenly, you’ve got three million.
- Even if you’re not paying for something, you still want to be treated with dignity and respect and speed and efficiency etc.
- Given that, the bar on the support model is extremely high.
- There’s been an evolution that’s taken place over the last number of years with the involvement of micro transactions, where people pay for and consume things in game. They pay real money of these things but are not an official paid up customer.
- Most of the successful companies don’t make a distinction between all of those groups because most of the time you buy things for cosmetic reasons (i.e. to show off to your friends/fellow players) in game.
- There are predictors around game behaviour that are good indicators if you will stay/micro-transact/ upgrade to a full-paying customer.
- Supporting that model is where PX departs from CX.
- It turns out it’s much better and much simpler to not make a big distinction between a paying player, a micro transactor and the free player. The only exception is kids.
- Most of the technology that we run into the market is optimised for cost saving, efficiency, deflection etc.
- However, in the gaming world we are not focused on a metric like cost per ticket but are focused on the metric: GiG (Get in Game) i.e are you in the game and how quickly can we get you back in game.
- With that in mind you don’t want to have someone have to fill on forms and what for a response as that would keep them out of the game.
- So if you start measuring GiG, that means once you’re on the website, if you need to contact a human, you have to be able to contact them right away and in-game.
- The ultimate PX would be to have games support help you while you’re playing.
- The challenge is that many games run on apps or, for example, Fortnite runs on consoles.
- Imagine having to type a ticket using a gaming console!
- This is a massive market that’s not currently being served very well by the CX technology players.
- We need to think about the commoditisation/dehumanisation of the agent.
- We should organize around skill based model.
- You have to get your recruiting department to work differently. That’s where the real work starts.
- Check out the Cynefin framework to help understand complex problems and drive better decision-making.
- You should focus much more on building capabilities than outcomes Capabilities are things like learning speed, ability to pivot, agility, being able to change direction, for example.
- Look for weak signal detection i.e. little exceptions.
- Oppose the best practice. What you are calling the best practise evolved in the fifties.
- Tony’s Punk CX word(s): Substance
- Tony’s Punk XL brand: Monzo
Tony Adams has 20 years experience in CX plus another 10 in business process consulting, sales, HR, health care and software development. He has had senior roles at Oracle Corporation, Riot Games (League of Legends), Epic Games (Fortnite) and presently at Supercell, the Helsinki-based creator of Clash of Clans, Royale and Brawl Stars, among others. His expertise is PX, a little-understood branch of CX, and service models that scale versatility and complexity.