Written by: Mark Woo and Morgan Hall
We all know that great customer support (CS) has a positive effect to your business. However, many businesses neglect finding out just how much of an impact average to amazing CS does. Good CS practices have long since been held as a necessary tool for customer satisfaction. The degree in which customer support policies affect metrics like retention, monetization and first time purchases warrants analytical investigation, this article highlights the findings within one of East Side Games high profile Facebook games.
Quantifying Customer Support Success
One of the cornerstones to East Side Games mantra is building and using our own analytical databases. Parsing data from various sources in the back end of our games as well as apis that we use from our many partners is key in asking smart actionable questions in improving our user experience.
We wrote queries that tried to answer the question, “Just how important are Day 1 responses in relation to user monetization and retention of those who continually monetize?”
We created two cohorts and compared the side by side. The first cohort were users who we corresponded with within 24 hours. The second cohort were users who we corresponded with within 2 to 7 days.
What we found out was astonishing. There was a drop of 28% of revenue per paying user with those who were corresponded with within 2 to 7 days compared to those who were immediately responded to.
As the above chart shows, there is a sizable difference between the retention of monetizing users after the correspondence. These were correspondences with users that monetized before and continued doing so after. We see that neglecting Day 1 correspondence leads to a 25.77% drop off of monetization.
Finally, our data analysis demonstrates that Day 1 correspondence is five times more effective in converting first time purchases in the game.
Quantifying your customer support is a great first step in measuring out the impact of your customer support policies. However, it shouldn’t be the only thing driving it. One cannot demote the quality of the correspondence with users through personable and amicable means.
Keeping your CS team knowledgeable on key metrics in your analytics, with regards to response time and customer satisfaction is fundamental in developing a holistic CS strategy. Use analytics to scrutinize user history and their behavior to A/B test your customer support approach. Determining the varying costs incurred by CS and comparing them with your inferred rewards should help define your policies moving forward.
Things We Did To Increase Conversion
Increase the speed of our minimum response time to 24 hours
Created a filter system for all new tickets which highlights those from monetized and new users.
Automated responses for users not yet able to be reached through a personal email.
Increased our coverage to 7 days a week.
Mandated constant vigilance and interaction on our fan page walls and community forums. Intersect users outside of standard channels when possible.
Increased player crediting to stimulate customer satisfaction metrics.
Community infiltration through personas and employing some members of your online community.
Although hard data shows that response times are critically important, that doesn’t mean you should outsource your CS in effort to emphasize quantity over quality. This data is predicated on our dedicated in house customer support team that constantly plays our games and interacts with users through various channels. We practice guerilla CS tactics daily which include fabricated Facebook personas that are well known and respected in the community. Sometimes pseudo promotions are given to prevalent community users who help moderate community channels. Identifying these users and empowering them not only builds a stronger community but also strengthens the vigilance and power of your CS.
The conclusions drawn from our findings are that CS is not just a good idea but an important part of monetization. The seriousness in which ticket times and the way quality CS is executed should be considered as part of a larger revenue strategy.