After reading this great customer service example over at World of Shadow, I’m back thinking of my own CS purchase experiences in the gaming world. Of course, from there, I can’t help but continue to think, and discuss, why customer service basics don’t flow over into the gaming sphere.
In my first link above, the author purchased from Riot (a la League of Legends fame) and their internal records notified him that within the preset 2 week time frame of his purchase, the item he bought had a price reduction. They credited his account the difference.
In my second link, I bought a game off of Steam for $19.99, only to have it go on sale the next day for $1.99. I was politely told “too bad, so sad” (aka – pound salt) when I asked if it was possible to get a credit for the difference.
The author from the first link is already planning a second purchase from Riot for their good customer service. I haven’t bought anything from Steam since ( and almost a full year) and probably won’t again. Not because I’m that jaded of a buyer, but because there are other means to buy games, and I’d prefer to purchase through services that value me as a client.
Not that I’ll have much luck finding a retailer that rewards customer satisfaction. In the most basic of terms, customer satisfaction is the best predictor of future purchases. You would think the gaming world would get that by now – instead they seem intent that it is better to not get some money from many people, and get full price from people who do buy.
Some quick and easy ideas on how to retain customer satisfaction in gaming after the jump.
1) If I own Battlefield 1, I should get a slightly reduced rate for Battlefield 2. An even larger discount for Battlefield 3. This would make me even more likely to buy Battlefield 4. (Exchange “Battlefield” for any title that has a legacy)
2) If I am a subscriber to your MMO, and I spent X years paying you a monthly charge, my subscription fee should be reduced. Not even a giant reduction, but even tokenism to say ‘hey, you have given us a lot of money and stuck with us for a long time. Thank you for being a valued customer”.
3) If I am loyal to your brand (even above titles) give me points, or other loyalty incentives. Historically, I have spend thousands on EA titles. You would think with registration systems, etc., they would know who I am. They would probably also know I haven’t bought from them in a long time. Incentivize me!
The other nifty fact about customer satisfaction, is that a happy customer tells their friends about the good service they received which creates a positive brand image and makes their friends more likely to look into their goods and services. The reverse is also true.
Gaming can’t hide behind ‘we’re an immature industry’ forever, and they will be much better off to look to other industries to learn how to improve their own. A great place to start is learning about how Customer Satisfaction is critical in ANY competitive industry, and actually isn’t that hard to do – hard to perfect, yes, but even honest efforts are typically rewarded.
Now, if you’ll excuse me I am going to go download League of Legends, a game I have read a ton about on the blogosphere but haven’t tried. Any guesses why I suddenly feel compelled?