Before we dive right into gaming and customer experience (CX), let me tell you a personal anecdote. My experience with the world of gaming starts all the way from two-dimensional games like Pac-Man, Stickybear, and then (only marginally more exciting!) came martial arts games such as Karateka and Budokan. But the real passion for gaming in me was ignited through the work of ID Software’s Castle Wolfenstein 3D, a gritty shoot-em-up that eventually birthed one of the most prolific genres of gaming – First Person Shooters or FPS games.
Much has changed in the world of gaming, initially with consoles taking away much of the market share from PC gaming in the earlier days, only to have Sony and Microsoft now release some of that market share back to Cloud PC gaming and Cloud mobile gaming. In today’s world where we do almost everything we do with our phones, titles such as PUBG, Wild Rift, and Honor of Kings have paved the way for gaming to grow in the mobile sector at an incredible rate.
There is no turning back from Cloud community gaming as even consoles such as PS5 and the latest iteration of Microsoft’s Xbox go digital and become connected through the cloud. Couple that with mobile games going online and to the community, the “players supporting players” model we have built at TDCX is here to stay. I don’t think our work in CX will ever be done for the gaming community.
The growth of gaming and the role of CX
Juniper Research, as cited by Forbes, predicts that despite in-game purchases declining in purchase value, the industry will grow at a staggering 30% in the next three years, exceeding $200 billion in 2023, which is nearly a third larger than its expected $155 billion worth in 2020. Mobile and Cloud gaming is expected to lead this charge with the very same in-game purchases driving this growth. Unlike the times of yesteryear where the gaming community sat with bated breath waiting for the latest Xbox or PlayStation to fuel gaming revenue, today, we are much keener on a slew of new skins, maps, or agents released on Valorant or Fortnite, for example.
Nonetheless, Sony and Microsoft will perhaps be resolute in their console sales though I don’t expect huge growth to come from console games in the future. What does this mean for us in player support? It means an evolving role to support players across multiple endpoints, from Mac, PC, Xbox, PS, and even to the humble mobile phone in the pockets of our players.
The makings of our player support
The gaming industry is at a relative beginning in terms of its commitment to customer experience as compared to more established industries. The thought of serving players in any language other than English was a distant dream until recently. The idea of an empathetic support platform for gamers does not take front and centre stage – at least not yet. A BPO partner can be vital in this situation with companies such as TDCX and our compatriots, who have cut our teeth on community education and support type work, we can certainly add incredible value to the player support experience.
At TDCX, we make it mandatory to have all our front liners be players for games that are comparable to the titles we are supporting. We comb out people who have IT inclination or player support background in order to help with the technicalities. The biggest secret sauce is our screening for people who are empathetic and who would understand what it’s like to lose hundreds of dollars of aesthetic modifications to your own in-game character or how frustrated a player can be with a cheating player who is winning a ranked match and de-ranking people by using an “auto-aim.”
Couple our incredible people with our very own gaming arenas and purpose-built hardware for a player support centre, this brings our TDCX's player-support people into the next level of immersion and allows for us to provide an unparalleled customer experience. Our client’s players, ultimately, are the benefactors to all these investments we are making in our people and infrastructure to assure the success of our client’s CX agenda.
Adding more value to customer experience
At TDCX Malaysia, we launched one of the world’s first multilingual player support centres globally, serving players in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Thai, Bahasa Indonesia, and Mandarin from our single location in Kuala Lumpur.
We were able to set up the very first “players supporting players” model where every single TDCX employee supporting the client, from the EVP down to every front liner, are all active players. This led to our ability to meet our QA results and CSAT targets on day one and continue to exceed these targets consistently by a sizeable margin. We also created banners to sign off our tickets asking our players to stay safe while they game during the pandemic and customized our sign-off and greetings around their wellness. This caused quite a stir in the community and is now a CX best practice used even by other regions to enhance the player experience.
My belief in the gaming industry is strong, despite the many changes the industry has been subject to – I count 13 times that PC gaming “died” and came back to life in the past decade alone. Humanity will always need a virtual outlet to entertain them, to hone their coordination skills, and indeed to interact as a gaming community with one another, especially during these interesting times with the pandemic seeing us stay at home for much longer periods.
So long as the gaming community lives, TDCX will always be there to serve our player community with heart and care. We can surely expect TDCX and our peers to be benefactors of the phenomenal growth that is assured for the gaming industry in the coming years.