User Support: Email Essentials

Oh, hello again! It’s been awhile since we last talked about managing support for your mobile game. It’s July, so I bet you’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about barbecues and days at the beach. Not to be a bummer, but user support doesn’t get to take a vacation this summer. So let’s roll up our sleeves and tackle some best practices for support emails!

Before we dig in, let's first review what you’re already doing in your game to manage user support:

You’re monitoring and responding to reviews of your game.

You’ve implemented some basics to manage support inquiries from inside and outside of your game (including email!).

So, how’s it been going with all of those emails you’ve been receiving? Feeling frazzled? We’ve got some tips that you can use to make managing user emails more efficient (and maybe you can use some of that spare time to enjoy what’s left of the summer).

Set Internal Objectives

To avoid any misunderstandings within your team (and with your users!) it’s important to create internal objectives regarding how user emails are to be handled. The criteria may depend on the  type of game, or on the game’s status. For example, during a beta test, or just after the launch of a new build, special attention may need to be paid to incoming feedbacks to catch any major issues.

Here are some questions to consider when establishing your internal objectives:

  • How much time do we realistically have to manage support emails?
  • Which emails require a response?
  • What expectation should we set with our users regarding response times?
  • Which issues do we want to track internally?
  • How do we keep track of the information that’s being shared with us by our users?

You’ll also want to decide on the basic categories and subcategories for the types of feedbacks you receive to track any trends and issues by platform, version, or other criteria. This leads us to the next topic...

Selecting an Email Client or Other Support Solution

There are a lot of options available for managing support emails (as well as other aspects of user support), so it can be overwhelming once you start shopping around. You can start with something as basic (and cheap!) as using Gmail, or another email client (utilizing labels and folders to keep feedbacks organized for reporting by topic, platform, etc.), or even a free open-source ticketing system to manage user feedbacks. There are also many, many, many other options that offer robust CRM (customer relationship management) solutions should you have the room for that in your budget.

So, how do you make a decision? Here are factors you may want to keep in mind:

  • Budget. Keep in mind, the phrase “time is money” applies here. Some of the more robust solutions available are highly automated which reduces the amount of time you need to spend on certain aspects of managing support
  • Volume of contacts you anticipate receiving
  • The ability to scale quickly
  • Availability of reporting & analytics within the tool

As your game evolves, you’ll want to revisit this list to see if you need to make adjustments to your priorities and your existing support solution.

Automation

Whichever option you chose, from a basic email client to a sophisticated third-party CRM solution, you can add some basic layers of automation to the process to increase efficiency and focus your time on more complex user issues. Here are two items you’ll want to include:

Auto-Reply

Users who contact you on email should receive an auto reply that contains some basic information. Here are some examples:

  • Ticket or case number
  • Estimated response time (where applicable)
  • Links to self-help materials for frequently asked questions

If you’ve determined that you won't be able to respond to all user inquiries, you may want to include that information in your auto reply and refer users back to the self-help resources.

Templates

Templates are a great time-saving solution when responding to users with common inquiries. You should be able to anticipate some of the templates for some frequently asked question in advance (game crashes, issues with in-app purchases, etc.), but for more advanced issues, you’ll want to add them to your library of templates as they arise. Make sure to revisit your templates after new updates to your game to make sure they are up-to-date!

Reporting

At the end of the month, you’ll want to be able to track the activities for the month to visualize all the trends. Here are some basic categories you may want to track:

  • Date of contact
  • Reason for contact
  • Version of game installed
  • Platform

Depending on how robust your reporting capabilities are, you might be able to drill down even further into other categories. Establishing some basic metrics for contact volumes can be very useful as the game begins to scale, or if you are running any special campaigns.

So there you have it - email support essentials for your mobile game! Don’t leave support as an afterthought, it’s a vital part of retaining all of those users who you worked so hard to acquire. If you need help converting, growing, and retaining users in your mobile game, please get in touch.