At Zendesk we have a lot of customers who use Zendesk for gamer support, and we work closely with many of them to understand how they support their customers and how to best set up Zendesk Support for gaming.
Based on many Zendesk gaming instances, conversations with our gaming customers, and the experience of our customer success and support teams who work with gaming companies, we've put together a recipe of best practices to help you set up Zendesk Support for gaming.
This recipe is not exhaustive, but meant as a starting point. And there are many ways to set up Zendesk Support, and many variables to consider, but hopefully this will inspire you and get you going in the right direction.
This article covers the following topics:
Setting up channels where players submit support requests
Channels are the ways that your customers contact you for support. Players don't like being interrupted in the middle of a game, and you want to get them get back to playing as quickly as possible. So you can give players multiple ways to contact you for support.
Gamers tend to prefer interactive, immediate help that comes through social media and community. These channels are especially useful for issues that affect many users or a particular game. For more specific, individual issues, the bulk of tickets for gaming companies come in via email or a web support form.
Email is a popular channel for gaming companies. As a best practice, however,
you might consider pointing users to a web form with custom fields, as opposed to a
free-form email, so that you get all the info you need up front.
You can set up specific support addresses for different issues. Consider support addresses that correspond to your groups. For example, Support@yoursubdomain.zendesk.com, Refunds@yoursubdomain.zendesk.com, and Abuse@yoursubdomain.zendesk.com. For information, see Adding support addresses for users to submit tickets.
Web form is also a very popular channel for gaming companies. According to a report that
includes all Zendesk gaming companies, almost half
of tickets come in via a web form. Your support team
will typically need specific information from a
user, such as game title, platform, and version, to
help them with their issues. To avoid going
back-and-forth, point users to a web form with
Consider setting up different ticket forms for different games or for specific issues, such as an online store issue, (this feature requires the productivity pack Add-on or Enterprise). For information, see Creating ticket forms to support multiple request types.
Twitter is an active channel for gamers, although most Zendesk gaming companies
don't set it up as an official ticket channel in Zendesk Support. Many gaming companies have
loyal fans who are super active on social and manage the conversations that happen
If you want to monitor Twitter and create tickets from tweets, you can add Twitter as a channel in Zendesk Support. Then, set up a saved Twitter search for each of your games. For information, see Setting up your Twitter channel.
- Community is huge for gamers. Zendesk gaming companies put a lot of effort into supporting strong communities in their help center. A vibrant, self-serving community is important for creating a player-centric culture and for deflecting tickets. For information, see Building community in your help center.
Adding ticket fields and ticket forms to collect information about issues
As a gaming company, it's important to get as much context for issues as possible up front, especially if you are supporting multiple games and platforms.
For example, if a ticket subject is "my game is freezing," it's impossible to move forward until the player provides more specifics. Why not capture as much information as possible up front. To get the information you need in the ticket, and save time, you can set up custom ticket fields and make them required.
- Game (drop-down field) is a list of all your games.
- Platform (drop-down field) is a list of possible platforms.
- Issue type (drop-down filed) is list of general issue categories, such as online store, unable to play, bug, and so on.
- Offending / abusing player alias (text field) is where agents can enter the player alias.
- Abuse reason (multi-line text field) is where agents can enter the reason for tickets that report abuse.
As a best practice, include a link to your community in your ticket received notification. That way customers can visit the community and, potentially, get help from other players who might have the same issue. Simply modify the default trigger "Notify requester of received request" with a link to your community.
For information about adding custom ticket fields, see Adding and using custom ticket fields.
You can set up ticket forms with predefined ticket fields for different request types, (this feature requires the productivity pack Add-on or Enterprise). This enables you to present multiple support forms so players can choose the appropriate form for their issue.
- General Questions
- Report a Player
- Refund Request
- Purchasing Problem
- Performance Issue
For information about creating ticket forms, see Creating ticket forms to handle multiple request types.
Adding custom user fields to collect player data
As a gaming company, you'll likely want to track specific information about your players, including their spending history and gaming history. You can create custom fields to add this information to the player's profile.
- Customer type (drop-down field) options might include Superfan or Disgruntled as types.
- High purchase history (checkbox field) indicates your big spenders. If you want to give it a more interesting name, you might call it "Whale."
- Lifetime spend (numeric field) is useful for seeing a player's lifetime spend amount in their profile. You might consider applying special support treatment when they hit a threshold.
- Banned (checkbox field) indicates whether player has been banned.
- Banned reason (multi-line text field) gives agents a place to enter the reason if a player is banned.
For information about adding custom user fields, see Adding custom fields to users.
Setting up workflows for ticket management
You can set up groups to organize your agents and facilitate ticket handling. Based on your groups, you can set up business rules to automatically route tickets and views to manage each group's ticket queue.
Creating groups to handle tickets
You should be able to take a simple approach to groups, and set up a limited number. You'll probably need some specialized groups to deal with specific issues around refunds and credits and abuse and banned players.
- General support and Advanced support gives you a two-tiered approach to support. You'll probably get a lot of tickets about common game issues that can be handled by your first line support agents. More advanced issues that fewer players encounter can go to your second level agents. Of course you can give these groups more interesting names, if you want. Depending on your team and the games you support, one support group might work for you, instead of a tiered approach.
- Store can handle all your purchasing and download issues, if you have an online store.
- Refunds can handle refunds and credits.
- Dev is for bug escalations. Alternatively, you could just call this group "Bugs."
For information about setting up groups, see Creating, managing, and using groups.
Automatically routing tickets with triggers
You can create triggers to automatically route and assign tickets to your groups. For example, if a ticket is asking for a refund, it can be assigned to the Refund group. Consider setting up triggers for tickets that come in through email and your web form, as the bulk of your tickets will probably come in through these channels.
For email, set up a trigger for each support address or based on keywords in the email body. For your web form, if you are using ticket forms, set up a trigger based on the selected ticket form. Otherwise, you can use keywords in the ticket comment to assign the ticket to the right group.
- Conditions Ticket is created and Ticket is received at <supportaddress>
Action Ticket group <groupname>
For example, you can assign tickets sent to refunds@<yoursubdomain>.zendesk.com to the Refunds group.
- Conditions Ticket is created and Ticket comment text contains at least one of the following words <keyword>
- Action Ticket group <groupname>
For example, you can assign tickets that contain the word "refund" to the Refunds group.
- Conditions Ticket is created and Ticket form is <name of ticket form>
- Action Ticket group <groupname>
For example, you can assign tickets from the Refund Request ticket form to the Refunds group.
Creating views to organize your tickets
Views define a collection of tickets based on a set of criteria. You'll probably want to set up some global views for each of your groups, so that agents can easily see all the tickets in their group.
There are many other ways you might consider organizing your tickets into views, including by game title, common issue, or language.
- Conditions Ticket group is <name of group> and Ticket status less than closed
For information about setting up views, see Using views to manage ticket workflow.
Building community in your help center
Community is huge for gamers. Most Zendesk gaming companies put a lot of effort into their help center and consider it a big part of the player support experience. Your help center provides a great way for players to self-serve and to help one another.
You can customize your help center by adding icons and imagery from your games so that players feel right at home. And to organize your content and community, you'll probably want to create different categories for different games.
Building your community gives players a place to share tips about games or to get help with problems and outages. Players can usually get quick answers in the community, instead of filing tickets and waiting for support. Players can also share their gaming experiences with other players who play the same game.
For some tips for driving traffic to your community, see Best practices for driving traffic to your knowledge base and community.
As a gaming company, you probably have a large number of loyal fans. You can leverage their passion in the community by creating a moderator program for your most experienced and helpful players. These players volunteer time in the community to share tips and help other players. You can reward these players by giving them special avatars, swag, and a direct line of communication with team members, among other things.
Extending Zendesk Support with apps
Apps can help streamline your support workflows and bring valuable information into Zendesk Support.
Using Zendesk Support apps
- User Data displays user and organization details in a ticket, such as tags, ticket activity, and contact info.
- Show Related Tickets analyzes your ticket subject and searches against all other tickets to return any tickets with matching terms.
- Sidebar search adds the ability to search Zendesk Support for tickets, comments, users, organizations, and articles from a ticket.
- Answer Suggestion searches your knowledge base content to suggest articles relevant to the ticket you're working on, based on ticket's subject.
- Text enables you to put any text you want on a ticket page. You can use this as a cheat sheet for your agents to display reference information, such as player tiers or gaming levels. You might also use this app to alert agents about outages, upcoming maintenance, or common issues.
You can browse through all available apps in the Zendesk Marketplace.
Building a custom app to show player data in a ticket
Most likely you have a separate system for storing your player profiles, and this information is important to your support team to better serve customers. Many Zendesk gaming companies have developed custom apps to retrieve this customer information from their own systems and display it in tickets.
You can use data from Zendesk via the API to generate events based on user profile data. For example, if a player has reached a certain threshold of spending in your game, you can automatically tag their profile in Zendesk and set up workflows to give them special privileges or send them promotions based off their achievements.
- Resetting passwords
- Banning players
- Recovering accounts after outages
- Issuing refunds
For information about building your own custom app, see this app tutorial series Building your first Zendesk app.