Building incredible multiplayer games since 2012.

How Proletariat Handles Support

How Proletariat Handles Support

Last week, our community director Gordon talked about how we handle World Zombination’s Feedback Loop. Players frequently reach out to let us know what they like about the game and to suggest improvements, and we take all of this into account as we continue to make the game better and grow its community. Feedback, however, isn’t the only thing we get from players—we also get lots of questions!

Just like feedback, support requests are a vital way for us to keep a finger on the pulse of World Zombination and the needs of its community. Whether it’s a question about how the Guild Raid reward system works or a standard bug report, support requests help us to identify the parts of the game that trip players up. We then log this information and use it to improve or fix problematic aspects of the game. As Proletariat’s resident Community Support lady, I’m here to talk a bit about the process behind how we handle such support requests, and also why effective support management is so important to Proletariat as a whole.

How?

The first line of defense is World Zombination’s integrated support system, which is powered by the Helpshift platform. Players can access this in-game through the gear icon at the top left of the management screen, or by visiting the Support page of the World Zombination website. There, players can peruse FAQs and a list of common support questions. If players do not see a resolution to their particular issue, clicking the “Contact Us” button enables them to e-mail us for further assistance. This platform is also a great way to track and archive player inquiries, for example allowing me to review the history of previous contact with a certain player, or to quickly search out similar support requests to see how they were handled.

Interacting with players on the support board of the forums constitutes another large portion of my day. There, players can post questions and concerns and tag me (@jennie) for assistance. While the strength of Helpshift is that it is an easy and private way to converse with players (especially useful for handling sensitive account information), I really enjoy engaging with players on the forums because it offers a more collaborative approach to support. We have an awesome community of players that are both knowledgeable and helpful, and they are quick to offer their insights to players who post questions. We have worked hard to foster a warm and welcoming forum environment, and I feel lucky that my job includes being part of a community where I can learn just as much from our players as they do from me.

While the two big support channels are Helpshift and the forums, our various social media channels offer additional touchpoints. Players frequently reach out to us with questions on Facebook and Twitter, and we extend our collaborative support efforts through our live streams, during which players can chat with one another as well as the dev team. We live stream three times a week, and whether players are looking for gameplay advice or have a question about  World Zombination’s features, having direct access to the game’s developers is a fun and unique support opportunity the community has expressed a lot of positive feedback about.

Why?

Now that we’ve talked about how we handle support requests, let’s talk about why we do things the way we do. For starters, Proletariat is founded on the premise that we make “games for the people,” and this mentality is manifest in every action we take. One example of this is the level of transparency we have maintained from the very beginning—we have invited players to join us every step of the way throughout the design, creation, and ultimate release of World Zombination, and they have helped shape many aspects of the game with their contributions. We try to extend this philosophy every day to our support efforts.

On a personal note, I fell in love with video games when I was just four years old, and in my younger years I spent a lot of time on game forums, specifically the Nintendo forums (R.I.P.). To me, it was more than just a website, it was a haven where I could wax poetic about the games I loved and engage with some awesome, like-minded people. It was a sad day for me when the Nintendo forums closed, and I sorely missed the sense of camaraderie that I had enjoyed as part of their online community. Having the opportunity to work in community support feels like coming full circle. To have a job where my main responsibility is to assist players and to participate in the kind of fun and welcoming community environment that I value as a gamer is pretty damn cool.

When it comes down to it, Proletariat handles support like it handles everything else: from a player-centric perspective. We’re a community-first studio, and in an industry where a three-day turnaround is the norm (though many players inform me that they are most often met with silence), we make support a top priority, typically responding to inquiries in less than 48-hours (and usually much faster). This doesn’t go unnoticed, and I’ve heard a lot of thankful feedback from our players. Supporting the player ultimately supports the game, and the best way to achieve this is through effective CS management that ensures our players feel heard, not merely appeased.

 

Jennie Rizzo
Community Support

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