Bungie Should Double Down on Support
PR disasters always make for good reading but gamers’ relationships with major developers can seem more like a meme than a true connection at times. EA currently holds the dubious honor of having 2,637 negative reviews on its Trust Pilot page, for example, a figure that equates to 94% of the total comments. Although, much like the audience reviews on MetaCritic, it’s hard to get a good sense of things from an angry mob.
An Emerging Problem
CNBC notes that every industry on earth typically demonstrates poor customer service as its default position but several aspects of gaming do create problems unique to the industry. A frustrating penchant among the biggest developers to release broken and/or unfinished products is one of the more ridiculous issues that gamers have to put up with but flatlining servers are a major gripe too.
The website gameindustry.biz referred to 2019 as the “year of PR disasters”, with 14 incidents causing chaos for shareholders, players, and even movie-makers associated with gaming. Sadly, it seems to be an emerging problem and the tip of an unpleasant iceberg rather than the culmination of a brief but troubling phase. So, now would be an appropriate time for Bungie to double down on customer support.
Just two years ago, Bungie had no support options whatsoever, other than a public forum and a postal address. Today, its help section is still padded out with guides, FAQs, and legal info rather than advice in a more human form, with most website pages simply funneling the user back to Destiny 2’s version of Wikipedia. It’s an odd position to take, as good service is one of the best ways to aid customer retention.
Figures from Microsoft claim that almost all Americans (90%) will avoid doing business with a company if they have a poor customer service record. Perhaps more importantly for Bungie and Destiny 2, 58% of people will go elsewhere if they have a negative experience when trying to solve a problem. The magic of customer service is that 78% of customers will forgive mistakes if they’ve previously been looked after by a company.
The casino industry has set a precedent for strong customer service within the entertainment niche so gaming and appropriate support are not the belligerent bedfellows they can sometimes appear to be. The Tropicana Atlantic City casino, for example, has 24/7 email and live chat support, as well as a support phone number. The casino rates highly on Bonusfinder US, a website that sorts the best experiences from the weakest.
While Activision, Bungie’s former owner, doesn’t offer much in the way of customer service, the latter has an opportunity to distance itself from its erstwhile relationship by improving its support levels. The company has already committed to the future of Destiny 2 yet more content almost never provides a solution to an unhappy customer base. With the game mapped out to 2023, though, there’s still much left to come from the shooter and its developer.