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Supporting ‘Console Culture’: Making Post Holiday Support Easy for Everyone

August 10, 2023

Console culture is very much alive. Despite the ever-rising popularity of mobile and PC gaming, video game consoles are still the dominant platform for most U.S. players. In fact, last holiday season, game hardware sales experienced a 16% increase over last year’s figures, and with next-gen consoles recently entering the market, this year’s sales may be bigger still. However, that leads to another dilemma. After the initial excitement of the holidays, gamers are often left with limited support options, while gaming companies struggle to provide adequate customer service for game and console users. Here’s how companies can make post-holiday support easy for everyone, supplying gamers the support they need, while being able to focus on innovation.  

Holiday Sales Show that Console Culture is Thriving  

Many people talk about the upsurge in mobile gaming, as if traditional gaming consoles are a relic of the past. Yet, the biggest rise in last year’s holiday sales came from gaming hardware. In other words, consoles still retain the largest market share when it comes to gaming devices. Over 45% of gamers in the U.S. use consoles, compared to 38% who play on their mobile devices and 16% who use PCs.  

On average, in any given year, over 200 million players in North America will spend a combined $42.6 billion on games and gaming hardware, and some of the biggest sales increases happen during the holiday season. In 2021, $11.3 billion was generated just from online sales of games, consoles, and accessories during Cyber Monday.  

Usually, games and game content are the biggest sources of holiday revenue. Last December saw a 16% bump in hardware sales, which made up for declines in both content (-1%) and accessories (-2%). Though it’s worth noting that the lag in game sales is largely attributed to the pandemic and supply chain issues, as many game companies pushed their releases of AAA games into mid to late 2023. Regardless, worldwide, consoles are still among the season’s top selling items, as shown by the $20.3 billion in console sales grossed last year.  

These figures are expected to rise even higher, with an extra $870 million in sales revenue predicted for 2023. Next-gen console releases such as PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are already driving new demand, while rumors continue to spread that the Nintendo Switch 2 may be released in early 2024. All this could make 2023’s post-holiday sales an inflection point across all categories related to gaming consoles and accessories.  

Gamers and Game Companies Face the Same Post-Holiday Challenges  

 
The holiday season is a time of excitement and anticipation for gamers everywhere. They’re eager to get their hands on the latest consoles, load up their favorite games, and start playing. No one expects a glitch or set up error to ruin their post-holiday fun. However, what if players need that critical support?

Gamers expect service that is both quick and convenient. The thing they hate most is being shut out of the game and the thing they want most is to get back to playing as soon as possible. First-issue resolution should be instantaneous with minimal wait times, so customers can move on with their gaming experience without any hiccups.  

Yet, according to Netomi’s Customer Service Benchmark Report, only 53% of gaming companies worldwide have a readily accessible email address and 54% don’t even offer email as a support channel, even though it’s often a preferred contact method for gamers. And that’s only the first hurdle. Even if customers somehow find an email address, 76% of companies will ignore a simple request for game recommendations. If they do respond, it’s often with a disappointing average response time of 39 hours -when most customers would prefer to be contacted that same day or even within the hour. 

Of course, it’s not that game companies don’t value their customers. Often, this is a product of not having the necessary scalability in-house to manage the sheer volume and demand for post-holiday support. It can also be a lack of CX strategy, one that considers the communication preferences of today’s gamers, which can happen when companies are so focused on new game and console development, that they forget to focus on the quality of the post-sales experience. 

Yet, loyalty is everything if you want to tap into the lifetime value of a customer. It’s also 14 times easier to sell to an existing, loyal customer than a new one, and the best way to inspire loyalty is to provide a great user experience, not simply great products. So, how can gaming companies still focus on innovation and product development, while giving the best possible customer service? They may want to consider partnering with a third-party CX vendor. 

The Benefits of Investing in a Customer Experience Partner 

Investing in a CX partner brings many benefits for gaming companies. Firstly, it frees up resources and time so that teams can focus on developing innovative solutions, without having to worry about delivering top notch customer service. Additionally, it improves your company’s reputation by providing quick response times as well as better support, ultimately leading to a superior end-to-end user experience.  

This is important, because the gaming industry will undoubtedly become more competitive over the next few years. According to Statista, the value of the global console market is expected to reach over $23 billion by 2028, and another recent report predicts video game sales to top $40 billion, which means gaming companies will be fiercely vying for a piece of that market share. To stand out, companies will need to offer the best possible support to ensure customer loyalty and spend.  

CX partners can provide complete technical support and product information so that gamers have access to everything they need to keep up with the latest content and system updates. They can also supply swift, dependable, and personalized customer service so everyone can get back into the game in no time.  

The good news is that CX delivery partners are already designed for scalability and can supply the full range of omnichannel services that gamers prefer, such as email, voice, instant chat, or social media support. Many CX vendors can also provide a full suite of AI (Artificial Intelligence) chatbots and IVRs (Interactive Voice Response) for those gamers who prefer to troubleshoot their own issues with the help of FAQ pages and Help Forums.  

Partner with itel for a Superior Gaming Experience 

Post-holiday support may present unique challenges for game companies, retailers, and gamers alike. But with the right CX vendor, you can make sure those challenges don’t get in the way of player enjoyment.  

Our customized solutions are designed to facilitate seamless customer experiences while providing unmatched customer service. Our specialists are well-versed in the current challenges and trends within the gaming community. They understand players and the gaming mindset because our agents are true gamers themselves. They have expert industry knowledge, which helps them provide customers with exact advice when they need it most. 

We can also supply bilingual customer support around the clock to help resolve hardware and software issues quickly and easily. With our help, players won’t have to worry about being left without a working console or game. Instead, they can enjoy an uninterrupted gaming experience every time they pick up their controller.  

Our email, social media and live chat support services are popular with younger gamers and are backed up by traditional in-house channels, such as Voice, so customers receive comprehensive help without any delays or complications. With our tailored solutions, you can rest assured that you’ll have access to prompt resolution times coupled with reliable product information - all of which will go towards supporting high standards of quality assurance when it comes to supporting your gamer community. 

So, if you’re looking for a reliable CX partner who understands the importance of post-holiday support, with integrated solutions tailored specifically towards the gaming industry, reach out to us. We’ll make sure we have your bases covered, so no console lover will miss the fun. 

Contact us today. We'd love nothing more than to take your customer experience to the next level! 

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