Organizations need to truly understand what the customer experience is and also what it means within the gaming industry in order to improve it.

According to Forrester, Customer Experience is defined as “how customers perceive their interactions with your company.” And although this is an accurate description, this is only customer experience (CX) in its simplest terms. The problem is that many organizations misconstrue the CX, seeing the interactions defined by Forester as those experienced only when the customer gets in contact. However, this internal view is wrong; the customer experience is the total journey of a customer’s interaction with a company from start to finish.

What companies need to understand is that the CX journey has a number of touchpoints, and more importantly they need to be aware of when this journey actually begins. For a gaming company, the experience starts right at the point of attracting the customer to the game through to point of sale, as, after all, the best game involves the best experience. Post-purchase engagement remains key, as doing this well will give the customer the assurance that their money has been well spent, and ultimately will help you retain them.

As the most important part of the service, the quality of the gaming experience makes up the majority of interactions through either enquiries about certain features or more general feedback. Whether it’s a glitch, computer issue or a bad player interaction, customers may need support at any point; sometimes individuals can go months or years playing the game before they even need to get in contact for additional support beyond the purchase. Gamers also expect to have 24/7, knowledgeable and personalized assistance available. Companies need to make sure that they get this part right; a bad customer interaction at this point could either generate the loyalty desired or tarnish the relationship completely.

Customers don’t generally remember what initially went wrong, especially if the issue is dealt with well—a positive experience will keep consumers coming back. However, if dealt with poorly, a memorable experience can also be bad, and in this case can, break the relationship and potentially even leave a permanent negative impression.

In light of this, CX professionals need to prioritize influencing the full end-to-end experience, not just when the customer chooses to get in contact. Understanding when the CX comes into play and also when it stops is the first step to making sure this journey is a positive one and is the key to being successful. Just like it starts a long time before the first point of contact, companies also need to keep in mind that the CX finishes long after they leave.

As the first point of contact, advisors deal with any correspondence or customer issues. And although many of the issues that arise are out of the contact center’s control, such as technical difficulties, these matters in fact provide the contact center with invaluable information and insight. As a case in point, a customer may be calling because they don’t understand the game’s instructions, and this is something which only the contact center will know if the information is not passed back to the company. If customers talk about multiple and confusing correspondences received, this again is another area where the contact center will already be aware of what impact this will have on the customer.

Contact centers need to become the center of the organization, collating insight and analytics on the customer journey in order to improve all touchpoints; it will pay off in the long term. Understanding the insight and then capitalizing on it could be the game changer when it comes to higher satisfaction rates and gaining loyal customers. However, this requires a change in mindset surrounding the necessity of the contact center… it shouldn’t be viewed as a necessary evil, but instead a critical business function. The contact center could be the key driver to reduced contacts, reduced costs and product insight which can help inform and drive product development, product management and marketing amongst many other teams.

Competition is fierce. And with the churn within the gaming industry so high, it is important to get the CX right from the start, or risk losing to the competition. The contact center is a strategic asset, and it is time for organizations to start viewing them this way, rather than as a simple cost center. The deep understanding of the end to end CX that a contact center can provide is, ultimately, the latchkey to driving loyalty and revenue that could make your business a success.