CRM practitioners talk about “Moments of Truth” – the encounters you have with your customers that help them form an opinion about your organisation, particularly about how you engage with them, measured against their expectations. Those expectations can be met or not, exceeded or not. It’s how you plan, monitor and modify your responses to those moments of truth that make for a good CRM strategy and a loyal customer base.
CRM is a tested and proven way to grow your business through player retention and growth. By using the data you are already gathering on a daily basis to analyse history and behaviours, you are in a prime position to develop player relationships and add value to their gaming experience.
A CRM plan should be for the lifetime of your subscribers, and these are our top 5 fundamentals to include. We will explore and expand on each of these elements in more detail in later blogs.
1. Data analysis
You are uniquely placed in the gaming industry to have the kind of customer data at your fingertips that most other industries would kill for. You can track every event, move and interaction your players have with the game and the community supporting them. Mine that data to create player ‘personas.’ You will need to identify at least three separate unique personas (preferably more) to help determine how you will communicate and market to different player types. Because not all players are created equal and not all marketing messages will work for everyone.
2. Map the player journey
Create a roadmap showing how a player interacts with your organisation and the game platform at every touch point. This will include your operations, marketing, communications, sales, service, and support — any aspect of your business where your customers” touch” your organisation, either directly (though set-up or in-game interaction) or indirectly (e.g. support or player forums). There is always a reason why these touch points happen – they are your “moments of truth” - so defining and mapping them is a key part of your CRM plan.
3. Set objectives for each stage of the customer lifecycle
For each player persona work out what their lifecycle looks like, how many stages they go through, what their interactions are, what the ‘trigger points’ (any player-originated event that prompts an action from you) are, and what are the likely outcomes for each of those stages. Then set objectives for each stage. Objectives can be categorised as: retain, grow, monetize, reward, reactivate, progress, convert, reduce churn, increase game time etc. Each objective should have its own set of KPIs and measures which contribute to an overall business goal.
4. Create a continuous ‘always on’ communications strategy for the whole customer lifecycle
Use marketing automation tools to proactively and reactively communicate with players at key points in the lifecycle. This can include automated email marketing like welcome, nurture and win-back programs, display ad retargeting, e.g. via Google Ads or social media remarketing, or in-game personalisation, recognising and rewarding achievements, recommending next best actions, offer or content to explore. Each communications activity should be tailored to the player’s persona.
5. Track engagement and revise the CRM plan where necessary
Build in a process to test, test and test your CRM activities over and over again. CRM is not a ‘one and done’ deal. Your game is changing all the time, your players will react differently to expectations all the time. So you need the ability to monitor their behaviours and responses to your attempts at engaging them and the rapid reaction reflexes that allow you to adapt and adjust your communications accordingly and in real time.
Putting a CRM plan together is only the start of the process and there are plenty of elements to include. If you need our help in any aspect of your CRM deliberations, then please get in touch.