“When we chose Zendesk, we wanted a tool that would help ease the life of our agents and our players at the same time. Zendesk has opened a world of opportunity for us to pilot new ideas and make technical improvements.”
Director of Player Relations at Wargaming
Decrease in average handle time
Ever wondered what it would be like to be on a WWII battleship? Using Wargaming’s augmented reality, you can now get a sense for it using the USS Iowa tour app. This is one way that the Belarusian company is amping up the gaming experience for its millions of active players.
Wargaming’s mission is to deliver legendary online games, with passion—a mission that’s accomplished by encouraging the team to have as much fun creating a game as they hope players will have fun playing it. Founded in Minsk in 1998, the company’s global debut came with the release of World of Tanks in 2010. Since then, Wargaming’s offerings have become widely used across a variety of platforms; its online hits—World of Tanks, World of Warplanes, and World of Warships—are played by millions of people worldwide.
Maintaining this global reach means that offering an outstanding support experience is not so much a competitive differentiator as an absolute necessity. “Ultimately, we’re competing for people’s time,” said Elena Loucaidou, Wargaming’s director of player relations. “If a player only has an hour or two to spare, they can play a game or watch Netflix. If they’re having an issue with our game and they’re not getting the help they need, they will lose interest and move on.”
Wargaming initially relied on a home-grown solution for player support. Ongoing maintenance required support from numerous full-time developers. Making changes was resource intensive, and the tool didn’t allow agents to provide high level support to our players.
“We needed a tool that has dedicated people improving it and building functionality for it,” said Elena.
Wargaming’s global network of 400+ agents, both in-house and outsourced, support 14 languages and process ~350K tickets a month, it was critical that its next solution offer a simple, accessible interface and be able to scale. After careful research and consulting with internal experts, Wargaming chose Zendesk Support.
“The player journey is important, but we also want our agents to be happier and more motivated to do their job. One of the ways that Zendesk helps make agents’ lives easier is by being user friendly,” Elena said. Transfering Wargaming’s massive player support structure to Zendesk was a mammoth task. After trying to roll-out Zendesk region by region, the team switched gears and decided instead to go with a unified global instance. Once the company’s data was migrated and configured, Wargaming’s support team was firing on all cylinders. “Switching to a new tool is often scary and tough, but it’s amazing how quickly our agents and administrators become advanced users. They constantly invent new things to do with Zendesk,” said Kira Gorbunova, technical expert at Wargaming.
Today, agents serve requests from a unified platform and players receive support several channels, all of which are integrated into Zendesk. These include Wargaming’s help center, in-app mobile support, social media, and app review pages; the consolidation has paid off. “Providing agents access to all the information they need in one screen has driven down costs,” Kira Gorbunova said. “Almost everything is in one place. Our ideal scenario is that we limit the 20 tools that we have in support to as few as possible.”
Providing support for such a wide user base has its challenges: emotions run high and many requests require personalized help. Moreover, with each of Wargaming’s 15+ titles running 10 to 20 updates a year, providing proactive and timely support at scale is no small feat. Support self-service, trigger and automations, and macros help the support team deflect tickets and stay on top of requests.
With so many games available in the market today, timely player support can make the difference between where players will and won’t spend their time. Wargaming has integrated the Support SDK into its mobile platforms, and is planning to pilot Zendesk Chat, to get players even faster help. “Speed of player support is key to player satisfaction,” Elena noted. “There is a strong correlation. Players just want to play the game.”
A bulk of the team’s tickets are related to the premium vehicles players collect and trade with great care and deliberation. Thousands of tickets pour in each month from players who want vehicles returned, most of which can take up to 15 minutes to resolve. To cut down response times and keep players in the game, the support team used the Zendesk API and some internal backend services to add a new workflow that allows players to submit requests for their vehicles to be returned and for these tickets to be processed without any agent involvement at all—a move expected to significantly impact productivity.
“Zendesk provides a unique opportunity to use apps already available in the marketplace and also create our own,” Kira Gorbunova said. Tapping into Zendesk’s ecosystem and API also impacts another important metric.
“We’re looking forward to the ways that the tool can continue to serve us to drive automations, with AI and bots, and self-service to ease the life of our players and agents at the same time,” Elena said.