Zynga’s (News - Alert) goal is to connect the world through games, and whether it’s through building virtual farms or nailing a triple word and a triple letter score on the same play, tens of millions of users around the globe are doing just that.
But when Zynga was looking to partner with an outsourcing company, it wanted to go beyond mere productivity gains, seeking a company that would help delight customers while saving money.
Because of the social nature of its games – and the sheer number of players who take part in them every single day – Zynga is constantly gathering feedback, looking for insights on how to improve player delight. Tens of millions of player interactions come in every day from in-game feedback mechanisms and Zynga needed someone who could handle the high volume of data without losing sight of the needs of the players.
The company sought to partner with thought leaders who could balance the traditional measures of contact center success while being innovative enough to develop new ways to improve the player experience.
In 2009, Telus International was one of six pilot vendors that Zynga tested. The telecommunications provider was recommended to the game company by another client, and went about servicing Zynga’s needs in a very traditional way. But Zynga wasn’t looking for that; it wanted a true partner. So Telus rearchitected the entire project from scratch, seeking agents with very non-traditional profiles.
They wanted gamers.
In fact, the technical support members of the Telus team are expected to have expertise in the Zynga games, and as part of their jobs, must level up in particular games every single day. If a player has a question about his pattypan squash in FarmVille, he can be confident the agent knows exactly what he means and might even be able to provide some bonus tips based on personal experience. In this way, Telus has taken the industry buzzword “voice of the customer” and transformed it into something more specific, listening to the “voice of the player.”
Together, the companies have learned several lessons about this way of doing business:
The importance of core values. These values must be shared. Zynga wants to delight its customers and Telus wants to innovate. Together, they can achieve both.
Agents must be empowered. Engaging agents and giving them a voice is key. Who you recruit and how you train them is also vital. Telus has an international university program, for example, where they partner with local colleges to provide real classes on premise at subsidized rates for their agents.
Social communications are essential. Zynga is focused on the social aspect of social gaming, and Telus has come to see the benefits of this as well. It has a T-Life portal for agents to allow for shift swapping and carpooling – a sort of “Schedule with Friends” or “WorkVille,” if you will. This makes their jobs easier and builds a sense of community – a goal for agents and players alike.
It is important to focus on recognition. Telus offers special, unique and meaningful recognition to agents. Top agents can earn a “Golden Ticket” trip to San Francisco or Ireland. There is also the Sofia Award, launched in loving memory of an agent. It is a peer-nominated recognition designed to keep the woman’s spirit alive and promote excellence and respect.
Don’t forget corporate social responsibility. Both companies have raised money for worthy causes, including Haiti and tsunami victims. In each company location, there is a community board that works with local leaders to promote “days of giving,” with projects like building schools and homes in local communities.
At Call Center Week in Vegas, the partnership with Zynga earned Telus recognition in the “Best Contact Cetner Learning Development & Recognition Program” category. But as many of their players aren’t focused on the size of their Mafias or their top score in Scramble with Friends, neither Zynga nor Telus is in it for the awards. In the end, they both just want to do what they can to provide a delightful experience for their players. When you’re playing a game with your friends, isn’t that what you want more than anything?
Well, maybe a few extra coins in Scramble with Friends or a few spare bombs in DrawSomething. Maybe I can get one of their experts to teach me a few tricks….
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO click here.
Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO. Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Braden Becker