Advice from a former PR Specialist & Community Manager of ever 10 years

In this message I would like to address @Roxx and ASG.

Context:
I have been a PR specialist and a Community Manager for about 12 years out of which 3 and a half years have been in the gaming industry.

I am also one of those quiet types that rarely comment or post but here I am this one time since I sense huge disturbance in the force. For whatever’s worth here’s my unsolicited advice:

1. Communicate with your community often and clearly. No ambiguity in your language. I know what you deal with every day but you need to ignore that and act fast and with utmost integrity in the name of the absolute diamond of a product you got on your potentially unworthy hands. You get backlash because you don’t understand the principles of communication. When in doubt, return to simplicity. Speak clear, speak often, announce every change you are making and provide clear, concise and human arguments. You don’t need to defend your choices, but offer a clear picture on things that people care about. Big empty words like the Business Model thing is…empty and meaningless. We’ve heard this before. I’ve written this before myself and it amounted to nothing. Just my boss was happy with it. Nobody else found value in it. Do you understand?

If you do not learn to communicate on a regular basis you will never earn the respect of the player-base and you will continue to damage the reputation of your company. You’re already regarded as a means to an end and that makes you tolerable but you haven’t earned anyone’s respect yet. Consistency and honesty is key. I know, utopian ideas right? False! It can be done, it has been done and though it ain’t popular, it works like a God damn charm.

2. Because doing PR and Community Management ended up with me being a defender of the company against the players instead of the mediator I should have been all along I quit that line of work and found something more fulfilling: localisation and testing. Which brings me to my next point.
Localisation is the process in which you should remain true to source while being sensitive to cultural aspects of the region/ regions you are bringing your product/ services. It does not mean changing boss names, miss translating equipment stats, removing character customisation options and renaming class abilities, and who knows how many other things. You’re getting lost in details that are irrelevant to cultural sensitivities. We’re not that damn sensitive, you are. You live in a society that needs to turn an asian queen into a black person because you’re culture hasn’t accepted or learned about its deeply wounded history. I am good with every colour of the rainbow.

3 When you swapped Summoner with Sorceress, the way you did it speaks volumes of your true business model. And this is coming from someone who will main Sorceress. A huge red flag flows above your heads and THIS is the true business model. This is what people remember about you. Say you had to make that change. You don’t just drop it like a toddler drops a piece of poo. And this move right here I think is one of many that you will do in the future and no Community Manager, PR or magic trick will puff away the smell from under such a childish, unprofessional move. Are you learning? Are able and willing to do something much simpler?

Negativity spreads like wild fire. If you ever begin to communicate consistently and in a constructive manner, the wave will take a lot longer to settle but when it does, it’s good, it’s really good.

Bottom line is, you got a diamond mine on your hands. Nurture it, speak clearly about it, speak often about it, be concise and human about it. Or witness more complaints that needn’t be and crumble under their heaviness as you retreat in a cave and never speak with your playerbase ever again.

Which one is it?

As for Rox, best of luck. Truly! And please get the feedback from players, demand a statement for the responsible teams and then communicate it back to the playerbase. People know you are not the one making the changes but TRAIN the teams involved to share their decision making process with you as best they can and translate it to the playerbase in a concise way.

Thank you.

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USA Tesla vs. Smilegate lawsuit (logo) - General Discussion / General Discussion - Lost Ark Test Forums (playlostark.com)

She speaks such gems honed through years of craftsmanship to close threads whilst making everything clear and concise about the question at hand.

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A core reason Lost Ark is successful in Korea is the responsiveness and honesty of its staff.

The only reason I bought this game is due to the Korean Developer, Smilegate (SG). I have minimal faith in Amazon Games Studio (AGS).

I don’t think my sentiment is uncommon.

I hope AGS doesn’t conflate people’s faith in SG to faith in AGS and work to improve the relation.

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Is AGS really that bad? I mean the developer do listen to community feedback for New World…
The problem is will they implement the feedback is different story

:rofl: Dang it! I feel strangely elevated. I guess the job got easier since I left it. All I would have to say now is Lol, LFG and/or nothing and/or nothing of substance. “Kekw”

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I’ve heard about this wild horse running free in Korea! What a sight to behold!

I also listen to the fire alarm that my neighbours sometimes mistakenly trigger but I cover my ears and wait for it to be silenced in a minute or two. I listen to it but when it stops…aaah, feels good! And go about my day as if nothing happened because that sound is loud and unpleasant and I am too incapable to do anything about it. I am not a fire inspector after all. So I let it run its course.

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So has everyone else in this forum.

This word at the end here usually voids the words before it. Given the length of this post, this applies here.

There’s a lot more going on here than that.
“Often and clearly” is useless.
“Quickly and accurately” is useful. It also helps for them to see things from the customer’s POV.

What? You even have this wrong too. You quit because you did this wrong.

You aren’t necessarily defender or a mediator, you are customer service. You would be there to fill a role and that role is either solving problems or telling the customers that you are talking to the people who will help solve those problems.

This isn’t even a point, its a rambling gripe. I’m ticked off about the summoner thing too because its garbage for countless reasons. None of your statement is PR advice though :joy:

Welcome to the internet and the social media age.

Sorry but you don’t have expertise on this, and none of this original post is helpful.

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When you work entry level and professional positions in customer service for over 25+ years, you get a much better idea of what is needed.

  1. Don’t take things personally. The three biggest reasons customers are mad; They have a problem that they need solved, they received a low level of service and want it addressed, or they had a bad history with the company. All 3 of these things are not personal to a CSR, but fixing these problems are a priority. As soon as the problem is solved, anger disappears magically.
  2. Value empathy over your own feelings. People aren’t looking for your opinion, they are looking for your solutions. Making the customer feel like you are on their side is important, it helps you focus on solving the problem. Seeing things through their POV also helps understand the way to approach a problem. When the CSR and the customer are trying to solve the problem, you indirectly suppress short term anger also.
  3. Focus on your role. The goal of any job is to fulfill the role of the position. Any CSR job is going to have variable distractions constantly since customers do and think differently and all have different feelings and problems. Prioritize focusing on the goals of your position over distracting things such as attitude or drama.

TLDR - Most of the people on the forums (including myself) have problems to solve and are angry at the company, not the CMs representing the company. Solutions need to be quick, accurate and it helps if the person helping can see the problem from the Customer’s POV.

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Well said. Could not agree more.
Cheers!

Till when CM have free will in gaming industry?

I get what you are saying!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my lengthy post.

I never claimed expertise just plain ol’ experience. :relaxed:

I like the scrutiny you had my post under as I see it as being a super valuable part of an intelligent community.
Cheers.

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The question at hand in that case was a fake lawsuit though. I’m not keen to open these floodgates but I don’t think it’s fair to present the issue like that.

Believe me, as an Australian, I’m not wholly satisfied with the state of affairs either. But having comments taken out of context does not foster better communication.

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Doesn’t matter if the question is stupid. You are expected to use at least a decent sentence to close a topic while you are moderating. You are at work, and you are getting paid for that. We request a minimum level of professionalism at the very least.

Imagine going into the grocery store, asking if they sell umbrellas and the clerk says: “Ayyyyyy lmao. No.”

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this sounds exactly like a If a tree falls in a forest experiment.

So… if no action is taken how can you tell they are even listening? :slight_smile:

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I do know people who’ve told me it’s fine to to laugh away customers who are blatantly wasting time or being disruptive, but I’m not going to pretend to know the ins and outs of the service sector or how slippery that slope is so I’ll defer to your experience.

From the perspective of a layperson though, it just feels like there was a bit of missing context. I’m sorry for popping into a contentious topic to split hairs, but I do think it needed to be mentioned given the overarching theme of clarity.

Amazon is good at satisfying the masses but MMORPG players are different from the masses.
Yet, AGS tries to shoehorn Amazon’s mass appeal philosophy into their games which leads to strange decisions. Looking at their production history, I don’t think their approach is working.

As for New World, I think it is an embarrassment for an old gaming studio with huge financial backing to produce a game at that state. The core game is not bad but so many strange decisions (e…g, the watermark system and its recent update) make me think they are out of touch with the customers.

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I’m an accountant, but my studies also prepared me to handle customers because I can also fill a receptionist position if needed.

While I am not a Sales and Marketing Management Senior Technician, in no way I would treat a customer with disrespect or laugh things off, even if they are behaving like a pain in the ass. Even if proper etiquette is taught while you are being prepared to handle clients, it’s common sense too. A sale > your stupid feelings no one cares about at work. In fact, you need to be the most empathetic with those that act like an annoying disgrace to prevent the situation to be handled subjectively instead of objectively.

If a customer asks stupid questions, you must respect them and use the same level of politeness with them as with any other. Of course, there’s also a moment where you have to draw a line. If a customer is disrupting heavily the place where you are working with nonsensical cries, you have two options when dealing with them. You either tell them to come back later before closing the store to try to solve their problem (this is if you know that you can have a guaranteed sale or you are trying to solve a problem with what they have bought), so the flow of the queue isn’t altered because everyone has to wait for that nuisance at the counter, or you go the fast way (this can be easily put in practice with people buying a product more than complaining about what they have bought) and dispatch them quickly telling them that what they want is not possible, so either they accept your conditions and what you have in the store, or sadly they’ll have to look elsewhere, but you never go and say “Huh? Do you want muffins that are milkproof, so they don’t get stained during breakfast? Lmao no”, and do something else instead.

Much less to break the ToS of other companies if my product cannot fulfil my client expectations just like Rox said: “Go to KR/RU game if you aren’t happy with our product”, passively promoting the VPN usage and violation of rules.

She is in a position where she has to deal with consumers. Before gamers, we are consumers. We aren’t her friends, and we don’t want to be her friends, nor do we want to know her opinion. We want the best treatment possible while inquiring about the product that we are consuming.

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“I have been a PR specialist and a Community Manager for about 12 years out of which 3 and a half years have been in the gaming industry.”

Goes on rambling around…

You floor me with your expertise.

i agree on everything you said here. in short patience is required in your job. if you’re not ready for that kind of job then why take it in the first place? even if the customer is wrong you have to be polite no matter what. that’s like a test for you to see your limits and how you handle things. i personally worked at a few jobs where i had to deal with rude customers and complainers who just keep making excuses whatsoever. you have to keep your cool and not act like a jackass to who’s paying you money for the stuff they’re buying. if you act like a jackass not only do you lose a customer but you also risk losing your job due to making the customer feel unwelcomed and that their opinion doesn’t matter etc. even if the customer is wrong you must not argue with them. you have to explain it in a way where they don’t feel attacked by your words nor laughed at by you.

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