Social shopping companies are flocking to Facebook support as a solution for their users, yet gaming companies are behind either by strategy or fluke. This week Konami, a leader in online games is leading the pack and offering one-on-one support for its game, Viva! Mall.
Support can be given directly in the game during play and seamlessly for Facebook. The support functionality is being powered by Parature, a leader in Facebook support tabs for large corporations and one of the world’s fastest growing companies and recently named by JMP as one of 2011′s hottest privately held software company. Parature also powers Threadless and other top name brands since their Facebook integration last year.
“Our gamers are extremely tech-savvy and looking to engage with us where they are, particularly in social media channels, such as Facebook,” said Mr. Shinji Hirano, president of Konami,”We want to provide the kind of service that helps our gamers quickly and painlessly resolve any issues, so they can continue playing the games they enjoy.”
What is interesting about a gaming company offering one-on-one support is both scaling and reputation. Some games have hundreds of millions of users and one small issue can spread quickly, like last fall when FashionWorld users became so outraged they started signing petitions online to get their credits back. Konami seems to be taking a proactive approach; after a few glitches with Castlevania and DanceDance Revolution. Similar to Envolve’s instant chat, Parature is blending real-time messaging with backend CRM support to help Konami be a user friendly leader for Facebook games.
Offering real-time support for gamers is a good move for the future and will certainly raise the bar for other online games. One could argue the game should explain itself, but if brands (including games) want to be taken seriously 2011 is certainly the year for support.