What is this episode all about?
1. Minute 05:48 – Diana tells us all about which tools she uses as a CRM Manager and how personalization is key to engaging players.
2. Minute 8:32 – Diana shares with us how they collect player feedback, by utilizing surveys and Affogata: “Affogata gives an overview of how players are responding to our app, and what’s even better, is that you know, as opposed to surveys, we can see responses in real-time. So, we can confidently say that data is unbiased as players already discussing amongst themselves.”
3. Minute 11:18 – Diana tells us about a new feature Playtstudios added to their game and how important was to gather and analyze player feedback. together sure the feature is delivering an optimal player experience. They analyze topics and keywords, and they even added a new product feature in the product roadmap according to the players’ needs.
4. Minute 14:23 – Diana discusses how analyzing player feedback and sentiment has an impact on retention and how they utilize this feedback in creating real-life rewards for loyal players.
5. Minute 17:32 – Diana shares with us a case study in which they added a new layer to a feature that initially showed a positive spike in players, however, the quantitative data didn’t show enough. Qualitative data then showed them how players were not happy with these rewards and therefore, Playstudios changed its strategy.
Natalie Markovits, Affogata’s host 00:05
How to Leverage player feedback for the ultimate player experience. Hello, and welcome to a new episode of Let’s Talk Customer Feedback. Today we have the pleasure of hosting Diana Choi, CRM manager at PLAYSTUDIOS ASIA. First, let’s say hi to Diana, how are you doing today?
Diana Choi, CRM Manager at Playstudios Asia 01:13
I’m doing great. Thank you for having me on this podcast and excited to chat with you and share some useful insights about what I do as a CRM manager.
Natalie Markovits, Affogata’s host 01:24
We’re super happy to have you here. So, before we dive into the main topic, we would like to hear more about you. Can you tell us how you got into the industry? And what you do today?
Diana Choi, CRM Manager at Playstudios Asia 01:35
Yeah, for sure. So, it’s actually been an interesting journey for me. I started working in the fashion and digital media company called Hypebeast and the company is known for delivering streetstyle-related news, and they’re most up-to-date about the latest sneaker drops. So, I’ve always been interested in fashion and digital marketing. So, that’s where I thought I wanted to be in. Until COVID hit I felt I was sort of hitting a plateau in my career, felt I needed dramatic change, and I knew the gaming industry was still on the rise and definitely one of the industries that rather maintained its rapid growth. So, when I saw an opportunity, I knew this was the risk that was worth a try. So, I remain in the space of digital marketing, but now also branch out to the CRM aspect.
Natalie Markovits, Affogata’s host 02:29
That’s awesome and yes, definitely the games industry is on the rise. So, I think it’s amazing to see how big the industry is getting and so thank you so much for sharing that and before we started, we would like to tell you all a short story.
In 2011, Sony’s PlayStation’s network was hacked, and the personal details of around 77 million users were compromised. People were obviously very confused, and angry, and speculation was rife, as people waited for Sony to clarify what had happened. But Sony took a long wait, that’s not long enough, long time to respond to the criticism, only confirming the possibility that data was stolen nearly a week after the outage. A class action lawsuit was filed the very next day, which was just one of multiple that were to come from this incident. In fact, at one point, Sony faced no less than 55 class action lawsuits as a result of it. Sony apologized numerous times and attempted to gain favor with their customers again, by offering them two PS3 and PSP games from a small selection. However, many complained that they already had the titles they offer, and they should offer more. Customers complained mostly that if something disastrous happens, and here’s the lesson learned everyone, it needs to be communicated as soon as possible, even if you just confirm that you’re investigating it, especially if it’s a data bridge with valuable information at risk. Thank you for joining me and see you next week on tales from the feedback crypt.
Natalie Markovits, Affogata’s host 04:29
So, with that story in mind, we can wait to hear what Diana has to say about all this. So, let’s start. Diana, can you please introduce us a bit to your role in the company and what you do as a CRM manager at PLAYSTUDIOS?
Diana Choi, CRM Manager at Playstudios Asia 04:43
For sure. So, Playstudios has various free-to-play casino apps such as bingo, slots, blackjack, and more. People get to play our apps for free and earn real-life reports in return. So, my current role as the CRM manager as I’ve received my Vegas app, I create and publish content on our social media platforms and deliver messages to our players through email and push notifications. We have different events that take place on the app, and day to day and array of reward partners. So, it’s really important that players are aware of what’s going on in the app and also be informed about any new partnership we have as well.
Natalie Markovits, Affogata’s host 05:27
Love it that it’s so diverse. sounds very interesting and we’ve heard that a lot of the crucial part of the job of a CRM is to implement dynamic strategies and to excitingly engage players in an authentic way. Can you tell us how you do this at PLAYSTUDIOS and what tools do you utilize?
Diana Choi, CRM Manager at Playstudios Asia 05:48
So, on the social side, we use Sprout Social, for scheduling all our content. So, some strategies we use to engage the players and encourage them is to, you know, comment down below some of the questions we ask or share their progress in the mini-game events. On the CRM side, we use Teak, which is a smaller platform that is equipped specifically for gaming and it’s a lot of A/B testing. So, for email, we A/B test different subject lines, as this is the very first thing players see in their inboxes, and for which push notifications, we’ve been A/B testing assets that are embedded. We also utilize personalization and that’s always been part of our strategy. So, as something simple as you know, mentioning the first name in the subject lines, or how many chips they are getting in the campaign messaging really helps with the click rates and another strategy is reoccurring push notifications. So, we would set dynamic conditions where if players have not collected their daily rewards, we’ll remind them to do so.
Natalie Markovits, Affogata’s host 06:59
Right! Personalization, I think it’s always key, especially today with so much competition in gaming, and all the industries also. So, I get what you’re saying that and I bet as a CRM manager, you also get a lot of player feedback. So, can you tell us how this player feedback influenced your day-to-day position?
Diana Choi, CRM Manager at Playstudios Asia 07:20
Yeah, so we definitely received players’ feedback from various platforms, as such, especially from social media pages, like Facebook, Discord channel, Instagram, Twitter, as well as through Appstore reviews. The gaming industry heavily relies on players’ feedback, and quick decisions have to be made when it comes to bugs related to new features and product launches. So, if there are a lot of, you know, high volumes of responses on specific issues, I then relate back to our game engineers and product team. So, with that being said, it can definitely feel overwhelming, and there are a lot of responses to go through each day. So, they can catch up really fast.
Natalie Markovits, Affogata’s host 08:08
And there must be so much noise, right? Like so much to look over, like, it’s hard to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Diana Choi, CRM Manager at Playstudios Asia 08:17
For sure. Yeah.
Natalie Markovits, Affogata’s host 08:19
And so as a CRM manager, do you feel you put the players’ voices at the center of your strategy? And how do you gather this feedback and creative strategies that cater to their needs?
Diana Choi, CRM Manager at Playstudios Asia 08:32
Definitely. So, players’ feedback is crucial to our app development and we’re continuously looking for ways to collect data efficiently from our players to better understand their needs. So, one way to gather this feedback is through conducting surveys. So, whenever we launch new themed slots, mini-game events, we send surveys to a group of players to get direct feedback. So, some of the questions we cover is, ‘did you enjoy the event? If not, what, and why you didn’t like about it?’ ‘Were there any difficulties in understanding how the game works? And would you engage again?’ And another method is using a tool like Affogata, which has been actually amazing benefit to us. So, because it gives an overview of how players are responding to our app, and what’s even better, is that you know, as opposed to surveys, we can see responses in real-time. So, we can confidently say that data is unbiased as players already discussing amongst themselves. So, a great starting point for creating strategies is identifying problems. So, both of these methods are how we put the, you know, players’ voices at the center, so that we can recognize and what we’re lacking and how can we do better to improve their future experience.
Natalie Markovits, Affogata’s host 09:58
I actually really liked that because we have been following Playstudios for a while, and we’ve seen the really the company’s super player obsessed, and we’ve talked to a lot of people from Playstudios, and it’s amazing because we heard, like, we hear from you that you’re not afraid to look for the mistakes and to look for the things that you really need to change, and you’re constantly looking for ways to optimize the game. So, I think that’s awesome, and it really makes Playstudios special.
Diana Choi, CRM Manager at Playstudios Asia 10:27
For sure and we actually have like, you know, like a couple of Facebook pages and we actually stay close in contact with these, like Facebook admins that are like loyal customers to us. So, yeah, we’re very, like, we have a unique bond I would say.
Natalie Markovits, Affogata’s host 10:48
Yeah and at the end, it’s like the most important thing to have these bond with players that will prove your like loyalty to your games in the long term and can you tell us a bit of how you gather, analyze your player feedback? So you already mentioned a bit about the surveys, and Affogata and so maybe I would like to hear more of the second part of it. So, once you’ve gathered these insights, how does the company utilize this feedback to optimize the games?
Diana Choi, CRM Manager at Playstudios Asia 11:18
Yeah, so one great example is when we were gathering initial feedback on our new feature called Clubhouse, it’s a feature that allows players to form a team up to 10 members, and they have to collectively arm points to unlock different levels of bolts to claim rewards at the end. Players can create, invite, join different clubs and club points reset every Monday, so that it sort of acts as an ongoing challenge feature, and this was definitely considered one of the biggest features we have put forward. So, with the use of Affogata, it consolidated all this feedback into one place. So, we created projects by you know, categorizing, and filtering. Firstly, listing out all the keywords and topics that were related to the features such as clubhouse, club, club points, member, this goes on, but sticking to the nouns definitely was useful. Secondly, using a filter to exclude all the posts that were coming from our own handle, as well as certain irrelevant keywords, like nightclubs that might actually clash with what we intend.
Natalie Markovits, Affogata’s host 12:32
Yeah, filtering out that noise.
Diana Choi, CRM Manager at Playstudios Asia 12:34
Exactly. So, we’ve been analyzing players’ feedback and sentiment on a weekly basis since its launch and we found a handful of great insights already such as, you know, feature bugs, uncertainties and how clubhouse actually works, and additional interest. So, bugs-related issues like game engineers are notified right away for, you know, a future investigation. For uncertainties in clubhouse mechanism, we try to communicate and explain better on how the feature actually works and one of the common themes for additional interests was that players wanted to see a chat function within the clubhouse so that they can interact with one another directly in the app. This is a type of feedback that gets passed on to our product team and it’s already in the pipeline for their future development. So, since players currently do not have the ability to interact with each other at this moment, we actually created a Discord channel. So, the club members can communicate online instead. You can imagine there’s a lot of conversations happening. Picking up on the relevant topics through Affogata has been very practical as well.
Natalie Markovits, Affogata’s host 13:57
It’s awesome the process that you just mentioned, like you really mentioned an agile process of like, taking all this real-time feedback and going to the engineers into the product team and really implementing these changes and the goal which makes it such an efficient process for Playstudios. That’s awesome and what role do you think the analysis of player feedback and sentiment has to do with player retention?
Diana Choi, CRM Manager at Playstudios Asia 14:23
Understanding our players has a huge impact on our retention. So, you know, we can assume the more data we have means the more insights you have, but what’s really important is like the quality of data. So, you know, we can look at players’ in-app activity data and performance all day, but without analyzing players’ direct feedback and sentiments like we won’t be able to evolve the game that caters to their needs. So, as mentioned earlier, like running this qualitative analysis help us identify problems and demands so that we can prevent the risk of players churning.
One of the biggest reasons for our players to retain in our app is to redeem real-life rewards as they earn loyalty points from playing the game. So, a lot of the players get excited and share their experiences on our social media pages, you know, they share their photos or videos, they discuss what they enjoy the most, and what more they would like to see, not only brings up the community aspect of myVegas, but also indicates their sentiment and how satisfied are they with our rewards selection. So, you know, our reward selections are anywhere from hotels, dining casinos. We have tours and like so much more and many of them are also geo-location based as well, so that, you know, we have something for everyone. So, we receive a lot of feedback on, you know, when will this reward restock, why isn’t, you know, this reward available, and all of our rewards are based on partners’ availability. So, sometimes it’s difficult because it’s something not in our control. But we do try our best to ensure things are restocked regularly and constantly in the process of extending our partnerships as well.
Natalie Markovits, Affogata’s host 16:24
That’s such a great insight for creating engagement. I think I’ve never heard something like this, it’s awesome. And what are the top three insights that bring your team the biggest impact?
Diana Choi, CRM Manager at Playstudios Asia 16:40
From CRM perspective, it would be clicks, returning users and value, and players’ feedback. We’re almost like going into a full circle here, you know, first, are they clicking into our marketing campaigns. If so, like how many of them are returning to our app and spending in the game and to support these data, like, we could then validate by looking into players’ feedback on you know, their feedback on customer service, technical issues, product, and features. Are they overall satisfied with our game? So, I think like those definitely are top three player insights.
Natalie Markovits, Affogata’s host 17:20
Right! And these insights actually lead us exactly to our next question, which is kind of like how do you intertwine the players’ insights, qualitative and quantitative data?
Diana Choi, CRM Manager at Playstudios Asia 17:32
So, if quantitative data shows what our players are doing, we can find out ‘why’ is behind what our players are doing through qualitative data like feedback and sentiment. So, going back to the clubhouse example, one of the additional layers we executed was hosting a weekly club spotlight on social media pages. Essentially, it highlights the top three clubhouses that have earned the most club points and unlock the highest vault every week. We then reward them with extra chips if they have earned the spot. We added this competitive layer thinking this could potentially increase the club pass activity in the app and based on the quantitative data, we did see an initial spike in activity when we first started the weekly club spotlight leaderboard, but we can week we saw little to no impact in the clubhouse engagement and using qualitative data, we were able to investigate further and find the reasoning behind it. So, for instance, players from lower VIP tiers do not feel motivated enough to participate since high tiers are prone to earn greater club points. So, hence, we started to see patterns were seeing clubhouses take turns ranking in the top three leader board. So, yeah, with this in mind, we were in the process of changing the requirements of weekly clubs spotlight social events, so that, you know, this is more inclusive, and hopefully more motivating for players to engage in the future.
Natalie Markovits, Affogata’s host 19:10
Right. That’s awesome. That’s really great to understand how you mix that data and this may be the hardest question of all and it’s the last question. So, if there would be a dream insight you could get from your players what would it be?
Diana Choi, CRM Manager at Playstudios Asia 19:26
For many free-to-play games, retention is the biggest asset and Playstudios definitely try to put players you know, voices at the center. We can confidently say that we have a strong connection with some of our loyal players who’ve been with us since the beginning, like 10 years probably. So, we actually host a quarterly players roundtable where we get to sit down and openly chat with them alongside our product and rewards team to get in-depth knowledge about their experiences of using the app and this is definitely like, you know, valuable dream insight for sure, as we share feedback, and firsthand. Yeah. So, with this feedback, you know, we really strive towards turning them into actionable strategies. So, every time we have players’ roundtable sessions, we’re definitely grateful for that opportunity.
Natalie Markovits, Affogata’s host 20:28
That’s great and really, like I can keep on saying it more, right? It’s amazing how Playstudios is like really, really emphasizes their strategy on player feedback. I love that.
Diana Choi, CRM Manager at Playstudios Asia 20:39
Yeah, and we really do have that, you know, in a strong bond with all these players, because we host like events offline as well, where we get to meet players in person, and, you know, they can win prizes and presents as well. So, we really have that strong connection. So, I think, yeah, it just always, you know, a great opportunity to really meet them in person and talk to them, like directly as well.
Natalie Markovits, Affogata’s host 21:12
Definitely and with that note, Diana I really want to thank you so much for taking the time to participate in today’s podcast and sharing your insights and the impact of player feedback to create the ultimate player experience.
Diana Choi, CRM Manager at Playstudios Asia 21:26
Thank you, Natalie, again, for having me on this podcast. It was a pleasure speaking with you, and hopefully, we can reconnect again in the near future.
Natalie Markovits, Affogata’s host 21:35
Definitely. Thank you so much.
Diana Choi, CRM Manager at Playstudios Asia 21:38