Customer Service Technician
A game company’s first line of conflict resolution to prevent a customer from becoming an enemy for life is the customer service technician. This person answers the frustrated, outraged calls of gamers whose missions have frozen and badges are not displaying properly, and the myriad of other technical glitches that can occur during regular gameplay.
A customer service technician working for a game publisher may be assigned to console titles or online products and will typically be divided into teams that deal with only one or two specific games. This ensures that the technician is appropriately qualified to deal with concerns from customers. He or she is responsible for assisting callers in troubleshooting the issue and offering a solution. Many times, the tech can simply talk the player through a series of simply steps to correct the glitch. In other cases, as with online games, the technician will have network access to enter the customer’s profile and make the hard patches necessary to alleviate the trouble. Under all circumstances, the CS technician is given a written operating procedure that details the established process for addressing every type of glitch. In communicating with the player, the tech is required to obtain certain pertinent information and input that record into a database. The quality assurance department (game testing) uses the stats admitted to the database to understand programming errors in the game and create patches and updates to fix the problem, and provide a record for later reference if a player returns with another issue. The customer service technician reports to the lead CS technician and CS manager, and his or her interaction with customers is closely monitored against company standards.
Skills & Education
As a problem solver that is tasked with troubleshooting technical glitches and with appeasing the customer, the individual in this role should have a solid understanding of game systems, as well as excellent interpersonal skills. A college degree in computer science or game design is beneficial. The customer service technician must be familiar with the systems of the game engine and console platform, as well as multiple computer browsers and network configurations for PC and Mac gaming. Additionally, this position demands a person who can demonstrate strong conflict resolution skills, organization, and focus.
What to Expect
Most large video game publishers employ customer service technicians on a 24-hour schedule; therefore, anyone considering this job should be flexible and willing to work mornings, nights, or weekends. This is typically an entry-level position with a low starting salary, but the job does come with the benefit of getting your foot in the door with a game company. To move into the development studio will take a considerable amount of networking and maneuvering, as customer service techs are not often tapped to take on game design or animation. A more likely move would be to pursue a role within the quality assurance department (game testing) or online community manager. However, there is a great deal that you can learn while acting as a CS tech, and the knowledge about the systems and titles the company produces can prove invaluable during an interview for a better gig.
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