[MUD-Dev] Biz: Game support

John Erskine jerskine at ncaustin.com
Fri Nov 14 14:06:22 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


From: Peter Tyson

> Anyone considered moving their game support to India/Asia? At
> first glance, while cheaper, it does provoke issues of
> understanding the subtleties of English, gaming and MMORPGs in
> particular as the support is rarely formulaic phone/email
> answering.

> I believe UO moved some support to India, anyone have any
> experience of it?

I've used outsourced teams in the past and currently use a team in
India for our first level support. Our staff speaks English as their
first language, which is common but this may not be the case with
every provider that you will find. They are excellent at many parts
of the support process, but not for 100% of the process. Having a
clear escalation path is very important and having very good
documentation and 'boundaries' is critical.

The benefit of this model is multi-faceted in addition to a cost
savings. As a manager I benefit from decreased in-house scheduling
headaches, less in-house interviewing, hiring, and training, and
less repetitive 'busy-work' done by my in-house staff.

We find that the offsite team can easily take care of about 60-80%
of the incoming traffic which is generally quite repetitive, and
then they escalate the remainder to our on-site team so that this
team can deal with less 'noise' in the channel. This system works
very well for us, I have zero complaints.

If you asked my personal opinion, I believe that the UO community
had some backlash to the outsourcing changes because there were
other variables involved at the same time (volunteer issues), and
their outsourced team was pushed too quickly into a very context
sensitive situation without enough training or understanding of the
game. Our team has been playing and learning the game for some time
now and they are content experts on par with many of my in-house
staff.

A final point is that they total key to success or failure of a
program such as this is communication, communication,
communication. Our on-site and off-site teams are linked in multiple
ways for constant communication. This includes secure IRC channels,
IM, email distribution lists, VOIP phone extension, daily phone
calls, weekly 'executive' calls, daily reports, etc. etc.

Regards,

John Erskine
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