It was posted a long while ago, but I liked Gamasutra’s Customer Support Confidential: Customer Support Orientation Guide: An Introduction.
It reminds me of my days at the help desk. While it focuses on the horror story side of tech support, I think that there is a missing component here. Maybe it is because it is geared towards a large casual portal, but I think indie game developers need to look at the upside of customer service.
After all, isn’t tech support just another opportunity to deal with your customers? And isn’t dealing personally with customers one of the benefits of being an indie? You won’t see any of the mainstream publishers getting awards for great customer service anytime soon. In my personal experience, I’ve been ignored, but only after I had to repeat my story to three different people. It was one company, but it was also supposed to be one with a great reputation of doing right by customers. This company made one of the biggest games of the past few years, and I refuse to purchase a copy to this day. Maybe they’re not hurting, and maybe I’m the one who suffers by not being able to play a great game, but I was not satisfied with how they handled my issue.
Anyway, as an indie, you should love it whenever a customer contacts you. If there is a problem, own it. Fix it. Make your game better. You not only help this customer but also the next player. And give credit to customers for enhancements and fixes. People like seeing their names in lights. My girlfriend had her name printed on a website when she emailed to ask a question, and she was pretty excited. Heck, my parents made copies of the newspaper when my letter to the editor was printed.
If you do tech support for a large company, you will probably not care. You’re putting in your hours and getting paid for it. But as an indie, it’s your company. You know you care about your customers, so show some of that care when you interact with them.