Meet Sarah Smith— The Customer Support Manager of Guild of Guardians
We’re on a mission to onboard hundreds of millions of gamers into digital ownership via NFTs, by building the world’s most popular mobile RPG where players can turn their passion for gaming into real assets.
It’s a bold ambition, and bold ambitions require relentless focus, teamwork and some of the best talents in the industry. In this ‘Meet the Team’ series, we take a behind-the-scenes look at the team who are passionately building and spearheading the next frontier of gaming.
Meet the process QUEEN Sarah Smith— major gaming enthusiast, problem solver, solution provider and the BOSS Customer Support Manager of Guild of Guardians! With almost eight years of experience in customer support in the gaming industry, Sarah is spearheading our support processes across key platforms. To say she is levelling up the Guild of Guardians team is an understatement.
A die-hard Gamer herself, Sarah understands what it takes to keep Gamers happy, and we are simply thrilled to have her and introduce her to the community!
Tell us about yourself, Sarah
Hello! I’m Sarah! I was born in windy Wellington, over here in New Zealand!
I’ve always had an interest in gaming, even from a young age. My parents used to own a Sega Master System where I would play Alex Kidd, they started me young! We moved on to Playstation with Crash Bandicoot, to Final Fantasy, to Halo, to all the way until we hit PC games — Baldur’s Gate, Diablo II, World of Warcraft, and then out from there.
Over time I’ve been cultivating my extensive and elaborate gaming career (totally a career!). I also took on tertiary studies across multiple disciplines related to web development, game-level design, graphic design, digital concept art, and rounded off my tertiary education with classics and history (LOVE the ancient Greeks, they were a crazy bunch).
In my spare time, I take on all kinds of hobbies with various degrees of enthusiasm — I made my own scented soy candles for a time (and I have 20kg of leftover soy wax to prove it), and I machine-sew cute fluffy stuffed animals (moogles!), I design and sell custom cross stitch patterns, as well as have way too many current cross stitch projects on the go. I have many other discarded hobbies locked away in my storage cupboard…
I also love pets and am accumulating many mouths to feed! I have two dogs, two cats (one an accidental stray that just never left) and many pet fish in my two large aquariums. My largest fish are fancy goldfish breeds, measuring as much as 21cm long!
You’re the Customer Support Manager for Guild of Guardians — What exactly does your role entail? And what does a day in the life at Guild of Guardians look like for you?
As the Customer Support Manager for Guild of Guardians, currently, my role entails managing our Customer Support team, creating policies and practices, and ensuring we’re providing the best service we can to our Guardians! Right now, we don’t have a live game to support, but we do have a few legacy issues which are being tracked and looked into, and iterating on and improving on those cases and our services going forward is my top priority!
My day at the moment looks pretty hectic, and mostly revolves around finding ways to ensure that our services are helpful and far-reaching. This can include anything from reviewing tickets that were created during the latest gameplay demo for feedback and reports, to watching the search hits on our help desk, to creating policies and documentation from scratch that will help our agents to quickly solve any similar problems in the future! At the same time, I am also implementing the infrastructure to ensure that any major issues have a clear and quick escalation path and that we have the resources to be able to resolve those issues as quickly as possible.
You have extensive experience working as customer support for Web2 games, what are some differences you find when working with gamers in the Web3 space?
I have worked in Customer Support for Web2 games for seven years, and in some ways, there isn’t a lot of difference between Web2 and Web3 players from a Customer Service perspective. There is a lot of crossover between the key audiences and attitudes!
Some differences I’ve already noticed so far mostly relate to our players at the moment having a better understanding of blockchain and, by extension, more complicated financial-themed concepts than an average-joe gamer. Topics such as staking, reward pools and governance are not something that I’ve ever seen come through via customer channels before, but were one of the first topics I encountered when I joined Guild of Guardians in May!
We’ve put in extensive legwork so far to build help documentation around these concepts, but we have a ways to go to really fill those gaps out and ensure we’re providing really helpful information for anyone who may need to bridge that gap in their knowledge!
As a customer support manager, what do you think makes players happy?
In my experience, both as a Customer Support rep and as a customer myself who has had to utilise those kinds of services, I believe most players appreciate communication, respect, and understanding.
It’s a pretty natural expectation to contact any customer support and receive good communication from their agents, but I do sometimes feel that respect and understanding may be lost in the process of chasing a quick turnaround on the customer’s issue. It’s also a reality that sometimes customer issues can’t be resolved immediately — there are other dependencies and departments that may need to get involved in triaging those more difficult, unexpected problems.
At Guild of Guardians, our focus is on providing really valuable and friendly interactions with our customers and keeping them in the loop. We value our Guardians, and that should be reflected in our communication and every aspect of our service.
Some gaming companies believe that customer support is not important. Why is it important that we have a world-class support system for the Guild of Guardians?
Players and the community are the backbone of our game, and they are the reason we are on this journey! How can we claim, as game developers, that we want to make an amazing Web3 game that represents and empowers our players if we are not able or willing to support their efforts in the game itself? We wouldn’t be able to, because the sentiment just doesn’t align with our ethos.
Guild of Guardians will do anything we can to ensure that our Guardians encounter excellent Customer Support for any aspect of the game or our services that we can help them with, and it is my job to build and deliver on that expectation in time for our alpha and beta releases. We will test and iterate until we have it working like a well-oiled machine for the final release!
What are some of the most notable feedback you have received from the Guild of Guardian test players?
We received so much feedback in support of our vision and the direction of Guild of Guardians, it was really amazing to see.
We also received our fair share of very honest constructive feedback on details we can improve, from combat and abilities all the way through to level terrain and visual effects. The calibre and detail of the feedback we’ve received from the most recent gameplay demo will be instrumental in delivering a polished and well-rounded experience in the future. Thank you all so much!
What are the challenges you face working in customer support for a game using blockchain technology?
Utilising blockchain technology for gaming is a totally new and different user experience, not just from a developer perspective but also from a customer perspective. It’s not something that is well documented or implemented in the gaming industry just yet, so we are coming up with the game plan from scratch!
There’s a whole new element of learning and understanding what a customer encounters with Web3, and that comes with its own complications. Hardcore gamers that come to try Guild of Guardians might find there’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to blockchain marketplaces, wallets, the difference between Web3 layers, etc. The challenge we have is to ensure that our Customer Support team are well equipped to help answer those questions and that we have the resources for players new to Web3 to easily understand those aspects of the game if they want to.
What excites you the most about working on Guild of Guardians?
I’m most excited about getting in on the ground floor and being involved in the building of something really special. I’m a gamer, and being given the opportunity to help build and iterate on a game that I myself would love to play, is like something from a dream.
On top of all of that, the Guild of Guardians team is amazing! I challenge you to find a more dedicated, welcoming or hardworking group of people. I can only say that there’s so much work going on behind the scenes that our community doesn’t get to see while we’re building the infrastructure to get the game launched. We’re at the forefront of blockchain gaming and tackling all of the unforeseen challenges that come with it — there’s lots of hard work involved, and no one on the team shies away from it, it’s truly inspiring to be able to tackle our goals head on knowing you have the full support of the Guild of Guardians team behind you.
What are you most passionate about and why?
The community! We have such an amazing community interested in our project and showing up for us every day to provide feedback and encouragement! It’s our community that inspires us to ensure our Customer Support team are indeed Guardians in every sense of the word. We will champion your cause, we will listen and make sure your issue gets seen behind the curtains, and we will yell loudly when we need to, to ensure that our players are heard. We have the privilege of paving the way for a successful and satisfying customer experience for all of our Guardians. That’s really inspiring!
Where can we follow you on social media?
You can follow me on Twitter, LFGOG! @gollygoshdarnit
We hope you enjoyed getting to know our BOSS Customer Support Manager, Sarah Smith. Stay tuned for the next edition to learn more about the people behind the game, Guild of Guardians.
Until next time.