How to improve customer service for board game buyers through an e-commerce platform

Przemek Trubalski
20 minutes

Many owners of growing board game businesses struggle with a lack of adequate resources: time, finance, and people. This has a direct impact on the very low quality of customer service. The right customer service tools and solutions can help in this situation, both within the e-commerce platform and beyond it.

Creating and  building a platform to sell board and card games is only part of the process that leads to success in this rapidly growing market. Effectiveness can only be achieved through in-depth knowledge of the industry and well thought-out solutions when implementing an e-commerce platform. Proper customer service is one of the leading areas in running a board game business. 

The culture of extreme urgency built up by the Internet is a very difficult environment for conducting business. Providing the right level of customer service is not at all easy. As many as 80% of companies are convinced of excellent customer service and fantastic experiences they deliver to customers. The customers are of a different opinion, with only 8% of them sharing the companies’ beliefs. In the complexity of difficulties, however, there are also opportunities worth exploiting. On the one hand there is enormous growth in e-commerce, on the other hand 21% of millennials say they are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. It is essential to take advantage of this fact, and it is important not only to meet customers’ requirements, but also to exceed them.

Using the platform for better customer service

Every owner of a board game platform should develop their own style of customer service, communication with customers and build an appropriate process for handling queries, contact, assistance, etc. So it’s a good idea to start by designing at least one diagram for the process of customer service on the platform.

Identification of customers

Knowing the customer, their needs, habits and attitudes towards changing trends is the key to success, according to the concept of me-commerce, which is becoming increasingly popular in the e-commerce industry. There are no shortcuts here, you have to keep up with changes and trends. Customers’ expectations are changing all the time, and the task of a board games platform is to meet their expectations.

A good customer is a satisfied customer.


The essence of building the right relationship with customers is communication. In order to propose the best channels and ways of communication, it is necessary to study preferences of users, see which tools they use most often in contact with the company. Telephone, live chat or e-mail may no longer be sufficient for communication. It is also worth testing other tools: Messenger, Whatsapp, Skype, Telegram, Twitter, Discord, etc. However, in the beginning you can choose one tool, get your users used to it and communicate effectively and consistently there.


To get to know your customers and establish lasting relationships with them, a personalised approach is essential. Customers expect to be treated uniquely, shortening the distance, addressing them by name, procedures that make communication simply human, definitely improve the interaction of customers with the platform. Especially in the board game industry, expert knowledge counts. For customer service is not just about simply addressing problems and answering questions, but also about making suggestions, following the customer, sharing expertise, details. Such an approach builds the credibility of the platform and attracts regular customers who know that they can always count on professional, highly personalised assistance from the customer service, also in terms of purchases. 


In addition, dedicated messages give you the best chance of receiving feedback, an evaluation, or a recommendation of a product, shop or service. This not only increases the value of the platform in the eyes of customers, builds the reach of the brand, but it can also be a valuable source of ideas for improving customer service (especially when customers give negative comments). How do you compete for customers; recommendations and feedback? By encouraging them give reviews after each transaction. Using bonuses for subsequent orders, offering free e-books or free delivery above a certain price threshold of the order, offering promo packs, card sets, sleeves for cards, posters, etc.


Even if the platform uses communication automation tools, e.g. chatbots, mailing, knowledge bases, etc., it is worth taking care to properly configure questions so as not to bombard the customer with dry, impersonal messages. It is always necessary to answer questions in a personal manner, to build up consistent communication and thus a relationship with users, i.e. potential customers. It is important that solutions are as simple, fast and effective as possible, so that they do not involve users beyond their need to obtain information quickly. A key indicator for the automation of customer service processes is to minimise the customer’s efforts in receiving a response. Self-service, therefore, means properly structured support sections, FAQs, a knowledge base, the ability to change orders by oneself, redirection of shipments, etc. Don’t forget that the use of solutions facilitating automation is also very important in the mobile channel!

A dissatisfied customer sets an opportunity.

Practice makes perfect

The issues indicated above will allow you to easily make your e-commerce platform a real customer service machine. So you can choose any step, or focus on perfecting one or two selected areas to improve customer service you offer. We propose below some specific solutions in the area of e-commerce platform that can help to build the best customer service. However, it is worth treating it more as a starting point and a necessary minimum to build your own path to customer service for creating the best possible user experience:

11 solutions to improve customer service

  1. Communicate with customers
    Nowadays, valuable customer service does not end with just handling payments on the website and shipping goods. Customer service today includes communication and automation within the platform. Every form of communication and even the shortest feedback is more valuable than silence and ignoring customers. This is the easiest way to lose them. Taking the time to make polite contact, however short and simple, will always result in good customer relations.
  2. Use a multi-channel support system
    It is nowadays an absolute necessity to interact with customers, especially in terms of assistance or handling enquiries. Ticket submission in the system must be linked to phone or email support. The customer should not describe their problem every time, the support for each contact channel must know the context of the issue, actions taken earlier and the status of the problem solution.
  3. Personalize your contacts
    The above-mentioned context-sensitive service through multiple communication channels is just one of the techniques of contact personalisation. Addressing users by their first name, good manners and respect in conversation, flawless spelling build good relations, increase the accessibility of the platform, show the operator’s very personal and professional approach to each, even the smallest issue.
  4. Give customers the option of tracking shipments
    Providing a tool in the customer panel to track the status of orders not only makes customers feel pampered and well-served, but also reduces unnecessary contact on the matter and saves a lot of time on the platform itself.
  5. Inform customers of the product availability
    The strategy of building tension around new products can be very effective in e-commerce, especially in a board game platform. Many new titles are impatiently awaited by game fans. Therefore, it is worth taking care of notifications about the availability of titles, but also other tools for informing about news, for example the good old RSS for news, blog posts posted on the platform, etc.
  6. Automate communication
    Automatic communication with users via chatbots, contact forms, FAQs, quizzes or a knowledge base not only speeds up contact, gives quick feedback to customers and is helpful in solving minor problems, but also saves time, money and energy for the platform operator. Implementing automation into those processes that are suitable for automation allows you to develop other functionalities that can add value to communication, customer service or sales.
  7. Build a game finder
    In this context, a powerful game search engine combined with a quiz, where the user can specify their preferences for the game they are looking for, will be great. Narrowed results corresponding to searches allow easier purchase decisions and are a great tool for customer service automation.
  8. Make it easy to replace elements
    Lost elements, missing pawns or cards are often a real nuisance and discomfort for players. The possibility of ordering missing parts of the game through the lost elements form, in a great way strengthens relationship with customers, building an image of a helpful company, for which efficient solving of customer problems is a standard.
  9. Always ask for feedback
    It is worth asking customers not only about their needs, but also about their impressions of the customer service. This makes it easier to receive feedback and build recommendations to further improve customer service. Think of customer service as a continuous improvement process in which there is always room for improvement.
  10. Go beyond the platform with your communication
    Communication with customers can also take place outside of your platform, a lot of valuable information about your customers can be obtained during offline contact (phone), and through messengers (Messenger, Skype, Whatsapp, Telegram, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter), etc. This knowledge, and above all practice, then allows you to build the best customer service experience.
  11. Don’t forget about social media
    Excellent customer service for a board game platform would not be complete without proper communication with users on social media channels. Here, interaction with customers (or potential customers) plays a significant role. In Facebook groups or discussion forums, problems often arise which can be solved by the owner of the platform, while convincing existing and potential customers of promptness of response and quality of customer service. As an operator, you can also respond to unhelpful or negative comments by offering quick solutions to problems, small rewards or, for example, small prizes for spotting errors, etc.

Customer service is an ecosystem

Customer service today must be thought of as a system of communicating vessels. At its centre is the e-commerce platform with its solutions and tools, e.g. after-sales service, helpdesk etc. However, good customer service is no longer just about handling payments on the website and shipping goods. Customer service today also includes communication and automation within the platform (chatbots and live chat), communication outside the platform itself (telephone, Skype, Whatsapp, etc.), and communication in social media channels. Here, the belief that every customer can be a micro influencer and create a good image for the platform on social media plays a significant role.

Chart 1. Example of a diagram for customer service ecosystem in an e-commerce platform, based on external solutions.

Why customer service is so important?

There is a saying that a good customer is a satisfied customer. And there is no exaggeration in this if you look at figures. They say that acquiring a new customer is up to 25 times more expensive than keeping an existing one. However, a customer who is satisfied with the customer service and contact is likely to come back for more purchases, and the chance of completing a purchase is up to 70% for a regular customer, compared to a maximum of 20% for a new customer. Thus, the most important measures that can and should be taken in terms of customer relations in e-commerce are:

  • excellent quality customer service
  • aiming at increased customer retention
  • and aiming at reduced customer churn 
Chart 2. Losses caused by bad customer service.

The stakes are significant.  Although there is no reliable research on customer retention in the board game industry, statistics and figures from the e-commerce industry in general can be an excellent reference point. In the U.S., companies lose 62 billion dollars a year due to poor customer service. So there is a lot to play for, and churn is currently the hottest buzzword in the e-commerce industry.

The power of the almighty churn

Churn rate, that is the percentage of customers who leave, has become more than just a marketing term. Many analysts evaluate the overall health of a company on the basis of this indicator, which can be studied, for example, by analysing the number of user departures in the Google Analytics panel. The higher the customer churn rate, e.g. 35% (i.e. 35 customers out of 100), the worse the company is doing in terms of profitability. Significantly, many CEOs and managers prefer to use retention rates and see only the bright side of their business, i.e. the number of retained customers. This short-sighted tactic can prove to be a mistake, as analysing the churn rate gives you a better understanding of business problems and allows you to control them. Observing the churn rate allows you to quickly adjust your marketing strategy if it starts to rise. What’s more, it also allows you to make predictions about future customer behaviour.

There is also another saying in the trade sector: a dissatisfied customer sets an opportunity. An unfavourable churn rate should therefore be seen as an opportunity to retain customers. This will be facilitated by building an anticipative strategy, being open to the customer, offering new services, etc. In doing so, it is important to look at the indicator not as a number, but as the real behaviour of departing customers and to do everything possible to retain them. 

Marketers who use churn in their analysis emphasise that it is always worth comparing the rate on a year-on-year basis to build a knowledge base of what can be done to better serve customers and improve the rate in the following year. The churn rate is also affected by acquiring inappropriate customers, i.e. those who quickly disappear from the shop’s reach. However, this seems to be one of the minor problems in the board game industry, as customers here are very aware of their choices and preferences and are attached to brands and titles. 


An excellent and popular product in the board game world, a powerful platform integrated with the best solutions for the user path, a huge community focused around the game or the publisher – these factors are not enough to succeed in the increasingly crowded board and card game market.

Chart 3. Benefits from good customer service.

Customer service is the element that, with good planning, guided improvement, can make a significant difference to your competitors. Standing out with a consistent, fast, friendly, personalised, well-cultured process for handling enquiries and contact between the platform and users is something that can distinguish you from your competitors. Building up an expert position, responding to issues in communication or product reviews will ensure status, trust and customer loyalty. 

Certainly there are many tasks to be performed by every owner of an e-commerce platform with board games in order to achieve the ideal customer service: from proper analysis, through process structuring, training a dedicated team of consultants, building tools, to drawing conclusions and improving customer service as a continuous process. However, it is worth remembering that many of these issues and tasks can be ensured by a well-designed, configured and implemented  – right from the start – e-commerce platform. Is it worth it? Certainly yes, because even the smallest improvement in customer service can result in better conversion. And every board game publisher dreams of excellent conversion and efficient customer service. It can be achieved, you just have to try out!

Are you a publisher or distributor of board games and need a modern e-commerce platform to sell products? Write to us, let’s talk about your business needs!


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