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Friday, 22 July 2011

Forrester Groundswell Award Entry – giffgaff: The mobile network run by you

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Forrester Groundswell Award Entry – giffgaff: The mobile network run by you
by vincent on 22-07-2011 14:41 - last edited on 22-07-2011 14:44
Hi all,

Some of you might remember our success last year during the Forrester Groundswell Awards and we can all be proud to say we won. So a year has passed and our community has gone from strength to strength with all of your fantastic input and hard work.

With the 2011 Groundswell Awards just around the corner, our success last year and the continuous success of our community, we were left with no choice but to try and prove just how great we all are again So I've written another submission for the awards and hope you all enjoy reading it.

We will need your support this year again, so please go vote for us, or even leave a review if you feel like it:

Thank you all so much for your continued support and craziness



Forrester Groundswell Award Entry – giffgaff: The mobile network run by you

‘giffgaff’ is an old Scottish term referring to the process of mutual giving – the perfect name for a company whose passionate and knowledgeable members are not only the front line of customer support but also a driving force in the running of the company itself. In fact, our tag line is ‘The mobile network run by you’. We don’t do large call centres and we don’t do big budget advertising. Instead, we rely on our growing user-generated pool of knowledge that is our community, where people get help fast and where customer debate and discussions helps us shape and grow the business.

Our team started off with 9 people and we now have 20 (if you don’t count our members!) We actually don't expect the team to grow much more than this. It’s because we’re still small and nimble, with a great community that work with us, that giffgaff outperforms the category. In fact, every month giffgaff is outperforming the month before across a wide variety of metrics, from traffic to active members.

giffgaff’s online only community model continues to astound with amazing results.

Some fun community statistics, showing our community’s successes and commitment:

The community is a great place to find answers. The average response time from giffgaff’s community members is less than 90 seconds, when compared to an industry standard of 15 minutes. Each question gets about 11 responses and 100% of all questions asked are answered by the community, within 90 seconds on average. And over 100,000 kudos (‘thank you’s’) have been given out. Our community beats big networks’ expensive call centres hands down, helping us keep prices low. To quote a community member, Simon69c: “you tend to get far more coherent answers (from the giffgaff community) than from many of the call centres I've experienced over the years.”

It’s a pretty positive place to be. In a recent customer satisfaction survey, our members rated our customer service 9/10 and our Net Promoter score was 73% (according NPS website Google rates as 73% and Apple as 74%). giffgaff's Customer Health Index is 829, which puts giffgaff in the top 5% of all communities globally serviced by Lithium

It’s a serious store of knowledge, with some committed contributors. Since we launched a year and a half ago our members have spent 21,379,455 minutes online, that's nearly 41 years! Over 1.5 million searches and over half a million posts have been made, where members have been helping each other to answer questions and queries. Last month our top ten members hardly slept, spending over 15 hours a day online, with one of our members reading over 46,000 pages and another busy member posted nearly 3000 times.

It’s a place where great ideas are generated. When giffgaff launched, we opened ourselves up to the community by asking them to post their suggestions and ideas on a dedicated page on the website. One and a half years later, and 3200 ideas have been posted, which have all been discussed and considered during monthly management meetings. Of those 3200 ideas, 168 have been implemented and are now live, 58 have been accepted and will go live and 64 are under consideration for implementation. (1629 ideas are duplicates)

But it is not just discussions, ideas or customer service our members do for us. They are also heavily involved in marketing giffgaff with us, with 43% of connections coming from directly trackable member get member activity. Our fantastic members have created over 150 commercials & videos to assist in marketing and eight different mobile apps on all the different mobile platforms with a host of other applications and projects still on the go. And when giffgaff could not create and deliver micro sims to our new members they got together and created a complete end to end distribution channel, run by our members for our members which has now been officially incorporated into our site.

So how does it work? giffgaff is based on values of mutuality, and our model is a mutual one. Payback is a key element of how it all works.

By rewarding our members to help out and spread the word, we can keep our running costs low and therefore can give back with great products and propositions. We offer everyone the opportunity to help each other out by answering questions on the forum and referring friends in return for earning points that can be redeemed as money, credit or donated to the charity the community chose.

Most of our members earn points participating in one or both activities– helping us grow by referring a friend or helping out others on the forum.

We had our first Payback in June 2010, and 44% of all our members got Payback. Some top members earned several hundred pounds, however members who got payback earned £14 on average. In November 2010, the top earner received over £900 and a further top ten earners each making £450 on average, meaning a very merry Christmas for giffgaff’s growing community. This payback period (Dec 2010 to May2011) over 34,000 members have received payback, with over £250,000 payback between them. Our top earner received over £3,300.

giffgaff's mutual model paves the way for a new generation of social brands, which provide real consumer value through embracing the passions and skills of their membership communities, whilst growing an army of loyal advocates in the process.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as we enjoy all the various great things we do with our community. Without them giffgaff would be nowhere.

Our hats are off to everyone involved.

Many thanks,


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