Who Are the UK’s 2013 Customer Experience Leaders and What Can We Learn From Them (Part 3 – Brands That Have “Cracked The Code”)

This third post completes the series of posts based on the Nunwood’s 2013 annual customer experience excellence report (The UK’s Top Customer Brands: How They Achieve Success).  You can find the earlier posts here:

Who Are the UK’s 2013 Customer Experience Leaders And What Can We Learn From Them? (Part 1)

Who Are the UK’s 2013 Customer Experience Leaders And What Can We Learn From Them? (Part 2)

Which UK Brands Have “Cracked The Code”?

In the executive summary section, I noticed the following assertion:

“Overall there was no change in the mean score across all the brands evaluated. This suggests that …… some brands are improving exponentially and others are falling behind……

There are some brands however who have “cracked the code”, and are making major leaps forward notably Butlins, QVC, Tesco Mobile and Giff Gaff.

In the rest of this post, I wish to take a closer look at Giff Gaff . Why? Because Giff Gaff is innovative and because of the way it actually does put customers at the heart of the business.

Giff Gaff

Who leads the “Value Top 10″ table? Giff Gaff.  What allows this brand, this organisation to create this kind of value for its customers?

Giff Gaff is something of an anomaly in the field of mobile communications. A SIM only provider with no high street presence, it is entirely focused on delivering best value. Giff Gaff gives back to their members through savings – cutting away costs that rivals have to cover such as physical stores, customer service teams …..

A quirky company Giff Gaff say you are not a customer – you are a member of the family.  Members of the Giff Gaff family save considerable amounts on their purchases and receive rewards for promoting services and contributing to their on-line care.

The concept of membership, being part of something, is powerful one and for Giff Gaff it leads to a highly engaged and hugely active online community. 

Drawing its name from a Scottish phrase for mutual giving, this community is encouraged to share ideas, potential rewards and price plans via forums. Many unique selling points and technical developments are credited to members…….

Fundamental to its success has been the unique way they have put customers at the very centres of their business…… The notion of a common sense of purpose with your customers is a powerful one.

What I want to draw your attention to the following:

1. It occurs to me that Giff Gaff is inventing-experimenting with-perfecting a new way of doing business.  Not a customer-centred way of doing business. Nor a shareholder centred way of doing business. No, it is deeply immersed in a ‘community-membership’ way of doing business.  In this way of doing business, the customer plays many roles in addition to the role of customer: as marketer, as sales person, as R&D advisor, as customer services agent, as a ‘shareholder’…..

2. I am clear that Giff Gaff has got social right because social is the heart-ethos of the business. Social is not a bolt-on. Social is the business. I say mutual giving is the definitive test of an authentically social way of showing up in the world.

3. Will Giff Gaff do to the mobile industry what the mini-mills did to the US steel industry?  That is to say is Giff Gaff show up for me as an example of a low end disruptive innovator according to Clayton Christensen model. Or will its parent O2 ‘kill’ it like GM did with Saturn when Saturn became a threat to GM’s way of doing business?

As a member of Giff Gaff I notice that Giff Gaff is travelling the path that Amazon/Bezos has travelled. Which path?  The path of listening to customers and using this listening to figure out which products-services to introduce next. For example, Giff Gaff is no longer a SIM only provider. Giff Gaff now sells a small range of the popular phones.

If you want to learn more about Giff Gaff then I recommend reading the following posts:

giffgaff where customers are ‘members’ who sit at the heart of the organisation

giffgaff: what impact will the 8 hour service interrruption have on brand reputation and customer loyalty?

giffgaff: how to generate delight and advocacy without spending a fortune

Want to learn more

If you want to learn more about these brands (Giff Gaff, Butlins, QVC, Tesco Mobile), or any of the other Top 10 UK Customer Experience brands,  I suggest that you download-read Nunwood’s annual Customer Experience report: CEE-Centre-2013-UK-Full-Report

And the table of the Top 100 UK customer experience brands is here:  NUNW00D-CEEC-UK-2013-TOP-1001

Posted on November 20, 2013, in Brand, Case Studies, Culture, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Customer Philosophy, Customer Strategy, Social and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Maz, following your previous posts I too am a member of the Giff Gaff family and so is my wife.

    Every month Giff Gaff tell me what my best plan is. So I know I could get a better deal from Tesco, but I wonder how long it would last for. Some how being part of the family has made me sticky.

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    • Hello James,
      What can I say? Welcome to the family! I find that your experience, your thinking, resonates with my experience. For me, giffgaff embodies an ideal that speaks to me.

      At your service
      maz

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  2. Hi Maz,
    A quick look at GiffGaff’s accounts shows that their turnover tripled from 2011 to 2012 to reach £75mln, their employees doubled but they are still losing money albeit at a slower rate. I have two concerns:
    1. How long it will take them to reach profitability…..they are still losing nearly 30mln a year…..and how deep are Telefonica O2’s pockets? and
    2. How quick will this business, on the assumption that it does become profitable, become ‘material’ to Telefonica O2? If it doesn’t do that quickly I have concerns about it’s future in the corporate portfolio. If it doesn’t ‘fit’ I hope it gets a chance to go it alone.

    Adrian

    Like

    • Hello Adrian,

      Thank you for sharing this information about giffgaff and raising your concerns. Yes, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Whilst we can and do have views on the future, the fact is that we co-create the future. And if chaos theory is an accurate reflection of how it is then even a butterfly could affect how the world turns out!

      It occurs to me that giffgaff could be a relatively low risk-low cost way of O2 piloting-experimenting with a new way of doing business.

      At your service / with my love,
      maz

      Like

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