cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Introducing our Referrals Manager

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 04-04-2007

Introducing our Referrals Manager

Hi there.
My name is Mark Kelly and I'd like to introduce myself to the Community as the new Referrals Manager for PlusNet.  This is a new role that the business has created to solely manage and improve the service offered to our Referring customers.  I would like to thank our referring customers for the massive part they have played in the growth of this company.
I’ll give you some background about me. I used to be a referrer.   Before coming to take up a new challenge at PlusNet, I was a partner in a successful IT Consultancy company in Northern Ireland.  As a PlusNet customer, I referred many of my clients up until early 2006, when the quality of service deteriorated and I, unfortunately, lost confidence.
Being heavily involved with the PlusNet online community, I had close contact with PlusNet and I was also an active member of the PlusNet UserGroup.  From these associations stemmed an opportunity to join the team back in October 2006, initially as a Technical Support Manager in the Customer Support Centre.  It was a hard decision to make, leaving my business behind and relocating to England, but it has definitely been one of the best decisions of my life!
My primary responsibility in my new role is to build a relationship with our referral community, enhance the service and benefits that our referring customers receive and, ultimately, to give our referrers the support they need and the confidence to refer again.  I will be involved in everything we do internally too, with the intention of improving and driving benefits to the customer experience.
Over the coming weeks you will hear more from me about a revamp of our referral programme with enhanced benefits and offers.
Before we get to that point, I really need to hear your thoughts, ideas and suggestions. You are the people who are referring and I need to know what I can do to help you continue to refer our products.
My team and I will be on hand in this forum and I am really looking forward to the discussion.


33 REPLIES
nexcore
Newbie
Posts: 7
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Introducing our Referrals Manager

Hello Mark,
It's good to have someone who we refferers can talk to finally. I remember back at the end of 2004 a chap by the name of Nick Silverwood contacted me with talk of a new PlusNet Reseller programme. Don't know what happened to that but it seemed to vanish - it promised a much more business orientated approach to the referral scheme which I was all for at the time. I hope that with your arrival perhaps we can revisit that?
I've been referring clients and friends to PlusNet / Free-Online for coming up to 10 years I guess. I also have my own small IT Consultancy firm which has changed a bit over those 10 years and we now basically concentrate on business clients.
I have carried on referring PlusNet even through the last two difficult years. I have always believed in the term "better the devil you know"! Fortunately it seems the competition wasn’t up to much either. My clients trust me and my recommendations and the disruptions haven’t caused enormous grief for me. The only major complaints came when traffic shaping prevented some of my friends / domestic clients from downloading vast amounts of illegal movies. I’m no saint but it’s hard to complain about that really.
If anything the recent webmail security breach has finally got you lot to do something I’ve been wanting you to do for ages. Having a spam filter that doesn’t actually send the spam! Much better idea holding it at your end and auto deleting it after 30 days. Less bandwidth wasted and much less hassle.
I suppose if I was to criticise anything it would be the referral values which have steadily dropped, admittedly in line with the falling cost of broadband, but 25p is bit measly!
I would like to be able to access all the accounts that I have referred through my portal so I don’t have to keep logging in and out to do basic things like Moving ADSL or changing account details / passwords etc. It’s also nice to see which of my clients are still using you – something I can’t do right now. When I go to the Current Referrals section it’s a huge anonymous list – not at all useful. I appreciate that permission needs to be given by the client in question but that should be easily achieved.
We are moving into reselling VOIP products fairly shortly and I have been told by fairly knowledgeable people that the Tiscali LLU platform is not good enough yet for that. What are your comments?
That’s all I can think of right now……
Best regards,

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 3,082
Thanks: 1,515
Fixes: 9
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Introducing our Referrals Manager

You might like to take a look at some of the entries in the PUGIT database over on the Plusnet usergroup site  http://usergroup.plus.com/
Particularly PUGIT 262 which identifies many of the issues you highlight.  Add a vote it does help PlusNet assess relative priorities.
http://usergroup.plus.net/pugit/view.php?id=262
MauriceB
drgraphics
Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Introducing our Referrals Manager

Hi Mark,
Great to see more continuous improvements I have seen within Plusnet over the years I have been with them and good to see a company that will hold thier hand up when they have got it wrong. I'll have to confess I was a little dismayed to read that Plusnet had been bought by BT retail a while back but it seems the Plusnet standards haven't dropped as a result. I have had many hours of frustration with BT 'help'lines in my professional role as a support engineer through my last couple of jobs!
One continual problem I have however had with the Plusnet referal scheme is that referals I have made don't seem to have been picked up by the Plusnet system when the user has signed up for your services. This has been the main reason Plusnet haven't seen any referals from me recently although I have always recommended Plusnet (where this doesn't conflict with my job)
My referals show a meger four users signed up through me refering them yet there have been several more users I have refered that don't seem to have become registered as my referals.
Can you shed any light on this?
Best regards and looking forward to your improvements,
Dave Randall
kitz
Rising Star
Posts: 817
Thanks: 46
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Introducing our Referrals Manager

Quote
I suppose if I was to criticise anything it would be the referral values which have steadily dropped, admittedly in line with the falling cost of broadband, but 25p is bit measly!

Agreed. Ive already mentioned this over on PUG.
Whilst I can perhaps see why its only 25p with the "cut to the bones"BBYW Option1", I feel its a bit mean on the £14.99 account.  Particulary so, when you may have accounts that have been on BB+ for a couple of years, and they then follow the suggestion and change to BBYW Option2. Sad
vpayne
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Introducing our Referrals Manager

It was nice to referred to as someone who has made the free-online company a success and to offer us a forum of our own.
Why did we refer people , well why not when there are so many poor service providers out there. When we have learnt from experience that Free-online is better than most, why not share that with freinds and family.
Problem though , I can't honestly say I would refer another person to free-online. Not until they return to the good value service that listens to it's customers.
I've looked at the new options and I'm not convinced and you know what if I needed a fixed IP address , I could only get this added to my account if I switched to the new options.
Call that service ? Call that looking after the customers who have helped make you what you are ? I don't think so.
Let me know when your really ready to start listening and acting on the requirements of your loyal customer and then I might start to beleive some of the rhetoric.
Vic
jjlothin
Grafter
Posts: 38
Thanks: 3
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Introducing our Referrals Manager

Hi Mark
I applaud your enthusiasm but over the past couple of weeks I've had YET MORE instances of long delays in delivery/receipt of PlusNet emails plus also instances of emails I've been told have been sent to me but have totally evaporated into cyberspace.
Currently I feel rather embarrassed about the 3 poor friends whom I've lured into PlusNet. It would be nice to think that PlusNet will really get back to where they were when I originally signed up, but I'm sceptical. I'm giving it another couple of months before I review the situation again and possibly migrate to IDNet.
But best of luck with a Herculean task!
Rose
ridsdale
Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Introducing our Referrals Manager

Hi Mark,
can you please post your e-mail address - so we can contact you directly - Ta
Kevin
cheese62
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Introducing our Referrals Manager

Hi Mark,
Good luck in your new post.
Regards,
Neil.
netutgamer
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Introducing our Referrals Manager

Mark,
Im glad there is someone now responsible directly for referrals, your first job is probably to address the 'procuration fees' you provide us with for sending customers your way, BT have an interesting approach using tradedoubler.
I know money isn't everything, but £0.25p or £30.00 for a sign up. (obviously the £30.00 is a one off, but thats 10 years worth of subscription!

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Introducing our Referrals Manager

Hi all and I mean all who have taken the time and made the effort to post responses following the email I sent today. It is really encouraging.
Very many points have been raised in the various threads and I promise I will address each one, but not tonight, it is a bit late tbh. Smiley
I will visit this forum during normal waking hours on Saturday and respond to all the points raised.
I really appreciate the responses so far. Only through discussion can I become aware of the issues faced by the referral community.
I am up for the challenge and the debate and my team and I are keen to discuss your concerns and help resolve your issues, where possible. I will respond to each of the points raised in the threads and try to address any concerns and discuss improvements.
Once again, thanks for the posts so far. I look forward to the continued discussion.


Beejay
Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: 09-06-2007

Re: Introducing our Referrals Manager

I am prompted by "Introducing our referrals manager" to make this post.  I have made two referrals, one left in desperation, he even found Talk-Talk's service preferable.  The other has stayed on the basis that the devil you know is better...
After a persistent problem with slow running that occurred after BT repaired a fault on my voice line,  for about a month PlusNet offered sympathy but were unable/ unwilling to forward a complaint to BT, despite
my line performance meeting the criteria for so doing.
Two weeks ago, I hung on to an unanswered telephone call to the technical broadband helpline for over 30 minutes.
It will be a long time before I refer anybody again.
sourceit
Grafter
Posts: 127
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Introducing our Referrals Manager

Good luck, you've got a lot to do and a lot of unhappy people to win round!
I take it you will be collating the responses and then taking them back to your managers to see what they think.  From there decisions are down to them to make. Suppose a voice from the referrer in the meeting is better than none.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Introducing our Referrals Manager

Hi all.
It is really fantastic to see the response from our referral community.
I will approach this role with openness and honesty and with a great deal of experience of PlusNets business and referral model.
I reckon I know whats broken with it but I have no doubt that there are other things which you guys know about and can suggest and that is what I am here for, to listen, and where I can, deliver.
I am in absolutley no doubt that we have not delivered the stable and quality products and services which our customers and our referrers demand during last year. I know because I and my clients suffered the same hassle as you guys.
However, since joining PlusNet in October last year, I have seen a massive transformation. The changes and improvements within the Support Centre were fantastic. The reduction in call wait times, the quality and speed of ticket responses, the launch of a superb Business Support Team and the level of recruitment and the quality of training supplied are just a few examples.
This year we increased bandwidth, got ourselves a new CEO and launched our very successful Broadband Your Way products.
At the start of the year we set one of our company objectives as "Stop p***ing our customers off"
Then bang. Webmail incident. Way to go PlusNet, we've done it again.
I along with many others worked incredible hours during that period. Team Plusnet swung into action and you know what, I was impressed with the enthusiasm, speed and dedication of the people involved. I had been proud to work with Plusnet prior to this, but those couple of weeks increased that level of pride massively.
Yip we pi**ed you guys off once again. But we learned a hell of a lot and the business got the kicking it deserved.
This is one hell of a competitive industry and none of us are running around with rose tinted spectacles. We know that if we dont deliver we wont survive. Delivery is what this is all about.
The business will deliver the stability and the products and I will do my level best to convince and prove to you guys that we are back on track. The pride and confidence I have, I hope will become apparent as we get to know each other.
We are not yet perfect. You guys and our general forum community will spot the problems and the flaws and my team and I need to hear from you so that we can address those issues and fix them.
I need to make life as a referrer as easy for you as I possibly can. Our busines is not built on an advertising model. It is a referral business and always has been. It is you, our referral communtity who have helped build this company and for that we will always be greatful. Now its payback time and my job is to ensure that we deliver the processes you need as referrers.
This thread has thrown up some specific probelms and I am happy to address individual difficulties and concerns. If those such as Beejay and jjlothin would like to drop me a PM I'd be happy to deal with your issues.
In this forum I will be collating all the ideas and suggestions put forward and discussing the possibilities with you guys.
I have a number of thoughts already and will put a case to the directors based on your feedback. As maurice has mentioned further up the thread, PUGiT (PlusNet UserGroup Issue Tracker) contains suggestions for referrers and I'd love to see the vote count increase off the back of this forum, however this is your board and all ideas and suggestions are welcome here.
I am really looking forward to working with our referral community and delivering the level of support you guys need and deserve.
Thank you for the kind words, good wishes and feedback so far. It is really appreciated.




arlehaven
Grafter
Posts: 67
Registered: 10-06-2007

Re: Introducing our Referrals Manager

Smiley  Good luck mate in the new post, rather you than me!
      I know you'll do a great job though.
When is the "new role" party, wouldn't mind gettin the Black Sheep in.
Behave people, I'm talking about the ALE.  Shocked