Say hello to Blake
Blake, or ajapayne as he is known on our forum, has been a giffgaff member for 9 years.
Blake’s really big on tech - and spends a lot of time helping people with their tech problems. By day, he’s a software engineer - problem-solving and suggesting solutions. And when he’s not at work - he’s passing on some of his tech knowledge by helping out giffgaff members across our forum. Nice one, Blake.
Incredibly, Blake also brews his own wine in his spare time. Nowadays, he’s experimenting with exciting new flavours like Chilli, Ginger or Mixed Berries. His next batch of Chilli wine will be ready to drink in about 6 weeks time. Yippee.
Blake is one of a handful of members that we’ve had in the office, over the last month, in an effort to get closer to our members and gather feedback and insights. Blake offered up his tech knowledge and experience in the payments industry, to help us gather feedback and suggestions for moving forward with our ‘open banking’, money management platform ‘giffgaff gameplan’. And his suggestions helped move things forward and make it more accessible to all our members. Legend.
Making every penny count
Wanting to take mutual giving a step further, we created giffgaff gameplan to help our members find new ways of saving money every month. And learn how to manage their money better.
We started out offering phone loans, shifted to providing comparisons on things like energy, cars or insurance, and then moved into offering free credit reports. But gradually, we realised we could do so much more for our members, when it comes to helping them manage their finances. So, we started creating a ‘personal finance manager’.
It’s like having your own financial advisor in your pocket. We let you know what’s going out, what’s coming in, and where you could be saving. And now - members can track their spending, get smart tips and insights tailored to their spending habits, and truly make every penny count.
Member -led improvements
Blake had some great suggestions for our team when he came in to visit, on developing and promoting gameplan.
One of them was to add gameplan to the giffgaff app, to make it more accessible. Blake raised a good point that, typically, when he’s thinking about making a purchase and debating whether or not it’s the right thing to do - he’s on his mobile. And it’s probably the same for many other members. He figured that’s a perfect time for gameplan to step in and, at the click of a button, give a recommendation on whether or not it’s a good idea to make that purchase or not.
“When i want to check my balance, its generally when im out and about, or at the point of buying. Even just day to day things like if I’m at work and someone says ‘do you want to go to the new mexican up the road, for lunch’. Having gameplan as easily available as possible, on mobile, makes sense! I could just open up, log in, and know okay yes i can do that - or no, I can wait.”
Our team completely agreed. And hey presto! We made an update and gameplan was added to the giffgaff app. Now, all of you lovely members can access it, and use the money manager, on the go.
Contributing to a better giffgaff
Blake was chuffed with the opportunity to come into the office. And to contribute by offering his expertise to help build a better gameplan - for him and other members.
He loved how open the gameplan team were with him. On the history of the product, the way it’s being used and developed today, and their future plans for it. And for Blake, it was super useful being able to have a technical conversation, to understand exactly what the team were working on. He could talk them through his own insights and give honest suggestions - which were a real help to the team. Top job, Blake. The team can now keep it all front of mind, as they work on gameplan some more.
“Everyone at giffgaff seemed really passionate about what they were working on. giffgaff aren’t just about providing a phone line for members. There’s so much more to it. Being able to understand what the ideas are, vote on what’s good, or in this case feel really involved in the direction everything is going in. It feels really empowering. And I’m confident in giffgaff that if something works, they’ll pay attention to it, and action it.”-Blake
We have no restrictions on which members we invite in to the office, which Blake really appreciated too. He thought companies would ‘only want to speak to high value customers, but never just standard people.’ But here at giffgaff, we value all our members as equals - and we want to collaborate with as many of you as we can, every step of the way. That way, the result is truly mutual. Run by ‘you’, our members. And a better future giffgaff.
To Blake, run by you means nothing is hidden - ‘we’re all part of this network and we all get to see every part of it. If there’s a way that any of us, giff staffers or giff gaffers, can make a suggestion or modification that makes things better - then it gets done.’
Welcoming more members to the gaff
Blake’s been a member since, almost, the beginning of giffgaff. So he knows we’ve always focused on developing strong relationships with, and between, our members, to build a strong community and keep things moving forwards. And members still get great visibility over what we’re doing at giffgaff, on our forum and new channels like our Pioneers facebook.
But this year we’re focusing on bringing members closer to giffgaff than ever before. Including bringing members together, into the giffgaff office. For all sorts of activities, from workshops, to round tables, to general meetups. To speak with our teams and provide insights or feedback that help us develop our product and projects. And, as we develop the forum over the next few months, we’d love for more of you to join the conversation, across all channels.
“Coming into the giffgaff office was fantastic. I don’t think I could name a single other company that would bring customers to come and meet the team behind the product you actually use. It made me feel even more valued as a customer. It was a great opportunity being able to come in and check out the office, and meet the people behind the company, but also to meet other members and put our heads together to come up with great ideas!” - Blake
The gameplan workshop helped Blake to broaden his horizons and talk with other members from entirely different worlds too. People he might’ve never interacted with otherwise. ‘The giffgaff community is so far-spread and wide-ranging. It gives you the opportunity to make a new friend or two, that you wouldn’t otherwise ever come into contact with.’ And we agree - that’s really something special, that we’d love for more members to experience.
Blake’s really keen to keep the conversation going and ‘dig more into the nuts and bolts’ of gameplan. Well, the team would love to have him back again soon, too. You’re ace, Blake - thanks for all the help so far, and we’re looking forward to your next trip to the gaff.
A money manager you can trust
Blake had been looking for a product to help him manage his money better for a while. But wasn’t too sure how much he could trust the ones he’d found. When he heard about gameplan, he knew this was exactly what he was looking for.
Blake already knows that he can trust giffgaff, and that members are at the heart of all we do. So we’ll always make sure that our members, and their information, is safe. And that we offer the best service we can. ‘A brand I can trust, with a product I wanted. what more could you ask for. I think it’s fantastic that its being branched out and will help me to be more financially stable’.
Now, Blake can access everything to help him with money management, in one place. From bank balances and outgoings, to spending habits and trends, to savings suggestions and insights.
And so can all our members. If you’re interested in finding out more, and signing up to gameplan - jump across and get going.
Here’s to helping you manage your finances better. Hoorah.