Each and every one of us is a giffgaff member. Here in the giffgaff office, we have never used the term "customer". In fact, we have a bike horn in every meeting room in case the word is accidentally spoken.
If you've ever filled out the giffgaff daily survey, you'll find a question in there asking the following:
Thinking about your own relationship with giffgaff, to what extent do you consider yourself to be a customer or a member?
1 (Customer) 2 3 4 5 6 7 (Member)
Recently, when I asked the same question in a survey I sent to a group of members who visited the runbyyou site, 57% said they felt like a member. But the bigger question here is; Why do you feel like a member or a customer?
To help me solve this mystery, thinking about where you sit on the above scale, can you write a paragraph giving the reasons why you chose that number and why you feel like a member or a customer. And lastly, what does it mean to you being a member.
At giffgaff we believe that when we all work together, we can really go places. We are the mobile network run by you.
Member Engagement Specialist
To me the big question is why giffgaff insist on referring to us as members and not customers, and what difference giffgaff perceive in this distinction.
To me it is largely semantics.
Those who subscribe to the service are by definition customers and remain customers so long as they continue to subscribe.
To refer to people as members suggests we are members of a club and as such must be invited to join by the management and indeed can have their membership terminated by the club management.
So I guess you can say those who participate on these forums are in a membership situation, those who don't are customers.
But there should be no difference in the way either group are valued and treated., and for that reason it is not a question that concerns me greatly.
A customer is someone who pays for goods or services so, for giffgaff to be a viable business it needs paying customers.and that's what we are, well, most of us anyway though I dare say that there are a good number with accounts who no longer, or never have had, an active SIM.
The honest view is that we are customers; having access to this forum doesn't change that and don't forget that having a forum for customer support is far from unique, indeed there were similar customer driven support forums long before giffgaff was even a twinkle in Gav Thompson's eye.
While I understand the thinking behind calling customers, members it has never appealed to me, I'd rather take the honest approach, I'm a customer of a business.
I suppose you could say that, over and above any services that I purchase, while I'm a supporter of giffgaff in some small way through my activity here, I'm not a member and most certainly giffgaff is not in any way, shape or form run by me.
So as far as I'm concerned, I'm a customer.
Mind you, if I'm nothing but a customer, why am I still posting here 7 years on?
Beats the heck out of me...
And the same again from me, I'm a customer who chooses to use giffgaff as a service provider just the same as my broadband or energy suppliers for instance.
giffgaff may try to dress us up a members but I think the majority of us understand exactly what we are.We're the people that buy the credit and goodybags etc every month that keep giffgaff afloat and we're also the ones responsible for all those nice staff salaries going in the bank every month so we're paying customers,nothing more,nothing less.
I too am a customer of giffgaff as I pay for its mobile services from which payments giffgaff derive a profit (mainly) for its owners. This cannot be any other way unless giffgaff becomes a co-op.
However I do see myself as a member of the community wherein for most part I can participate as a fully signed up equal. This participation is tempered by the above relationship.