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2011-1Q: (v003) Refer-a-Friend

Overview

A feature has been added that allows for the creation of referral schemes in the SIMPLer platform. This will provide an easy to use tracking system for the referrals associated with a customer account and applying bonuses accordingly to these figures. The system is set up so that the name of the referral can be taken upon the installation and associated to another active account on the system. Depending on the settings the system than can automatically give the person who referred a new customer a credit when the new account turns "current". The system also keeps an active tally of the referrals associated with the account that are actively installed. If the customers tally rises above a predefined threshold then automatically the service becomes free for a specified amount of invoicing cycles. If the active tally drops below a predefined treshold before the end of the free service, the service is then turned to paid again. Listed below are the main three feature characteristics:
  1. Track new referral sign ups and automatically add credits to referring parties
  2. Track active referred count to allot service free up to a predefined years
  3. Turn off free service when the active tally drops below 5 active referrals

Step One: Feature Setup


The feature is setup from the "SIMPLer Settings" section of the "Modify WISP" page. There are six global settings, that control the "Refer-a-Friend" functionality as you will see in Fig. 1-1.  They are explained in order below.

Fig. 1-1: Global Settings

  1. Refer-a-Friend - toggles on/off the customer benefits system. Leaving this option as off entirely turns off this functionality in the system.
  2. Refer-a-Friend - "Free Service" cycles - Number of free service cycles applied to the subscriber account when the required Subscriber references threshold is met.
  3. Refer-a-Friend - "Free Service Bonus" monthsNumber of "Free Service Bonus" months applied to the subscriber account when the required Subscriber references threshold is met.
  4. Refer-a-Friend - Free cycles per subscriber reference - Free cycles applied to referee per each new subscriber reference. 
  5. Refer-a-Friend - Free months per subscriber reference - Free months applied to referee per each new subscriber reference.
  6. Refer-a-Friend - Subscribers Required for "Free Service" - Number of active subscriber references required for the free service option. 

Step Two: User settings

On a "per user" basis operators can define two system-wide rights. Access to "Refer-a-Friend" summary page and to the "Free Service" (subpart of Refer-a-Friend system) management. (See Fig. 2-1)



Fig. 2-1: User Rights




Step Three: Adding a new referral

Upon the adding, installation of a new customer account or even at a later stage a referral customer can be defined. The account specified in the "Referral Customer" field on the "Modify Customer" page will be eligible for bonuses coming from the "Refer-a-Friend" programme. (See Fig. 3-1)

Figure 3-1 “Modify Customer” page



Step Four: View Refer-a-Friend summary page

There is a "Refer-a-Friend" link on the invoices page that leads to the "Refer-a-Friend" summary page from where operators can verify the current service bonus statuses of all customers, that have referred at least one other customer. Operators can also conveniently access the pages of the referred customer as there is a link to each account on the right side of each row. (See Fig. 4-1)






Figure 4-1 “Refer-a-Friend” page


Step Five: Benefitient customer - Free Service

Customers, that are referring other customers are ultimate beneficients of the "Refer-a-Friend" programme. Accordingly to the settings of the "refer-a-friend" feature they might be added some "Free Service" positions on following conditions:
  • each new customer reference.
  • reaching a predefined threshold.
Operators can verify the current status of each "Free Service" bonus to the customer account in the respective table on the "Customer Details" page. (See fig. 5-1) Each "Free Service Bonus" row is defined by the below details:
  • Date - date the entry was added
  • Type - specifies whether the row was added automatically by the "refer-a-friend" system or was added manually by the operator
  • Referral - in case of the automatically added rows, this field will be pointing at the referenced customer account. Clicking at the link there takes us to the respective customer details page
  • Cycles - Specifies number of "Free Service" invoicing cycles available to the benefitient customer.
  • Cycles Used - Number of Cycles used up to the current moment
  • Status - Status of the "Free Service Bonus" - as the free service bonus can be suspended:
    • automatically - when the number of current customers required for the special bonus drops below the predefined threshold (i.e. one of these customer account is going post)
    • manually - operators can choose to suspend a "Free Service" bonus

Figure 5-1 “Free Service Bonus” table on "Customer Details" page


Step Six: Each Free Service position can be fine tuned if required by the operator from the "Modify Free Service" page as presented below. (Fig. 6-1)



Figure 6-1 “Modify Free Service Bonus” page



Each unused "Free Service Bonus" cycle under a customer account will be used to "skip", "zero" products in one billing cycle, but only for subscriptions that have an appropriate option selected. In another words the subscription amount will be forced to zero by the "Free Service" bonus in a following cycle only if the "Use Free Service Bonus" option has been used for it. This gives the required flexibility to the system as operator may still want to charge for certain services while applying the bonus to other. Subscriptions can be modified from the "Modify Subscriptions" page, also the details are listed in the "Subscriptions" part of the customer details page.

Note that only one "Free Service" cycle from the oldest "Free Service Bonus" entry is used per each billing cycle.



Figure 6-2 “Modify Subscription” page


Figure 6-3 “Subscriptions” section of "Customer Details" page


When generating an invoice all rows representing invoices where a "Free Service" bonus has been applied at least to one position will be marked with an appropriate note (see screenshot in fig. 6-4).

Figure 6-4 “Generate Invoices” page



Operators have an option of adding appropriate labels to the invoice to inform the end customer about the bonus applied if required. The exact wording depends on the template operator submits in the system. The default invoice template notification can be found below:

Sample:

          <tr>
            <td align="left" ><font size="-1">Qty</font></td>
            <td align="left"><font size="-1">Product</font></td>
            <td align="right"><font size="-1"><TMPL_VAR NAME=CURRENCYSYMBOL></font></td>
          </tr>
          <tr>
            <td align="left" ><TMPL_VAR NAME=P_QUANT_1>
              &nbsp;</td>
            <td align=left><TMPL_VAR NAME=P_NAME_1>
            <TMPL_IF NAME=P_FREE_SER_1>
             &nbsp;&nbsp;<font size="-2"><b>RaF Benefit Applied</b></font>
            </TMPL_IF>
            </td>
            <td align="right"><TMPL_VAR NAME=P_NET_AMOU_SEP_1></td>
          </tr>

For more details on modifying invoice templates please refer to http://wiki.azotel.com/simpler-features/frequently-asked-questions/editing-simpler-templates-variable-lists

See an example of an invoice in fig. 6-5.



Figure 6-5 Invoice example


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