- Nov 10 • 2 years ago
Walk & Talk with Dexter Cutajar 2 of 3: Account Management and Cutting-Edge Solution Upgrades
This time, Dexter sheds light on the vital role NetRefer’s Account Management Team plays in providing long-term value and a sustainable journey for clients and partners. He moves onto some of the latest tech and solution upgrades the Company has been implementing, which pave the way for the future.
Dexter, another of the teams you direct at NetRefer is the Account Management Team. Going back to the company’s values – clear, fair, trusted – how do you and your Account Management Team implement those values to maximise customer retention and consistent growth, both for NetRefer and for the client businesses themselves.
Within the Account Management Team, our values Clear, Fair and Trusted really sit at the core of everything we do. In NetRefer’s business model, we work with a subscription-based system, whereby the real value comes from client longevity. The only way you get to ensure that longevity and get the most out of that relationship, both from a commercial perspective and from a business ad perspective, is by being clear, fair and trusted; bringing those values to every part of your interaction throughout the client’s journey.
The client’s journey has changed in the past, and it will keep on changing and evolving, depending on the industry and market requirements, the product itself, and the accompanying service offering. At NetRefer, we have a group of hand-picked individuals that form part of the Account Management Team. And for these individuals the client journey is their mission. Their mission is to ensure that these clients are catered for, that their voice within the business is heard.
Each Account Manager owns a portfolio of partners or clients. That Account Manager is the CEO for that particular portfolio. By linking in the values – clear, fair, trusted – inside out, the Account Managers, together with the Sales Team, are the ambassadors of how we deliver that service and how we ensure that that message gets to the end-client.
Do the Account Management Team members check in regularly with clients – monitoring their accounts, metrics? I presume you have key measurements you’re trying to reach and keep within certain boundaries.
We not only have key metrics but also a framework that governs Account Management. We give free reign to our Account Managers, because they need that free reign in order to manage and interact with their client portfolio. They are also very strict in the way they measure themselves within the Account Management framework in order to ensure that each partner on that list is duly catered for.
Tell us about the new and improved technology and solutions that NetRefer is offering to your partners and clients, and particularly, how these are affecting them from a commercial standpoint.
We’re just coming to the end of a very intense project – Lift and Shift. Essentially, we took our technology and adopted and merged it with new technology. So now, we’re very close to completing the lift and shift to the cloud – literally, just weeks away. Knowing clearly what technology we’ll be using in the future enables us to start taking action in terms of the continuous development and maintenance of the existing product as well as new and improved functionality.
Should that be relatively seamless from the point of view of the clients and partners?
In terms of rollout, we always look at seamless rollout. Truth is, we’re dealing with technology. In this case, whenever you’re making changes to technology, you cannot always guarantee that it will be seamless. However, our teams push and are constantly pushed by our Senior Management Team to ensure the transparent introduction and change, whenever there is change.
I presume that this also involves some training and preparation for the clients on what’s coming, what’s going to change, and ensuring a smooth transition.
We’ve been preparing for Lift and Shift for over three years. We executed over a period of six months. The project had its ups and downs. We hit walls and had to adapt quickly. But again, having the buy-in from all the internal teams, allows you to adjust accordingly.
Was it a tiered rollout? Did you assign clients to various phases?
It was a staggered rollout. It was done in a way to ensure minimal disruption to each and every client whose database was being lifted and shifted to this cloud infrastructure.
Pulling back a little, talk about how you feel NetRefer differentiates itself from its key competitors in the Affiliate Marketing space, and how those competitive advantages impact clients from a commercial standpoint.
Thinking beyond the product, especially because in such a fast-paced industry, you don’t get to reach a 15-year anniversary by just delivering a product – it’s the product coupled with your service. As mentioned earlier, this is technology, and with technology things might go wrong – you have your ups and downs. And what I feel is the key to NetRefer’s success is that when things go wrong, you have a team of individuals that are there, ready to help. That’s key and what we want to keep building on; that’s the NetRefer of the future. We have to have open and transparent lines of communication to deal with the evolving circumstances the industry will be going through over the next five years, ten years, and beyond.
You do the maximum to make your partners feel that you’re there and ready to respond if problems come up as the market evolves and the scenarios change.
Yes. Everything we’ve been building upon throughout the past years was to ensure that the structure was in place for our operational teams because they’re the troupes on the ground. They’re the people who are interacting with our partners. They need to be equipped in order to deal with whatever circumstances come up.
Thank you very much for these insights, Dexter.
Watch the 3rd installment of Dexter’s 3-part interview here to learn about the company’s next step of entering exciting new and emerging markets and regions.
A special thank you goes out to Andrew Bonello for conducting the interview.
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