Friday, June 20, 2014

Smart Bro Dashboard: Manage your budget and data usage better

It always pays to listen to your subscribers and get their feedback.

After a lot of listening, planning and tweaking, the first phase (beta) of the Smart Bro Dashboard was launched at a blogger event yesterday.

Smart Bro said they listened to  their subscribers and found that some of their pains revolved around the following issues:

* "I don't know my number. How will I reload?" - Oh yes, I can relate with this. I once had to reload my pocket wifi and since I did not know my number, I had to tether the pocket wifi to my laptop, open the Smart Bro menu and use one of the free texts still remaining to send my mobile phone a text just so I could copy down the sim's number. Hassle!

* "What's left of my load and subscription?" - This info was always accessible but one had to log in to or send a text message in a particular syntax to a number. This always put the onus on the subscriber to remember the syntax and number.

* How do I control unwanted charges?" - I remember giving feedback on this one. If I were subscribed to a promo and it expired while I was online, I would be automatically registered to the P5/15 minutes rate even if my intention was to continue the same data package or subscribe to another package. It was always my beef because even if that interval between promos was just a minute or two, I would get billed P5 for a full 15 minutes that I usually never ended up using.

* "How do I subscribe to promo offers?" - Again, this was a pain to remember with ever changing packages and keywords.

Smart Bro Dashboard addresses all these subscriber pains.

 1. Quick access to account details

 If you buy a NEW Smart Bro sim, the moment you open your pocket wifi, the Dashboard comes up on your laptop's screen giving you the information shown above on the upper right. At one glance, you can see the mobile number, the package you are subscribed to, the remaining minutes (and free texts, if any), Load Protect setting, and links to packages and device settings.

If you are an existing subscriber, the Dashboard won't open automatically. You would need to visit in order to register your sim and tweak your device settings so that Dashboard can recognize it next time you log on.

2. Manage your load

Dashboard shows at one glance exactly how much load you have left, the promo that you are subscribed din, its expiry date, and any free texts you still have.

3. Load Protect

This is its greatest feature so far. I would like to think that I was one of the subscribers who gave feedback that led to this feature. Many events back, at another Smart event, I brought up the issue of auto charging of P5/15 minutes the moment one promo ends and you happen to be online. It was always a pain to have P5 deducted when you really wanted to renew the promo but that interval between the promo ending and renewing it, no matter how short (I usually need just 1-2 minutes to renew) costs me P5.

Load Protect addresses that concern. The moment your data promo (Unlisurf, Flexisurf or Always On) ends, you are taken back to the Dashboard immediately so that you are not charged P5/15 minutes. Dashboard works even if you are offline so it is easy to subscribe once again to the data package you want.

(Note: It is recommended you keep Load Protect ON at all times so you don't experience "nakaw load" or being unnecessarily charged P5/15 minutes.)

 4. Easy Registration to Promo Offers

Do away with having to memorize the keywords of data packages or having to log into your account where registering for promos is not so user friendly. Just click on "Products and Services" tab on Dashboard main page. The data packages are clearly marked and you just need to click your way through your choice of promo.

5. Free Facebook and Twitter

Through SmartNet which is a tab on Dashboard, subscribers get to enjoy free Facebook and Twitter. By signing in to a SmartNet account and linking social media profiles, one gets to post quick status updates for free.

6. Access to other digital content

Music from SPINNR, movie streaming from Clickplay, online game e-Pins from GameX -- all these can be accessed without additional data charges if accessed from Dashboard.

Just keep in mind that this is Phase 1 of the Dashboard. Enhancements will be coming in the future. 

For one, SmartBro subscribers who share their pocket wifi devices with others should be aware that in this version of Dashboard, all who connect to the SmartBro number will see Dashboard and will be able to subscribe to a promo or access other areas within Dashboard from any of those shared mobile phones. So share your SmartBro number wisely.

The Smart Bro Dashboard is initially available to all prepaid Plug-It, Pocket Wifi, and SIM-only subscribers as well as postpaid LTE users with Plan 599 and Plan 999.

For more details, visit the Smart Bro Dashboard homepage

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