ZB Holdings launched what they are calling the International Virtual Service Centre today. It’s simply a platform or way through which ZB will provide customer service virtually.
That would mean ZB customers being able to get customer service via phone call, email, WhatsApp or SMS.
That doesn’t sound interesting in the least bit. I mean, every other organisation has a virtual customer service platform in one shape or another.
ZB acknowledged this but they feel their solution beats the others on the market. How? – you ask. The key is in the “services centre” part of the name.
See, ZB says they no longer have bank branches. Instead, what they have are service centres where customers can access a wide range of financial services, not just banking. Customers can access insurance, microfinance and investment services at any ZB
branch service centre.
Now, the International Virtual Service Centre that was launched today is a service centre just like any other branch. The only difference being that it is virtual as opposed to physical.
So through the virtual service centre, customers can lodge queries and complaints, they can get transactional assistance and beyond that, the virtual service centre provides the following among other things:
- Underwriting and claims services for ZB Cash Funeral
- On-boarding of customers for banking, investments and insurance solutions inclusive of microloans, mortgages, etc.
These are some of the people that will be serving you:
As mentioned above, there are a number of ways customers can reach the virtual services centre:
- Econet – 08080555
- NetOne – 08010555
- TelOne – 08004555
WhatsApp – 0772442685
Oh, the International part comes from what ZB calls Business Process Outsourcing. Which simply means they will be able to outsource contact centre services to other local, regional and international organisations.
That’s ambitious but we’ve heard the same from many other organisations but in practice, we have not really seen any outsourcing going on.
Nah, your mind is not blown. There’s nothing groundbreaking about a virtual contact centre, even if it tacks banking, insurance and investments into one.
However, it is good that ZB has jumped on the train. ZB customers should be the better for it.
Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of these virtual service centres. Don’t get me wrong, I love that they exist, I love not having to visit a physical location to get assistance.
However, I’d say more often than not, I’m left frustrated after attempting to get any moderately complicated issue addressed virtually.
We have ranted about some of those experiences and I know many of you have had similar experiences. So, we should be excused for being apathetic about a new virtual service centre opening doors.
I look at those toll-free numbers listed above and I shudder. Potraz recently confirmed that mobile network operators’ service quality has fallen off a cliff and I have felt it on toll-free numbers. You can hardly hear each other and calls will drop like it’s hot.
I suspect some customer care personnel hang up on you if you have a complicated issue and blame it on the network. Correction, I don’t suspect, I know this to be true even though I have zero evidence.
So, am I confident that ZB’s virtual service centre will be any different from the others on the market? I wouldn’t bet on it. ZB just has more areas to potentially disappoint on. I hope that’s not the case but my hopes are low.
I have reason to have low expectations. We have a query as Techzim from February that is yet to be resolved. We tried virtual and physical for that one but four months later we are still knocking on ZB’s doors.
It is what it is. Let’s hope the International Virtual Service Centre works out though.