I love the 263Chat, it is a platform were we get to discuss all things Zimbabwean good or bad. This week was no different, Sir Nigel the founder of this forum thought it would be good if we discussed “Customer Service in Zimbabwe”, now i don’t know if it was a coincidence or not, but this chat was coming in the wake of Econet’s April fools Day airtime Massacre were customers had their airtime miraculously withdrawn from their accounts en masse, no explanation such has become the norm with Econet Wireless, they resolved this crisis days later.
I do not want to make this article sound like a bashing of Econet, they get that a lot rather it is an observation. The whole idea of Social Media for business is to easily interface with customers, a quick glance at Econet’s social profiles namely facebook and twitter one might get the impression that all is well, what with the awe and heaping of praise from airtime seeking clients but if you are patient enough to observe the number of people voicing their concern over their poor service, if i was Strive Masiyiwa i would be worried.
I don’t know how we got on that tangent, anyway we had an interesting discussion on 263Chat about Customer Service in Zimbabwe. It came as no surprise that Econet dominated proceedings and it came as no surprise that Econet didn’t contribute on this forum despite being mentioned in most of the tweets. Econet did however manage to sneak in a tweet or two as the chat was dying, saying that they are listening, see inset below.
All this got me thinking as is the case with big companies maybe bureaucracy is really what is killing Econet, i don’t think Strive Masiyiwa or Douglas Mboweni really know the state of affairs or maybe they do and they are just too big to care, all we can do is assume. But whether they know it or not the fact remains unless Econet Wireless wakes up and smells the coffee it’s future is not guaranteed, the only reason why people hang on is lack of a better alternative.
All companies make mistakes but Econet should at least improve on their Customer Service because when the Day is done nobody really cares how much you invested in your network when you treat people like trash. What happened to your “state-of-the-art 24-hour call center ”? not functional just like many other failed Econet products. Econet is just out of touch with the ordinary Zimbabwean they are too Elitist in my view, when you deduct money erroneously or drop a call not all of us can afford calling back, that call could have changed my life, that call is a matter of life and death.
Unfortunately this like all the other feedback will be ignored by them, they are just too Big to care.