ZB Financial Holdings Group which encompasses ZB Bank, ZB Building Society, ZB Life Insurance, ZB Reinsurance, ZB Capital, ZB Transfer Secretaries, Barcelona and Qupa, has embarked on an ambitious transformation programme that will see a new operating model under the mantra “ONE DIGITAL ZB”.
In a communication to customers, ZB Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Shepherd Fungura acknowledged that there is a lot of room for improvement in how financial institutions serve customers. He made an undertaking to transform the ZB Group’s operations in ways that will deliver convenience and increased value to its customers. In an unprecedented move, the Group’s One Digital ZB ethos will allow customers from across the Group to access all its services from one touchpoint, be it physically, virtually or digital.
Retail banking has been the flagship of the group’s operations and this is where the transformation has begun, with a major investment in the conversion of branches to ONE DIGITAL ZB Service Centres. While digitisation is here to stay, the Group’s leadership believes physical outlets are still essential and necessary in Zimbabwe market where internet access is not yet universal and connectivity is often erratic. The repurposed branches will be an opportunity to connect with customers face to face, while mobile technology still enables remote access to services.
The organization transformation programme started early this year and is now in full swing. Branch renovations are currently taking place, with digital upgrades in progress and staff undergoing training. The Group has already started seeing customers benefiting from the changes taking place, as evidenced by one Tedious Mangwende who posted on Twitter, “…I went to your Bulawayo Branch today with a colleague and we were attended to by a gentleman named Beloved Shumba. I have never entered any bank in Zimbabwe and found such customer care! A huge shout out to him made me feel at home!!”
Financial institutions across the globe have experienced radical changes in the banking market environment over the past decade. According to a report by international consulting firm Deloitte, achieving a competitive advantage through product functionality is difficult and the primary way for competitors to differentiate themselves is by the customer experience along various touchpoints. This thinking is in line with ZB Group strategy, which is centred around people, rather than products and processes. Being able to serve customers effectively, across multiple channels and in real time can increase retention, lower acquisition costs, and cement brand loyalty.
Briefing staff last week, Fungura elaborated on the service post the Group has adopted, “Putting people at the heart of what we do doesn’t only mean customers. It also means the people who make up our internal teams. If we want to make customers happy, we have to make sure that we have happy people working in the group. You can’t pass on happiness that you don’t have,” he explained. To this end the Group is restructuring itself to be fit for purpose and the future. This involves changing how the Group is structured to better implement its strategy.
An additional component of the Group’s transformation programme will be a rebranding process. This is to build better emotional connections with our customers by having a visual brand that reflects the new customer-centred posture.