Effective communication: Some Telcos faltering
Formerly in Ghana, remittances from abroad could be a tedious process: The messenger could be inconvenienced due to time constraints, he/she could use or lose the money, or face difficulty locating the beneficiary.
Electronic mobile transaction has removed such inhibitions.
Both sender and receiver avoid many hassles.
Bar technological hitches or exorbitant charges, service is swift and convenient.
In business, however, effective communication is key to satisfactory service delivery.
Information flow should be swift, accurate and precise for communicating partners to achieve targets or perform to expectation.
Some electronic mobile businesses are failing woefully in that regard.
Previously, I had known and used Western Union only; currently, I deduce competition in companies, such as, ZEEPAY Ghana, ETRANZIMT, Etranzact, alongside Vodafone and AirtelTigo.
I got to know of the first three only recently when acquaintances used their services for funds transfer.
However, more does not imply better communication services:
I post below an alert from ATMoney services for scrutiny:
Dear Customer, you have received.
GHS from ZEEPAY GHANA, 233501567073 in reference to FTC-970358.
Your Curr Bal:GH¢ …… , Avail Bal: GH¢ 1099.95. Trans ID: GW06927, GHIPSS ID:232208994781
The wording of the text above implies that ZEEPAY is the sender, but ZEEPAY is only the channel for wiring money down.
The receiver, AT subscriber, has no way of identifying the actual sender.
I do not know the collaboration that exists between the two companies for AT to serve as ZEEPAY’s forwarding link.
Nevertheless, the former owes its subscribers a duty in relaying accurate information.
The same ambiguity occurs when AT forwards an alert from ETRANZIMT, Etranzact services, as evidenced from the alert below:
You have received GH¢2240.00 from ETRANZIMT in reference to 09FG07302301421106255.
Your Curr Bal: GHS 2473.95,
Avail Bal: GHS 2473.955.
Trans ID: IR230730. 2301.D05549
However, when ZEEPAY directly forwards an alert, there is no such ambiguity (see text below):
Hello, (Recipient’s name), you have successfully received GH¢ 000.00 from Sender’s Name via INSTNTMNY.
Time:2023-04-10 21:49:16 Powered by Zeepay. Ref 905149496
ATMoney alert also clearly states the full name of both sender and receiver, as in the sample text below
Dear Customer, you have received GH¢ 50.00 from Sender’s Name phone number in reference to Recipient’s Name phone number.
Your Curr Bal:GH¢ 00.00,
Avail Bal: GH¢ 00.00
Trans ID: GW230805.1447.A06574,
Evidently, ambiguity arises only when AT becomes a forwarding link for the other mobile money businesses.
Currently, it is chaotic to receive such diverted alerts from AT, unless one has already been alerted by the actual sender.
Where there is no previous alert, a beneficiary can only wait and risk being considered ungrateful.
I have experienced that.
A relative recently sent funds through ZEEPAY; I received a convoluted alert so could not acknowledge funds and show gratitude.
Meanwhile, the sender was wondering why I had not acknowledged the funds.
In the end, I was accused of non- acknowledgment.
I explained that the alert did not include sender’s name.
Hitherto, I had tried to call ZEEPAY customer service for clarification.
For two days, I could not reach an agent.
I only got long-winded recorded message promoting ZEEPAY services but no agent.
I experienced that for two days and gave up.
Alerting a customer about a transaction is not enough.
The alert must offer details that enables appropriate actions(s) to be taken by the receiving agents.
At the very least, the company can tell a beneficiary who the benefactor is, because wiring agents take personal details of the sender.
In electronic transactions, as in all business correspondence, parties must strive for effective communication by packaging understandable information.
There should be neither ambiguity nor misinformation, as prevailing in the sited texts above.
ZEEPAY, ETRANZIMT, Etranzit and AT must package correct, accurate and concise alerts to subscribers.
Additionally, the four must understand that money transfer is also about communication.
Ambiguities, unnecessary omissions could be costly to clients.
Therefore, the company has a huge responsibility to ensure that transactions engender cohesion, not friction among acquaintances, friends and relatives.
Omitting the name of the sender while wittingly or unwittingly, assuming the role of the sender is an unpardonable error from the collaborating agencies. In fact, by erroneously referring to ZEEPAY, ETRANZIM and Etranzit as senders, AT makes the three liable for fraud.
They only wire funds belonging to others; implying that the agencies are benefactors constitutes misinforming the public.
All four companies should have their communication teams review their alert messages.
They should target precision.
Above all, they should respect customers by informing instead of frustrating them.
ZEEPAY must not use customer service to ridicule customers.
It is extremely annoying to call customer service and be compelled to listen ad infinitum to ZEEPAY’s products and wooing messages.
The writer is aSnr, Lecturer,
Language and Communication Skills,
Takoradi Technical University,