China - Sales Service and Customer Support China - Sales Service
The ability to provide adequate after-sales service is an important selling point and can distinguish a company from its competitors. WFOEs and foreign invested enterprises (FIE) are now able to provide sales service and after-sales customer support in China. Heightened consumer awareness has given U.S. companies with strong international brands an advantage in the Chinese market, as American products and services are generally considered to have superior sales and customer support standards. This, of course, requires a certain degree of localization, and a commitment to training the local sales and service force.
In addition, there are other new challenges in the Chinese market such as food safety and product warranty issues. In recent years, a few notable American companies have been criticized in China for not providing adequate customer service according to the Chinese law. American companies should be aware of the increased importance food safety and product warranty issues in China. U.S. companies need to develop a public relations strategy to address customer concerns in a very price sensitive market like China where customer expectations of the private sector are high. In China, customers often use social media outlets to express their dissatisfaction over products and services and do not hesitate to involve appropriate government bodies to obtain a response from private sector service providers.
Many successful retailers in China are now foreign-owned companies, for instance, Zara, H&M and Sephora are rapidly gaining market share by focusing on customer experience, unconditional returns, competitive prices and superior quality merchandise.
In China’s increasingly competitive consumer market, good customer service matters as businesses are fighting for the attention of the increasing numbers of wealthy Chinese consumers. Expectations are rising among the middle class, particularly given the ever-growing number of Chinese people returning from studying or working overseas with a rapidly shifting view on customer service. Fierce competition is forcing companies to take greater care to attract and keep customers happy. Chinese consumers are becoming more savvy and insistent on a high level of service. The inroads that multinational companies have made in the Chinese market are also impacting overall standards. For example Apple’s stores provide a stark contrast in China to a local computer shop, thus altering and changing preferences and choices of Chinese consumers.