Despite the speed of luxury store openings in The Mainland, Chinese shoppers are still flocking to Europe for more expensive items like watches, shoes and handbags. And to change this phenomenon may just be a simple "hi".Aside from the recent lower Euro, a higher guarantee of authenticity and a bigger portfolio of goods on the rack, 92% of respondents in the China Luxury Forecast by Ruder Finn and Ipsos say they are unhappy with customer service and staff competence at home.Specifically, 40-odd percent of Chinese customers and some 30% of Hong Kongers feel their service advisers are neither knowledgeable nor proactive and that their issues are not resolved satisfactorily.Jean-Michel Dumont, chairman of Ruder Finn Asia, attributes the poor hospitality to the short exposure China has had to luxury.“When we look at customer service, we need to take the bigger picture in Mainland China. Unless you were born in the era of luxury and understand what it is, it’s hard to find people who can share that experience. As such, the expectation of customers is really different from reality.”Executive director of Ipsos Simon Tye added that customer service may even mean just getting a simple “Hi” when the customer visits a store.“We’re not talking about up-selling or cross-selling, nothing fancy like that. But what we’ve found is that a lot of the stores don’t even greet their customers. So stores in China and Hong Kong really need to relook at their service element in order to regain ground.”The study also showed a general stablisation across most sectors in the luxury market in 2014 after a slight drop this year, aside from apparel and beauty items, which Tye calls “tickets to higher priced items”.
Follow us on our Telegram channel for the latest updates in the marketing and advertising scene.