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This post was edited by xuerengui at 2012-1-29 09:41|
Why hasn’t China produced a Samsung or Toyota?
Remember why I was a kid in Hong Kong, every time I saw an uncle or an aunty or anyone that was older, my parents would drill into me, “say Hello to Uncle or Aunty so and so”. Politeness in the Chinese mind it seems is to address one’s elder promptly.
And now that I am in Australia, I watch my wife drill my children. Every time they want something, she will drill into them “say Please, or say Thank you”. Politeness in the western culture it seems is to show gratitude of service others is providing.
I read an article on the Internet recently on the challengesof setting up Chinese call centres and how the author thinks Chinese have difficultly not sounding rude in a foreign language and I have to agree.
Here are a couple of examples I encountered from Chinese waiting staff in Australia recently.
a) I ordered take away from a seafood restaurant (not Chinese owned) but the waitress was a student from China. I got the order and thought about siting down in the dining area. But as soon as I sat down, the waitress came charging
“You can’t sit here, you only bought takeaway!”
Hmm, I spent over 30 dollars on acouple of fish and chips and deserved to be treated this way!? Ordinary, I would have complained and made sure the waitress loses her job. But knowing she is new to the country and not aware of the concept of “Customers come first”, I let it go.
b) I ordered a hot dog from a convenience store inthe city. The store clerk, a studentfrom China, asked me if I wanted sauce. I asked for mustard.
“Its 20 cents for the sauce.” She barked.
From her view point, she was making money for her employer. From my viewpoint, there are 5 other stores that sell hot dog in the same block and I am getting food from other stores next time.
The years of state owned factories, shops and enterprises in China has removed any sense of the importance of customer service and customer focus. Customers to some mainland Chinese service workers mind are people they bargain with, not people their livelihood depends on in this competitive market environment. This mentality might work for low cost products which the cheapest price wins, or state owned enterprise which does not give customer a choice.
But to win over market the way Samsung win over iPhone orToyota win over General Motors, Chinese manufactures have to rethink on how to plan and make products with the customer needs and wants in mind.
Here are a couple of famous Chinese products which I think customer focus is lacking.
Leonovo computers – its website is no where near as well designed as Dell.
Huawai mobiles- their battery life are poor, obviously they didn’t think of how a customer would use a phone that doesn’t last longer thana day.
As much as I admire the companies and their successes, I believe they could be as profitable as the Korean Samsung, the Taiwanese HTC or the Japanese Toyota should they invest more on studying what their customer needs are and their sales and marketing.
I think Chinese government should start encouraging theChinese companies into going into the call centres/IT service market, first it would improve work opportunities for Chinese who want to pursue studying English which will ultimately benefit the economy, second it could help Chinese understand the Western culture, which is the world China would ultimately integrate withand trade with.