Racheal Lee
Aug 28, 2013

Asian consumers value service over price, are more likely to praise than complain online

ASIA-PACIFIC - Consumers in Asia literally place a premium on good customer service, according to a Verient Ipsos Asia-Pacific Consumer Insight study, which also showed that relationships with a brand are often damaged by customer-service issues rather than by the product/service itself.

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The study involved 5,819 interviews aged 16 and above in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia and Japan.

About 45 per cent of consumers are willing to pay more for better service, valuing service over price, particularly in China (56 per cent) and India (49 per cent), followed by Australia (47 per cent), Indonesia (43 per cent), Hong Kong (38 per cent) and Japan (34 per cent).

Asian consumers believe that a great customer experience makes up for the price difference. Only 23 per cent of the respondents said price is more important.

Nevertheless, most Asian consumers had previously received poor service, especially in the telecom industry (64 per cent), followed by retail (59 per cent); power/gas/water, financial services and hotels/travel/airlines (51 per cent each).

Poor customer-service experience includes taking too long to resolve problems (21 per cent) and unknowledgeable staff that can't help (20 per cent). The survey stated other factors, such as waiting too long to be serviced, receiving rude or unfriendly service and experiencing inflexible procedures.

One result in the study runs contrary to the common belief that people only go online to give a review when they want to complain. Ady Meretz, president APAC at Verint, noted that the research points to an increasing propensity among consumers to share positive feedback, experiences and interactions. “Companies that can proactively deliver a superior customer experience by listening and acting on the voice of the customer can gain competitive advantage in the market,” he added.

More consumers expressed their desire to share positive experiences (41 per cent) rather than negative experiences (32 per cent).

The study also stated that more than half of the consumers (55 per cent) will tell their friends about their customer-service experience through online channels.

Some 53 per cent of consumers will share their experiences on company blogs and websites, with 42 per cent using social-networking sites such as Facebook and Renren, 27 per cent voicing their opinions via micro-blog sites like Twitter and Sina-Weibo and 24 per cent posting on blogs.

More than half of the consumers from China (63 per cent) and Indonesia (54 per cent) will share positive experiences on social media, followed by India (43 per cent), Hong Kong (34 per cent), Australia (29 per cent) and Japan (21 per cent).

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