Chris Reed
Oct 9, 2014

Can Asian brands satisfy customers?

A recent Asian survey on customer satisfaction reported a drop to only 69% satisfaction. That means nearly a third of retail customers are leaving shops unhappy.

Can Asian brands satisfy customers?

Sectors that registered declines included department stores, petrol stations, motor vehicles, fashion apparel, jewelry, supermarkets and watch retailers.

The survey also included tourists and that is the biggest worry for Asia as two of the world’s most popular tourist countries, Singapore and Thailand are located here.

Results declined to 2008 levels due to manpower issues, training and motivation.

Given the choice customers are increasingly searching on line for their shopping. Websites such as Qoo10, Amazon, Asos.com, eBay, TaoBao and many others are increasingly winning the customer service battle.

Ecommerce has been slow to take up in Asia due to shopping here being more social and malls being cool (literally) places to go with friends. However decreasing levels of customer satisfaction will motivate customers to go on line if they are not getting the personalized service they expect in retailers in the region.

Many customers complained about a lack of product choice and poorly trained staff. There arealways complaints in places like Dubai and Singapore that despite the continual heat shops insist on promoting winter clothes because the head-quarters of the suppliers are in seasonal countries such as the US or Europe.

It does lead to simply ridiculous shop posters. I saw one the other day in Uniqlo for jumpers in the shop windows. It was 34C outside and bright sunshine with a humidity level of 85%.

The other complaint from retailers in Asia is they get last seasons stock rather than new stock. This means that educated tourists think that product quality is not as it is “back home”. Ideally there should be more global timelines and seasonally adjusted clothes lines promoted to customers in countries that are warm all year round.

According to the survey satisfied customers don’t just spend more they have a higher re-purchase level, are more loyal and are more likely to spread positive word of mouth about their experience with the brand.

This is not rocket science but social media has amplified and speeded up both customer dissatisfaction and positive reviews to such an extent where customer satisfaction should be more central to a retailers training program and general outlook.

A highly satisfied customer for example would have spent 23% more than a dissatisfied one. You can complain about manpower shortages and lack of product range but staff focusing more on the customer has a simple but dramatic direct effect on the bottom line. Happy customers means more money.

Source: Customer Satisfaction Index of Singapore

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