Uncovering CX in China: They’re Ready, Are You?
Home 5 Blogs 5 Uncovering CX in China: They’re Ready, Are You?
Uncovering CX in China: They’re Ready, Are You?
Home 5 Blogs 5 Uncovering CX in China: They’re Ready, Are You?

As a Customer Experience consultancy, Beyond Philosophy, we have worked in China on a few occasions. We learned a few things about what to do and what not to do there, as it pertains to Customer Experience.

Three Truths Every Marketer Should Know about CX in China

  1. China is still in the early stages of Customer Experience discovery.
  2. China sees us as the thought leadership of Customer Experience.
  3. China has potential to leap-frog other markets as it is a massive opportunity.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these points.

China is in the Early Stages of Customer Experience Discovery

The opportunity to excel in Customer Experience in China is still wide open, however. Last year, Forrester published the Customer Experience Index, China 2015, ranking 60 brands for their performance in Customer Experience. According to APAC Insider, Forrester concluded that no brand was doing an excellent job there yet. Furthermore, only 15% were performing at a good level, and nearly 80% were only average. These results were based on a survey of 9,000 Chinese customers, about 60 different brands in five industries. This research emphasizes the fact that those organizations that truly embrace the ideology behind a culture of Customer Centricity have enormous potential for opportunity and growth in a new market.

China Sees the West as Thought Leaders of Customer Experience

I wrote Building Great Customer Experiences, my first book about Customer Experience, in 2002 with John Ivens. In many ways, it is the background, history even, for where I am today in my thinking on the topic. However, in China, the ideas I present in that book from almost 15 years ago, are all new.  I wrote that “The Customer Experience is the next competitive battleground….and it will provide a source of sustainable differentiation.” Later, I describe Customer Experience as the next business tsunami. While that tsunami has already swept the West, it is just now reaching their Easternmost shore.

Not only is the East about to encounter the benefits that Customer Experience provides, but they are also eager to learn more. The concept of making a stronger bond based on personalization and positive emotional outcomes that result from a customer-centered experience is one they already accept. China loves how the West looks at Customer Experience, and they look to our example to learn and then adapt it to thrive in their markets.

China Has the Potential to Leap-Frog Other Markets on Impact

It’s no secret that China is a huge market. However, as econsultancy pointed out in a recent article, most multi-national companies don’t know how to adapt their customer engagement strategies to an Eastern digital environment. Marketers in the West are used to their social media strategies that center around Facebook and YouTube, two social media channels that are not available in China. Furthermore, the ability to get customer information is hampered in China in ways it isn’t in the West. Moreover, you can’t use customer data the same way as you do in the West.. All of this leads to problems.

However, China does have social media; it’s just their brand of it. Also, while you can’t use customer data the same way as you can in the West, you can use other channels to great effect, particularly email. In addition, many Chinese customers are perfectly willing to engage with your brand (and provide personal information), provided that you stand out from the multitudes of brands they to which they have access.

By sheer numbers alone, the potential to engage with customers in China and earn their loyalty could bear huge rewards.

However, the strategies that work in the West won’t work in the East. It requires using a tailored strategy to achieve an effective customer engagement strategy. However, for those brands that can adapt to these changes and engage at a personal and emotional level they have the potential to earn many loyal customers. Billions of them.

What challenges or successes have you had implementing a customer engagement strategy in China? We’d all love to gain your insight in the comments below.

Only 26% of organizations are ‘completely ready’ to execute digital strategies operationally. If you need help creating an ‘Effective, Customer Centric Digital Transformation’ register now for my webinar on 14th July.


If you enjoyed this post, you might be interested in the following blogs:

Industry Secrets Leaked: Predicting Customer Behavior

How to Measure Customer Emotions

What Can We Learn from Restaurants and Casinos?

Colin Shaw is the founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s leading Customer experience consultancy & training organizations. Colin is an international author of five bestselling books and an engaging keynote speaker.

Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter & Periscope @ColinShaw_CX