Customer care in China

Hello everyone,

The way customer services are handled can greatly affect your views on certain brands, products, companies or stores. As a consumer, it is important to get familiar with local practices regarding client assistance in China and try to understand how things work in the country.

How would you describe your customer service experiences in China?

Do you feel welcome when you enter a store? Do you get useful tips and advice?

Are after-sales services available in China?

Thanks for sharing your experience,


The sales people all over the world are same,. their concept thinking can't imagine.  In china also same, some shop they welcome you with warm hospitality, but in china some shop sales staff will ask you " where are you from"  after you said a particular country can observe the change of that sales staff face, because they think some country people only buy their that product. and retail shop after sales service almost no problem, for example brought a shoes or Shirt and get size problem or some damage they will change. and very big branded company's customer care very worst if its handle by a Chinese staff. in china in any big company some staff not responds well, due to rude attitude many customers losing everyday also lack of customer handling knowledge (mostly in online)  and we go a factory almost hospitality will be very good even will send car and pick you also they invite for dinner . and if go very successful factory even will not get a bottle water also because staff knew company already succeeded also don't expect even a smile face,  this is my own experience.

Coming from America, i would have to say Customer service in China is different than where i grew up from.

The key thing is really training your staff, which will lead to a happy customer experience.

When you visit a "Branded" hotel, you will notice no matter what culture, typically you get good service. That's really because of the training programs and hiring the right people.

In China a lot of stores, hire to just hire. They don't necessary get the right people and i highly doubt they provide really good training on how to service customers.

It does vary on the experience but the key to really good customer service is what i listed above.

2 things stand out noticeable in China

1. Typically there is no friendly smile
2. Always on their phones when they are not busy

I agree with the posts above. Customer service in China is pretty lackluster, with the best experiences I've had coming from companies that normally deal with a lot of foreign clientele. I think it's a very common pattern here that businesses that are new or young will put in more effort to please their customers, but once they grow bigger (or worse, have a monopoly) then they will even treat you like you owe them a favor! The representatives are rude, impatient, and make excuses to not help you. It's really frustrating.

But I do want to make one mention that some of the nicest treatment I've had are from many of the people selling food from street carts. They will smile and make conversation, and even give stuff for free now and then to build relationships with you. They want you to become a regular customer. I think they are aware that good service will make a difference especially when there's someone just down the street selling the exact same product!

Customer care in China is awful. And not just the way foreigners are treated. I have yet to see a customer greeted or thanked after a purchase. Even at Starbucks the staff does the bare minimum. The only store I have ever encountered that gives great service in China is UNIQLO-which is a Japanese clothing company. They teach their staff to be friendly and helpful-they even bow! I mean the bowing is a bit much but Chinese companies could learn a lot from UNIQLO.

Yeah I agree with Japanese franchises here in China. It's such a 180 degree culture clash haha

The same goes for Lawson's convenience store, which is also Japanese. They always greet people when they enter and seem pretty courteous.

I'm in agreement with previous posters. The service provided does not come close to that expected in the west but seems to be fine with  Chinese customers. When I comment to my Chinese wife about being ignored or rude behaviour she replies "it's the Chinese way". This acceptance would suggest nothing will change or even that no change is desired. I was a little surprised to find  that Western service attitudes have not found their way into famous brand Western franchises such as MacDonald's, Pizza hut etc.  Japanese company Uniqlo is the exception. Happy helpful staff, once you have distinguished them from customers, (no uniforms)  :) 

Even a simple smile or acknowledgement is rare. Enquiring as to where to find something will prompt a vague wave of the hand. We recently booked an hotel  room weeks in advance and even confirmed the day before arrival, only to find no room had been reserved. Unsurprisingly there were more expensive rooms available. Was this poor service or an upgrade scam? After showing our displeasure in front of other guests and demanding to speak to the manager, a room at the rate agreed miraculously became available.

Warranty and guarantee are unknown words. If you buy something and find it doesn't work you will be lucky to get a replacement or refund. Having said that, when we bought a microwave they insisted on unpacking and testing said microwave on the shop floor. And when we bought a TV it was delivered, unpacked and set up ready for use.

Another unknown word is appointment. Spending two hours in the bank clutching your numbered ticket is the way. However, change may be on the horizon. Our local hospital has just started an appointments system which seems to be working. This replaces a system of queuing  (I use the term loosely) for a ticket to see your favoured doctor..... and the selling of tickets by ticket touts. All we need now is to see the end of giving the doctor Hong bao (extra payment) to ensure good work.

On the positive side my wife recently discovered the delights of shopping on line and here the Chinese might have the west beaten. Order one day and deliver the next even until quite late at night after a phone call checking if you are at home. Even some supermarkets will deliver your shopping free if you spend a relatively low amount. Useful when you buy cooking oil or rice but probably ensures you buy more :)

Customer service is yet to improve in china. My personal experience in china had suggested time and time again that when we are being served it looks as if we are doing some favour to the store or the staff serving in the store. Also, with such huge population they have this things in their head that if I don't return to the store many others  will. Unlike my own country Repeat business is very important. Never have I felt this way in China. The way you are being served here leves you with no choice but not to come back. And frankly speaking they could not care less if you never returned to their store again. As for customer service training ? It is still very poor.

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