It’s no secret that the Chinese economy is slowing down, but this is not an economy heading for recession, it is just changing gear from extremely fast growth to healthy growth. As Yiping Huang, Professor and Deputy Dean of the National School of Development at Peking University, recently wrote: “China’s economy is certainly slowing but growth is still robust…”
Chinese growth is still more than three times what the US is targeting, so the slowdown is all relative. One area where there are few concerns is the electronics industry. China has led the world in the production of electronic products for many years now and growth in this area is still strong. There are several reasons for this that now goes far beyond the opportunity for low-cost production:
- Made in China now means quality – it used to mean low cost production, but now there are highly mature supply chains in China and excellent customs and shipping procedures that make it an excellent place to manufacture high technology products.
- Metrics in focus – Chinese factories are highly focused on constant improvement and have introduced new technologies, such as automation, as soon as they have been available.
- Seeking partners – Chinese manufacturers are now actively engaging with other partners and other regions to ensure that they stay ahead – there is no longer a closed approach to manufacturing in China, they are ready to use the best ideas.
The South Korean electronics giant LG recently mentioned that they are facing stiff competition from Chinese brands in the market for large screens – such as for large televisions. LG suggested that the future for profitability in screens would be with much smaller wearable screens – an area where many Chinese manufacturers already have expertise.
But there is a bigger picture. China currently excels at manufacturing electronic products and sales are still strong for these products, but all these gadgets need to be supported. The present and continued boom in the purchase of smartphones, tablets, readers, and other devices for the smart home are all creating a need for a more sophisticated customer experience culture.
All these products need support. More products mean more consumers, which would mean more need for support. To cater to the growing number of consumers, support would possibly evolve into 24/7 support availability and would provide access across multiple channels. Ensuring that customers get the support they expect is the next challenge for the companies launching gadgets onto the Chinese market.
I would argue that in many cases it is not the quality of the electronic product that will dictate whether it is a success or not, it is the quality of the customer support. Many gadgets feature similar functionality for a similar price, where you can differentiate yourself from the competition is in the way that you care for your customers. This will increasingly be how brands fight the gadget wars in China – by improving the customer experience.
Teleperformance has been a partner to customer experience success in various industries – lectronics industry to be one of them. If you want to know more on how we can support and improve customer experience, creating a reputation that would link the product to customer service, feel free to reach me, leave a comment, or get in touch with me via my LinkedIn.