Service trumps price for Asians: poll

AFP-JIJI

Consumers in Asia are fed up with poor service standards and are willing to pay more for a good customer experience, according to a survey that punctures the received wisdom that “price is king” in the region.

Decades of economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region have heightened people’s taste for services, but a majority of companies are failing to deliver, according to the survey conducted for analytics firm Verint.

With few exceptions, Asian companies are portrayed as having rude staff and inflexible procedures, and are unresponsive to service requests — all of which are “frustrating clients.”

The survey, conducted by market research firm Ipsos, polled more than 5,800 people from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia and Japan. Financial services, utilities, hotel and travel, retail and telecom sectors were scrutinized.

The survey found that only 24 percent of respondents valued prices over services, while 45 percent were willing to pay a premium for a higher-quality experience.

More than 50 percent of respondents in all the industries covered in the survey said they had been frustrated by poor consumer standards such as rude staff, slow service and red tape.

The exception to the general rule was Japan, where there are high expectations of service quality and only 11 percent of respondents experienced problems with utilities — which are of a high standard in the country.