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Main Topic: Service in Shanghai

Hosts: James Stanworth , Clyde Warden

James and Clyde are in Shanghai and report on the general service situation in China. Three service experiences are discussed, hotels, banks, and a Taiwan imported restaurant. These examples show an unexpected contrast between the imported Western brand and the local brands.

Abacus next to PC
Abacus next to PC
At an international conference, collegues stayed at the conference hotel, a five star international place. Clyde and James found one of the many local hotels, for about US$50 a night, compared to the big hotel's US$300 a night. In Shanghai, many Chinese are traveling as tourist and businesspeople, the local low cost hotel market, with good rooms and decent service, are abundant. Kiabo (KB) is one example, and where we stayed. These places are normally a bit difficult to find because they are not huge and out on a main road, although Kaibo has 110 rooms, still, it was a bit difficult to spot. And if you are in taxi, you will have to fight with the driver to NOT take you to the biggest hotel where all the other foreigners go.

The conference banquet was especially lame, with Clyde getting a nice full cup of air when James asked for coffee. We should have just gone to a good noodle shop! The banquet was US$50 per person, and there was at least 300 researchers there. Yet chaos ruled on the service side.

On the positive side, bank service is top notch, even on Sunday! Opening an account, getting set up for online banking--sound easy? Not in Taiwan. Even the simple action of exchanging money can be a big headache in Taiwan, and do not even think of applying for a credit card--no matter what your salary is! Shanghai is just easy this way.

Lastly, Wang Ping is a great example of an imported Chinese firm that is totally customer centered. The branch we visited in Shanghai was a little rough around the corners, but still shines. We are left thinking that the local Chinese generated businesses are just, well, better than the international service brands.

They got their five stars and that was enough . . . now shut up.

The Show:

Length: 35 minutes. Download MP3 15.81MB (Right click->Save As).


Consumer Cam ConsumerCam:

Vid. 1) Clyde opens a bank account in Shanghai--very smooth.
Vid. 2) Two blocks away, and just ten minutes later, a USB for online banking is obtained.

Show Links:

Bottom Line:

  • International hotels charge US big city rates in Shanghai, but do not have the same service level.
  • Local hotels are common, good quality, and cheap--great value for your money.
  • In China, service staff often look busy, crowd in large groups talking over issues, but never seem to get much done.
  • Service systems seemed to be missing.
  • Shanghai Telecom provided a good service experience.
  • ICBC bank service was fast, efficient, and very well done.
  • A problem was encountered, and the service provider was able to give clear instructions where to go, and when Clyde got there, the problem was solved.
  • Wang Ping Steak has brought their service emphasis to Shanghai.
  • Wang Ping seems to be doing well in Shanghai with its strong customer focus.
Category: Podcasts

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