Louis Vuitton (LV) has huge brand power in China.
But recently there has been some rumblings about their poor after-sales service.
For example, in February a Chinese customer bought a 11,600 yuan (US$1,790) LV bag from a Macau LV store only to have the zipper break a couple of times. He found little customer service support for issues with his purchase and after being dismissed by personnel at several LV stores, he finally received a replacement at LV’s Shanghai store.
So, are international brands like LV simply resting on their brand power and expect the Chinese to flock to their stores and stock up on their products, but not provide after-sales service?
After all, isn’t the luxury market all about service – pre-sale and after-sale? Should the Chinese luxury consumers expect any less from international luxury brands like a Louis Vuitton?
Luxury sales are growing significantly, but the after-sales service provided by luxury brands has not improved with sales according to many Chinese consumers.
Often luxury consumers would not get the expected after-sales service for luxury goods bought outside of China. Even luxury powerhouse LV can not provide such service because they claim that they are unable to access sale records of LV products bought overseas.
According to statistics, Chinese tourists account for 65 percent of luxury goods purchases in Europe. These Chinese consumers expect the same level of after-sales service in China that luxury companies give to their European customers, even if the goods were purchased overseas.
Luxury brands will need to be aware of the luxury experience they provide as Chinese luxury consumers are getting more sophisticated and have choices in their luxury purchases.
After-sale service is especially important for building brand loyalty. Right now in China, luxury brands still have the opportunity to win the mind share of the newly affluent.
photo credit: china-mike