Last week I wrote about an example of how a broad cultural generalization was used out of context.
Cultural Differences Affect How Business Is Done
I personally cannot think that an entrepreneur in one country is really any different from an entrepreneur in another country. People are people.
Entrepreneurs from different countries simply have to do business in different cultural environments. And these cultural differences may create different, or additional, stages of business development.
Different Stages Of Market Maturity
I remember one evening when my French brother-in-law came in to a family dinner very excited. He was definitely very happy about something. We all wanted to know what his good news was all about.
He then proceeded to tell everyone that he had just implemented a great, new rule in his office. Something that was sure to increase his business and make him more money.
What was this new rule?
- The telephone had to be answered before it rang a third time.
Now I am North American. And I had worked with North American customer service standards for a while.
So what? He finally realized it is good business to be nice to your clients and not have them wait before trying to reach your competitor?
Well, this happened over 20 years ago. Yes, American businesses were stronger at customer service. But French businesses were even further behind then than they are today.
I have written about my frustration at the lack of a business-building service mentality here in France… compared to the American standard service.
A Clash In Market Maturity
The question is:
- Is there an element of different degrees of market maturity in customer service between France and the United States?
There probably is. Mixed with different cultural perceptions of what good customer service is, of course.
- Ever since I came to France, I have heard the French people tell me that France was 20 years behind the Americans. Now, this has to be framed in the right context. You will probably not be able to understand this, unless you have lived in France for an extended about of time. So do not take this at face value. It is a terrible cultural generalization.
- I continually marvel at the increased sophistication of American marketing today. Can marketing get any more sophisticated? I do wonder. There only seems to be one way to go next: back to marketing basics.
New Marketing Opportunities
If there is any validity to this…
- The Americans will go back to marketing basics
- The French will go into the next stage of marketing sophistication… they have not reached the top yet.
In addition to the obvious differences in international marketing approaches, there appears to be some new marketing opportunities here.
Photos from Shutterstock.
Filed under: improve international marketing
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