I recently spent a miserable hour on the phone trying to cancel a subscription before getting back to my day job and carrying out video interviews with Chinese candidates for a senior role in the Chinese arm of a European manufacturer.  

These two apparently unrelated events set me thinking. Two years on from Covid, the UK is still providing pandemic levels of customer service – and trotting out the same tired excuses about high call volumes – while in China they're up and running and performing as if the pandemic never happened. 

Speaking to these impressive multilingual candidates was a real eye-opener – both in terms of their ambition and positivity and the insights they shared about the Chinese automotive market. 

Did you know, for example, that the average Chinese consumer changes their vehicle around every 18 months? Or that – apart from among customers of Ferrari and Rolls-Royce – there's precious little brand loyalty?

Buying decisions are being driven by...