Describes what is customary in the market for sales and customer support.
Reliable after-sales service, training, and customer support can be a major competitive advantage for U.S. firms entering the Russian market, as Russian manufacturers are known for inadequate after-sales service. Similarly, buyers of sophisticated equipment ranging from computers and process controls to medical and mining equipment are keenly interested in training, as their employees may have never previously used particular technology or brands. U.S. firms willing and able to offer training and support for products, particularly for remote sites, could gain a significant advantage over competitors. Conversely, companies unwilling to make this commitment may find themselves at a distinct disadvantage relative to European or Asian companies, whose proximity readily facilitates training and service. After-sales service is also often an important component in leasing arrangements in Russia, and will play a larger role in the acquisition process as leasing continues to develop. Companies that offer training in the United States or Russia are advised to start the visa process as early as possible - issuance of both Russian and U.S. visas can take up to several months depending on the type and time of the year (the summer period is particularly busy). The American Chamber of Commerce in Russia and U.S.-Russia Business Council offer their members expedited visa appointment services.