I came across this config long time ago but never successfully set that up on company dev servers.
set listchars=tab:▸\ ,eol:¬
It always shows something like this:
set listchars=tab:?~V?\ ,eol:?
Until i saw this post on server fault, i realized it could be the same locale issue. Simply set the locale to en_US.utf8 solves the problem.