The United Kingdom (UK) is a unique culture. Consisting of four countries – England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland – there's a lot of history and tradition in the area. But what do you need to know about customer support in the UK, especially if you’re looking to expand or launch support operations in this region? Here’s a quick list of key things to consider as you evaluate your support options…
- The UK has their own “customer service best practice” code – Yes, this is a real thing. As an initiative to protect consumers, the code was developed in 2013 by Consumer Minister Jo Swinson and it features a logo that is given to business who meet or exceed the standards set in place by the code. Swinson had the following to say about the logo…
- “The TSI (Trading Standards Institute) approved logo will become a badge of distinction helping businesses enhance their reputation and attracting consumers to honest businesses who are raising their game and helping rebuild our economy.”
- Customer loyalty isn’t as important as some other countries – This can be a surprise if you're familiar with customer support operations in countries such as China or Russia, and may even be a reason why the code mentioned above was created in the first place. The UK is known as a “universalistic culture” which means customers are often treated with a clear set of rules and issues are addressed immediately. If you’re a South Korean business where small talk in support is common, make sure to get straight to the point with your UK customers.
- Nationalism is important and should be taken seriously – All four countries in the UK have their own distinctive characteristics and national pride. Make sure to utilize some sort of system, such as a customer support software solution, to make sure you know which country your customer is from. You don’t want to offer a solution that isn’t applicable to them because of the country they live in, or even worse make the mistake of saying they are from a different country when you respond to them.
- The UK is one of the leading mobile regions in the world – With the 5th highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the world, UK consumers are well connected and aren’t afraid to spend money on a nice mobile device. Mobile is a newer phenomenon in support so make sure your solution is ready for mobile-friendly forms of communication – including chat – and plan for even more support inquiries from mobile devices in the years to come.
In short, the UK is an area of the world that takes customer support seriously. They have their own code to keep support standards high and get straight to the point in support conversations. Add in their affluence of technology and it makes sense to get your operation up-to-date before making a serious push to offer support in the region. With that said, companies who launch support initiatives in the UK generally find it to be a great location for not only European customers but also certain customers in Africa and Asia as well.