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Friday 13th may be unlucky for some but this particular Friday 13th brings good news for European consumers in the shape of “the directive on consumer rights.” This catchy title overlies a raft of measures aimed at standardising and improving the protection afforded across Europe to those buying goods and services online. Enacted in the UK under the “The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013” the new rules apply to all contracts entered into on or after 13th June 2014. Headline measures include:
That the regulations are required is symptomatic of an ongoing business culture which, despite all of the studies linking strong culture and ethics with increased profitability, still looks to the customer as a commodity to be exploited.
But for those organisations which already put the customer at the heart of their business the new regulations should pose little difficulty. They are the organisations which understand that providing exceptional levels of customer service means far more than wishing customers a nice day or advertising the business with a catchy slogan. They are the organisations which look to design every process and every procedure with the customer in mind and in many instances in tandem with the customer. They are the organisations which have embraced the true meaning of customer service and are reaping the rewards which come from creating a loyal and supportive customer base.