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Brexit and Its Impact on Customer Communications

Brexit Impact

By Chris Murphy, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Smart Communications

The political and economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit – the UK’s exit from the European Union – is leaving thousands of organizations with a plethora of unanswered questions surrounding the possibility of significant commercial impact as well as an inability to adequately to prepare for the unknown. Companies are not only having to effectively react to the impact of leaving the EU in and of itself, but open questions remain as to the exact conditions of that exit. Many large UK-based companies have already sunk a combined $1.1 billion dollars preparing for GDPR, a future of similar of operational upheaval stemming from Brexit looks ominous.

Yet, despite so many unanswered questions, forward-thinking companies can respond to the uncertainty around Brexit by preparing for the one thing that they know will definitely come – change. This change is going to manifest itself in a variety of methods — the way that companies communicate with their customers, regulatory and compliance standards changes, as well as significant shifts in governing body oversight.

With many companies in the midst of significant digital transformation efforts and a renewed focus being firmly placed on customer experience, interruptions caused by Brexit have the potential to destabilize a lot of the stellar work that has gone into improving companies’ relationships with their customers. Customers will look to the brands that they do business with to provide them with a clear path detailing how Brexit will impact their ongoing relationship and require a clear communication strategy via their preferred channels of choice.

Even before Brexit, a Thomson Reuters study shows that financial institutions in the EU need to implement 44,000 regulatory changes per year; that’s one every 12 seconds.

It’s clear that Brexit will provide both challenges and opportunities to leading insurance and financial services organizations – both regulated and non-regulated – regarding their relationships with customers, internal stakeholders and regulators. As forward-looking organizations prepare for the upcoming raft of changes, leveraging a modern customer communications platform can empower businesses to move with both speed and agility – helping them to better navigate the uncertainty that lies ahead. Below are a couple of questions organizations should ask to help understand if it’s time to rethink your customer communications strategy.

How do I remain compliant and maintain consistency across communications?

As a result of Brexit, some organizations will be impacted by legal entity changes requiring updates across thousands of different communication documents. A modern customer communications platform equipped with a centralized relationship map with shared content will identify exactly where each content asset is currently being used and allows updates to be made once and shared across all dependent communication templates.

For existing communications, do I have to rely on IT to make any changes?

With a heavy reliance on IT, many legacy communication platforms require a large investment and long lead times in order to update their mission-critical documents. A platform that is designed to leverage shared content and can be used by business users across various departments can not only speed up the efforts of these critical updates but will allow IT to dedicate more time and resources toward other strategic projects.

Can I work collaboratively on communications across multiple stakeholders?

Depending on Brexit’s outcome, customers could become subject to existing British laws or will remain part of current European laws and protections – all of which will need to be communicated to customers in a timely and consistent manner. Collaboration across IT, legal and compliance, marketing, CX, and line-of-business owners will be imperative to achieving the required alterations to communications.

One insurance company is saving thousands of hours a year through business user ownership of their templates.

Do I have the speed and agility to perform required changes?

Speed and agility are the hallmarks of a successful digital business. But they will also be required to ensure compliance with mandated changes to avoid financial penalties. The ability to elastically scale on a modern cloud-based communication platform will afford organizations the speed and agility required to not only respond to required changes brought about by Brexit but will also effectively launch new products and services in a fraction of the time that legacy communications platforms allow for.

It’s clear Brexit will introduce a multitude of organizational, economic, political, and jurisdictional changes for organizations. Being able to effectively navigate these changes in an agile fashion to maintain transparency and trust with your customers through this period is going to be a strategic imperative for every organization.

Smart Communications is the leading cloud-based customer communications platform. Contact us to learn how we can help you navigate Brexit and the impact it will have on your customer communications strategy.