On 1st January 2021, the business environment will change for organisations trading between the European Union (EU) and UK. A great degree of uncertainty remains about what that the relationship will be, but one thing is for certain – businesses need to prepare to ensure they are ready.
Brexit has taken a back seat over the past few months as focus shifted to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, but on 31st December this year current ties between the UK and EU will be gone.
With talks to negotiate a deal seemingly at a stalemate, it is looking increasingly likely that we will face a no-deal Brexit.
Whether there is an agreement between the UK and Europe or not, one thing’s for certain – when the UK leaves the EU we’ll be in a new trading environment and operating under new conditions.
For businesses based in both the UK and Europe, life is about to change. ‘The new normal’ has frequently been spoken of during the pandemic. 2021 is going to represent yet another ‘new normal’ from a trade perspective, as we learn how to navigate the post-Brexit world. This could bring better opportunities as well as the threat of worse.
What should businesses be doing to prepare for no deal Brexit?
Many businesses have been planning for the impact of Brexit on their operations. With on-going uncertainty surrounding the future relationship they must, however, be aware of and plan for worst case scenarios.
This could mean that they can no longer sell the products or services previously offered, or find that regulatory changes make operations progressively more difficult. Alternatively, they may still be able to provide the same, but with significantly more complexity and cost.
The current problem is that no one really knows what the trading environment is going to look like, making it incredibly difficult to prepare and adapt in advance.
From a customer support perspective, for example, will customers still be able to call from Europe to an English language line if it is routed to the UK? Factors such as the way data is stored and if/how calls are recorded may also change. However, it is very difficult for businesses to plan for the new when they don’t yet know what restrictions and regulations they face.
Like many businesses, SYKES has been preparing for the impact of Brexit and has a robust model in place. With a pan-European presence, for example, we can provide clients with options that deliver the best customer experience solution in any language irrespective of whether a trade deal between the EU and UK is achieved by the end of 2020. Delivery point options include in-country, near-shore and offshore locations.
And, with work-at-home now a more readily-accepted delivery model and already established in SYKESHome the reliance on an office is reduced, ensuring support agents can be recruited in all languages across Europe. There may be no vaccine for a no-deal Brexit, but the right support partner provides the antidote to ensure customer service continuity and improvement!