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From Land’s End to John o' Groats: managing the diversity of customer expectations.

Even though it’s a relatively small island, the UK is home to a vast range of people - whether it’s regional, cultural or generational, the implications these subtle differences have on customer service expectations can often be a little hard to comprehend, let alone manage.

A recent report from the Institute of Customer Service has revealed the average satisfaction of customers across different regions in the UK, and has found those in South East England are less satisfied than those in Wales or South West England.

Are the Welsh as easy-going and gleeful as some might expect? And are Londoners unimpressed even in the face of great customer service? There are many reasons for the difference in overall customer satisfaction - after all, growing accustomed to life in or near the capital creates a very different set of standards than those rural areas. For example, it’s almost an outrage not to have consistent 3G coverage in London - whereas in North Wales, some could consider themselves lucky with any mobile coverage at all. The bottom line is that it’s plain to see there are specific and subtle differences in customer expectations within this tiny isle of ours. But what does this mean for businesses?

We are entering into an economy where the relationships businesses have with their customers are of paramount importance to success, and as more and more organisations cotton onto this phenomenon and capitalise on ‘the age of the customer’ - the key differentiators will soon be recognising and reacting to exactly what separates customers apart from one another - and how that ties into the wider experience.

The diverse and vast nature of customer expectations in the UK will become one of the biggest challenges, and opportunities, for businesses as they battle for the lion’s share of customer trust and loyalty. The real winners will be the businesses who can successfully gain a deep insight into what different customers think and feel about their organisation, and most importantly, using that to shape the customer experience.

Unlocking insight through understanding customer feedback holds the key to gaining a true competitive advantage in an increasingly fierce market, and it’s up to business to ensure they make it as easy as possible for their customers to share their views with them.