European Commission to harmonise service standards across the EU

EUThe European Commission has announced plans to update and speed up the way it mandates standards with the aim that Europe will be at the heart of setting standards around the world.

The Commission has already announced plans to concentrate on five areas: 5G communications, cloud computing, the internet of things (IoT), (big) data technologies and cybersecurity. They have now decided to focus on services standardisation and to finalise their work on mapping international, European and national service standards by the end of 2016.

The EU say that “European standards have proven to be an important policy tool for European policy making. Standards represent policy instruments which improve the functioning of the Single Market by eliminating technical barriers caused by conflicting national standards. They ensure the interoperability of networks and systems, grant a high level of consumer and environmental protection, they support and promote innovation. Standards benefit consumers, companies and society at large and contribute to the overall growth and competitiveness of the EU economy“.

Service standards could include everything from hotels to customer contact centres. This means it’ll affect everyone in the UK as banks, insurance companies, utility companies – just about every business you deal with – has a customer contact centre.

Doubtless it will also filter down to apply to online retailers as generally the only contact you are likely to have with your customers will be through email or telephone.