The idea that companies can get better value for money and a higher standard of work by investing in infrastructure and workforce overseas is rooted in the failure of the British economy in the 1970s. Even after a £1 billion gift from the UK taxpayer, vehicle manufacture British Leyland could only deliver orders at less than half capacity while Korean firm Hyundai, managed by a team of repatriated Brits, imported cars into the UK in record numbers thanks to a dedicated, punctual and respectful workforce.
In the 1990s the practice of moving operations abroad exploded and was given a name, outsourcing, and everything from manufacturing to customer services was moved to nations with developing economies such as India, China and Singapore.
Although the world, industry and Britain are unrecognisable when viewed from a distance of 40 years, the myth that British industry is expensive and lazy still perpetuates. The fact is that it was a myth even at the time as both the UK government and the UK workforce were being used as a plaything of the Unions and the Union leaders working to their own agenda.
Now, as then, the UK is home to some of the best educated, dedicated and innovative professionals, and if you are looking for digital services it would be a folly to look abroad. Outsourcing your digital services may look like an attractive option if you focus only on the bottom line but to do so would be to ignore a myriad of other factors. Put simply, it is like the choice between free range chicken breast and supermarket value processed chicken.
[imageeffect type=”reflect” align=”aligncenter” alt=”Free Range Creativity” height=”384″ width=”577″ url=”http://www.thinkingcreativity.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/free-range-eggs1.png” titleoverlay=”yes”]
When choosing a digital agency, you are choosing a dizzying number of services from the tangible such as web design, web content, apps, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and social media management to the intangible like account management, customer services and corporate image. So why go British?
The United Kingdom is the 78th largest country in the world in terms of area, but the 7th largest country in the world in terms of economy. For centuries the country has punched above its weight on a global scale and continues to do so thanks to a culture of invention, commitment and pride in a job well done. The British have a saying, “If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well,” and that attitude is only one of the factors that make the country an attractive investment.
We should also look at the obvious points; culture and language. It is often said that English is the most difficult language to master because of the way the language has evolved over centuries, with influences ranging from Scandinavian to Anglo-Saxon, from Latin to French, and more recently, American. The rules of grammar, syntax and form take years to perfect and even with classroom teaching and a studious approach, people who haven’t lived in an English speaking country can sound, and read, stilted and unnatural, making the work they produce for you, for your customers, sound forced and unsettling.
[styledbox type=”warning” width=”640″ align=”center”]“Welcome to the best total Digital Agency in the Europe. Nothing is important to us more than you are happy and we want to offer you nice offers because you’re our most like customer. The software is new software in the marketplace and is very nice when compare to other.”[/styledbox]
This example is almost perfect English, and sort of makes sense, but if that’s on the front page of your website, you’d be well advised to have a back-up strategy!
You must also consider the time difference. If you have an issue late in the afternoon, you can rest assured that even though it is late, it is still afternoon at your UK digital agency. Countries in the east can be anywhere from four to twelve hours ahead meaning that it can be the middle of the night in Singapore, for instance, and hours before your problem is addressed.
As noted earlier, the UK economy is one of the largest in the world and has trade partnerships with almost every country you care to name. A keen understanding of the global market, and where you fit into it, is essential for every business in the digital age, as you can never tell where your next customer will come from. By working alongside a British company you are assured that you are working alongside expertise and experience.
Lastly, there is customer profile. If you are a British company, and this is part of your image, then a digital presence that has been produced away from these shores is clearly at odds with this. Your online persona often acts as the first point of customer interaction and speaks on your behalf 24 hours a day – you want it to make a good impression.
The bottom line is that shopping abroad can be cheaper than staying at home but the standard of the overall package you receive, and the level of customer satisfaction you will feel, will be improved greatly if you ‘Buy British’.