Regardless if you operate a web based or more customer facing business, the digital platforms and content you use, all form part of your customer experience (CX). It should be recognised that CX relates to every interaction you have with your customers – before, during and after they make a purchase from you. This means you need to consider both the online and offline experience to ensure you keep your customers happy.
Many people living with a disability, and indeed those without, say that the way they are treated by staff is what can define customer experience as good or bad. If they are treated by staff who are helpful, welcoming and most importantly aware of the certain requirements that customers with a disability may have, then chances are they would probably return for another visit.
However, if staff behave in an opposite manner and are wary when a situation around accessibility arises, then it’s not going to make a customer feel welcomed. This is why at least one member of staff, or all, that are customer-facing should be trained to assist in any accessibility enquiry that may arise. This helps ensure all customers feel included and would be more likely to want to visit again or share a positive story about your business.
There is no more powerful marketing content than happy customers sharing organic, positive stories about your business. Conversely, a customer who receives a bad experience is likely to tell at least ten of their friends about it. Suddenly all your marketing and PR efforts can be undone.
Providing staff members with adequate customer service training is therefore so important to help ensure your customers are talking about your business for all the right reasons. The training should always include a disability awareness element too. This will give your staff the confidence and skills to provide visitors with a consistent high-quality service that anyone can enjoy.
So, whilst accessibility can be a complex topic with a variety of user needs to consider, there are many free or low cost measures that can be taken to improve your accessibility. Taking the time to think about these different needs and making even the smallest adjustments, can pay dividends not only for your customers but ultimately your business.
With so much awareness still needed around all topics of accessibility, a lot of people remain unsure about what is involved with accessibility and how services can be put into place to help meet people’s enhanced access requirements.
We hope this overview series on accessibility will allow you to understand how varied the topic of accessibility is and some of the ways to incorporate measures to support your customers as much as possible.
Please get in touch if you have made any positive steps to be more accessible and inclusive and would like us to share your story.