19th May 2022
14.6 million people in the UK are disabled, and with vision, hearing, motor and cognitive being common disabilities and impairments, organisations must deliver the same, or even better, customer experience (CX) for these people. If you don’t adapt to the needs of 21.5% of the UK population, you risk excluding customers, who will seek your services and products elsewhere – and perhaps more significantly put your organisational reputation on the line.
Businesses must make accessible and inclusive CX a priority not only because it’s the right thing to do – but because it’ll keep the regulators happy too.
To raise awareness for Global Accessibility Day, here are our top tips to achieve CX success for customers with disabilities or impairments.
Tip 1: Make your presence known to all
A website is an organisation’s shop window, and for most customers, it is their first port of call when looking for information. There’s plenty of nifty technology out there that can be embedded on your website to make the start of a customer journey more accessible. Text-to-speech capabilities, video captions and high colour contrast visuals can help with reading screens in bright light. Call to actions such as contact options must be visible and accessible to all.
Are you not sure if your website is up to scratch? It’s simple – ask your customers. Data driven insights using Voice of the Customer (VoC) technology can help you to determine if people who are disabled have made queries or complaints about your website, so you can understand any issues and action them.
Tip 2: Be the master of channels
All customers expect to engage with brands through their preferred channel, but for those with disabilities, the channels available can make or break the overall experience. New channels opens new communication opportunities for impaired or disabled customers. Customers with hearing impairments may prefer to communicate using a text option such as webchat, whilst customers with visual impairments prefer to make a phone call.
To be the ultimate channel master, you have to know what your customers want. Using interaction analytics, you can uncover their preferences and build an omnichannel strategy that gives your customers the gift of channel choice, and seamlessly lets them pivot from touchpoint to touchpoint too.
Tip 3: Introduce the TEXAS model to your agents and monitor outcomes
No, we’re not talking about rodeos or BBQ sauce; we’re talking about ensuring that agents are able to deliver the best CX for customers who require additional assistance. Some customers may prefer direct voice contact, and agents must be ready to support these customers using the model below:
T – Thank the customer
E – Explain how information will be used
X – Obtain explicit consent
A – Ask the right questions to get key information
S – Sign-post or refer to internal and external help if required
Although this model has been developed with the vulnerable in mind, it can be used to help any customer and provide agent training to raise disability awareness and to enhance empathy. Outcomes from this model and training can be monitored with speech and text analytics technology to continuously make improvements to the customer journey. Or why not link your CRM platform to your interaction analytics platform and monitor how agents handle those customers who are already flagged?
Tip 4: Diagnose problems and develop solutions
Engaging with your front-line teams, will help you understand the problems felt by your customers, but also your employees. Drawing out the current customer journeys with team leaders and advisors can help understand the pain points that need to be addressed. This will enable you to design the ideal customer journey considering different impairments, identify quick wins and outline areas that require further development. Further iterations can include engagement with other business areas and how governance supports the development of your businesses’ proposition. This will provide you with a clear vision and understanding of what needs to be addressed; but also, the impact this will have on your customers. Some may be functionality, but areas such as product knowledge and internal processes cannot be overlooked. A great way to gather ideas from your employees is to have a Voice of the Employee programme where you are constantly looking for ideas from your front-line teams to improve customer experience.
Tip 5: Use a working group to drive change and monitor progress
Working groups are a great way to engage multiple areas of your business and ensure critical changes are delivered to improve accessibility. By bringing key individuals from different business areas such as operations, IT and compliance together, you’re able to create one vision. Working groups increase effectiveness and provide flexibility by addressing issues with people that can decide and enact course correction effectively. Being aligned on key deliverables deliver change much quicker, but also provide better customer outcomes.
A customer-centric experience for all
Disabled or impaired customers should not feel that their experience with a brand is any different from any other customer. By reviewing your website, adopting new channels and ensuring that agents are geared up with the right knowledge and empathy is key to overcome inclusion barriers and provide a CX strategy that is built for all.
Please get in touch
To find out how we help businesses like yours enhance their inclusive CX strategies, please get in touch with our expert team and we’ll happily help you explore options available.
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