However daunting it may seem at first glance, making your business more accessible to customers is far from an impossible task. With the help of research and resources, you can ensure your business is accessible both legally and in terms of customer satisfaction, making sure that everyone who wants to try your product or service has that option.
Spend time doing research and taking action.
If you don’t have an understanding of what changes you’ll have to make to ensure your business is accessible, it’s next to impossible to implement them. Start the process by researching both laws (like the Americans with Disabilities Act or Rehabilitation act of 1973) and the experiences that customers (yours and those of businesses like yours) have had where a lack of accessibility was an issue. Once you’ve identified areas that can be approved, get to work on making those changes, or at least start with a good old-fashioned checklist. The most important aspect is actually putting in the effort, especially if you want to highlight your brand’s commitment to accessibility—you want to “walk the walk” as much as you “talk the talk.”
Consider your customer service.
This point is two-fold. On the one hand, customer service tends to be a particular pain point for businesses when it comes to accessibility; on the other, it’s important to ensure that your customer service staff in particular are trained on accessibility issues. However, your methods are of equal, if not greater importance: are your customer service offerings accessible? A cloud based call center solution with an omnichannel platform will help make sure that every customer’s needs are met, whether a phone call, live chat, or other contact method is best for them.
Look to your team.
Accessibility begins internally, between members of your organization as well as their interactions with customers. The ADA defines specific requirements for employee accommodations and, the more you abide by the requirements, the simpler it will be for them to follow through when working to accommodate customers. For many client-facing interactions, your customer service team will be the face of your company. The last thing you want is for an employee to unknowingly deter a potential customer from working with you by denying a request for accommodation.
Bring in an expert.
An expert in disability and accessibility to help guide you in the process. But experts in other aspects of your business may prove helpful as well. Your contractor could help ensure your building is up to ADA standards. Your website developer can make sure your online presence is accessible to every potential customer. If you’re just starting out or looking to replace a member of your extended business team, be sure to look into their familiarity with accessibility from the start. For example, consider Webolutions, which provides internet marketing and website design Denver depends on, who will work with you to balance factors like SEO with accessibility and other critical aspects of your site.
Be flexible and have trust.
In any context, the best way to help your business to be as accessible as possible is to be flexible and to believe your customers. No one wants to work with a company where they’re asked for “proof” of their disability or denied outright for a reasonable, necessary accommodation. Learn what you need to about proper accessibility measures and, whenever possible, be willing to work with your customers to give them the best experience possible—they’re sure to tell their friends and return themselves.
Accessibility may seem like a daunting goal for your business but it’s not an impossible one. By learning the rules you need to follow, getting expert help where necessary, and providing your customers with flexible options that accommodate their needs, your business’s accessibility will be the best it can be—and your customers are bound to be grateful.