Accessible customer service is often about finding ways around barriers faced by your customers.
Ensure all staff know what’s expected of them when they communicate with customers with disabilities will help each employee deliver accessible customer service. Remember disabilities are not always visible. You may not know exactly what a person’s disability is, when it is made known that a person needs accommodation, ask how may I best help you is the best and respects the dignity of an individual. Often people with disabilities learn adaptability skills which are not always visible to others. For example, a person with a learning disability usually has higher than average IQ and excellent memory skills because they have had to adapt.
There are 4 principles of Accessible Customer Service that are important:
a. Equal opportunity
c. Dignity, and
- Consider how people with various disabilities communicate.
- Ask your customers how you can best communicate with them. Always treat someone with dignity and respect.
- Ask yourself: how can I make communications accessible? Every situation is different and depends on the individual’s needs. Get more details on various ways to communicate
Example: A dance studio offers their class schedule in paper format at the front desk. When a customer with low vision asks for the schedule in Braille, the manager explains that it is not available in Braille but is available in an accessible format on the studio’s website. This works for the customer because she has a screen reader at home that reads what is displayed on the website.
Another customer, who has a learning disability, is having difficulty understanding a particular part of the schedule and simply asks the manager to read that part to him aloud.