Conversations about diversity and equity are taking place more frequently than ever, as companies in every sector gain awareness of how inclusion efforts influence their reputation and sales. However, while most businesses know to consider factors like race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality in their inclusion efforts, disability is frequently left out of the discussion.
Today, there are 61 million people with disabilities living in the United States, with the global number closer to 1 billion. Considering their estimated $1.2 trillion in yearly disposable income, failing to market to this demographic is a missed opportunity. In addition, ADA noncompliance can result in costly legal action and damage to your business's reputation. Accessibility lawsuits have been on the rise since 2017, as more avenues become available for reporting disability-based exclusion. It is therefore essential to ensure that your CCM strategy includes ADA-compliance so your company can avoid these risks and provide equal access to individuals with disabilities.
An inclusive customer experience makes it possible for every consumer to access your products and services. Businesses that don’t consider inclusion in their CX are probably not rejecting customers intentionally, but they may be overlooking the diversity of their prospective customer base. By building your customer experience with inclusivity in mind, you can create experiences that are accessible to a much wider range of potential consumers, who can engage with your company regardless of their age, ability, or mode of access.
Creating an ADA-compliant customer communication management strategy means ensuring that your website and online resources are accessible to individuals with a range of disabilities. For example, to accommodate visitors who are blind or have low vision, it’s essential to ensure that all text is compatible with screen-reading software and that alternative text descriptions are included with each image. To help businesses achieve this, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has developed Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) that can help your business build awareness of these needs and strategies to fulfil them.
In addition to ensuring the accessibility of your website and online resources, it is important to consider whether your communication channels – including email, SMS, and social media communication – can be customized to meet the needs of individual consumers. For example, your emails should allow the option for large print or audio versions to accommodate customers with visual impairments, and customers with hearing impairments should have a way to opt for communications via email rather than over the phone. We will discuss this in more detail in part two of our blog on creating an ADA-compliant CCM strategy
Apart from simply improving accessibility and providing tailored communication, an ADA-compliant customer communication management strategy can also help businesses reduce costs and improve efficiency. By automating and personalizing communication, businesses can save time and resources that would otherwise be spent on manual communication tasks. This can be done by infusing different codes into the functionality during the implementation phase. Identifying important attributes, like the ones mentioned in the examples above, can help improve the customer experience.
But creating a truly inclusive customer experience means making people with disabilities a priority throughout your organization. Here are 3 tips for solidifying your commitment to access in your CX, CCM, and beyond:
In order to make your CX genuinely inclusive, it’s important to have the diverse needs of your prospective clients in mind from the time you start implementing your CCM platform. While you may be tempted to add in accessibility features after you’ve built your platform, your products and services are unlikely to be inclusive or accessible if the needs of people with disabilities are an afterthought.
Commitment to people with disabilities doesn’t begin or end with your website. To be truly inclusive of people with disabilities, you’ll need ensure that accessibility becomes an organizational priority with a budget and strategy in place. This way, your commitment to access and inclusion will have a positive effect on both your staff and your consumers.
Taking your value of inclusiveness beyond your business culture and into your customer experience necessitates strategy and the guidance of an expert. Contact BelWo to see how our experienced advisers may assist your company in creating inclusive and accessible experiences for all customers.
Looking for more ways to ensure an inclusive CX? Follow us on our socials to read Part 2 of this blog, where we’ll explore industry trends that support an ADA-compliant CCM!