People with disabilities often have difficulty dealing with company call centers. For instance, those who are blind have reported that call center service reps often assume that callers can see using their eyes, and are unable to divert from the script – even after the customer has told the rep that they are unable to do what the rep is asking such as reading a tiny number from a product. Other issues have been for folks who are hard of hearing, having their requests to speak slowly, ignored or people with traumatic brain injuries such as service disabled veterans, having difficulty locating the correct menu for their request or entering required numbers.
So what’s a company to do? Make sure all call center staff are trained on disability etiquette & awareness, ensure all of the computer systems meet current accessibility guidelines and make sure the reps know how to use the systems to ensure accessibility for all who need it. Also, remember to include an option of speaking to an operator in the initial voice response menu but allow for the system to automatically transfer the caller to the operator if no option is chosen.
At the end of the day, it’s about good business. The disability community is the largest and fastest growing minority market in the world, in the U.S., surpassing the Hispanic population by 5%. As the population gets older and more veterans return home with service related disabilities, these numbers are only going to grow. These individuals have interests in your products and services, have money to spend but will not do so if they are not treated appropriately.