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Digital Accessibility for Retail & Dining: Customer Service and Review

E Foley 02/21/18

Last week, we filled our grumbly tummies with a trip to the digital food court. Let’s go back to retail shopping, shall we? We’ve already reviewed the user experience of various people with disabilities when searching and shopping online and completing a purchase. Today, let’s look at what happens after the sale.

Your customers purchased your products. But the customer journey is not done…

After the sale, your customers might have something they want to say in a review. While this seems to be a simple task—select star rating, write review, check a few boxes, click submit—it can be anything but easy for a customer with a disability.

  • Unclear path. Customers with cognitive disabilities may find it more challenging to determine the path to complete tasks on websites, including leaving a review. A quick fix for this confusion? Send a direct link to the review form a few days after the product has been delivered. It will increase your overall number of reviews while helping out customers with cognitive disabilities.
  • Not fully functional. If your star ranking or other rating selection system doesn’t have accessible features like proper labeling, alt text, or keyboard accessibility, you will miss out on reviews from your customers with disabilities.

Gathering a diverse group of reviewers enables you to improve your products, and giving people with disabilities a voice enables them to spread the word if your product is great! Wouldn’t you want to know what feedback you are missing out on?

mary iconMary recently purchased a new smartphone. She has low vision and uses screen magnification. She wants to write a review and note how great her phone works with the accessibility settings. But Mary can’t see the review form because the website uses low contrast, gray on gray, to make the page look trendy.

The second piece to success after the sale is providing an accessible way for your customers to contact customer service. It’s important to consider multiple platforms to serve all your customers:

email iconE-mail Contact Form: Whether you’re using third-party customer service platform or your own form, be sure that the fields are labeled properly and error messages are clear. Forms are often coded “quick and dirty,” which works fine… unless you’re using a screen reader or braille device.

chat iconChat: Live chat boxes can be a boon for converting customers that are on the fence and just need one quick question answered. But if a pop-up chat box is coded incorrectly, it can disrupt the user experience for customers using assistive technology.

phone iconPhone: According to a survey of online shoppers done in 2016, only 7% of customers with disabilities took the time to call customer service to explain their accessibility challenge. Of those, many found that customer service representatives knew very little about accessibility or how to resolve the issue.

cara iconCara is a veteran who suffers from a traumatic brain injury. Her computer accommodations vary based on the day. Today, she is a keyboard only user. She needs to get in touch with customer service about an error in a recent delivery. But, the site’s indication of focus does not seem to move in any consistent order, giving her a headache and forcing her to lay down.

Return customers, especially those with strong brand loyalty, are a great asset. With a little attention turned toward people with disabilities, you can welcome them into your community.

Want to Learn More?

Download WhitepaperDownload our whitepaper, Making Retail & Dining Websites Accessible to People with Disabilities, for more information and tips for retailers and eateries.

Don’t feel like reading a whitepaper? We understand. Access the resources from our free, on-demand webinar, Less Risk, More Revenue: Accessibility For Retail and Dining Websites.

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