What luxury brands do for their customers, that you can, too… and improve Disability Inclusion at the same time

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By John Samuel

As a CEO of a B2B business, I’ve been obsessed with how we can improve our service and offerings to our clients, so I wanted to know what luxury brands do for their customers that makes them special. When I Googled this question, I came across this article “Star Treatment: Customer Service Lessons from Luxury Brands,”By Kiely Kuligowski. In the article, she highlights seven high-end customer service practices that any business can implement. It was only after reading the article that I realized Ablr isn’t in the disability inclusion and accessibility business, but rather we are in the business of helping companies improve their customer service.

The seven traits that were highlighted were:

  • Offer empathetic customer service
  • Collect regular feedback from customers
  • Track customer service metrics
  • Be available for your customers
  • Get the entire company onboard with customer service
  • Offer personalized experiences
  • Level the playing field

Offer empathetic customer service

The article states that the most important thing that your customer service team needs is empathy, and that your customers won’t feel taken care of if they aren’t treated with respect and understanding. One business highlighted in the article, stated that they follow the “Grandma Rule”, which states to treat every customer like they treat their grandma. According to the UN, 46% of adults 60-years and above have a disability, and Between 2015 and 2030, that number is projected to grow by 56%. So, if we follow the “Grandma Rule,” it’s probably a smart idea if we treat all of our customers like they might have a disability, just to be on the safe side.

Collect regular feedback

The article highlights that it doesn’t matter what your perception of your customer service is, but rather how your customer thinks it is. This means asking lots of questions, so that you can truly understand what is working and what can be improved. It is estimated that nearly 70% of websites are not accessible for folks using assistive technology, but most businesses don’t know this. However, if you continuously ask your customers for feedback, you will learn the barriers that your clients might be facing, that you had no idea of.

Track customer service metrics

The article mentions that you can’t improve on what you aren’t tracking, but this is the case for many companies. If they did, they would see that clients with disabilities are brand loyal, more likely to be repeat customers, and if the organization made efforts to be more accessible and inclusive, they would be more likely to shop there.

Be available for your customers

The article talks about how customers want to be heard and that their concerns are your concerns. This is a perfect example of why it’s important that your website has an accessibility statement that highlights your commitment to ensuring an accessible and usable experience. But if the customer is having an issue, you can provide multiple channels for them to connect with you.

Get the entire company onboard with customer service

The article talks about how your employees are the front line, so it’s important to empower them to provide great service. This requires that you provide disability inclusion training for your team, so that they understand the potential needs of your clients, and can ensure a great experience. This is a key reason why we have developed our new training course called “Disability Inclusion: Putting Untapped Talent to Work”!

Offer personalized experiences

The article highlights the importance of knowing your customer, and making them feel special. It’s important to remember that people with disabilities are like every other customer, in the sense that they too want to be treated “special”, and that doesn’t mean having just an accessible website. The disposable income for the disability community in the U.S. is roughly $490 billion, which is the third largest minority group after African American and Hispanic populations, and they represent a market that you can’t overlook.

Level the playing field

In the article, they highlight the Ritz Carlton’s motto of “We are ladies and gentlemen, who serve ladies and gentlemen.”  I love this motto, but it’s important to remember that roughly 20% of the U.S. population has a disability, so it’s important to make sure that you have “ladies and gentlemen” with disabilities on your team, because you will surely have customers with them.

So if your company is committed to providing great customer service and want to step up your game, let us know! Our team at Ablr will equip you with the skills and techniques, which are designed to support people with disabilities, but as you can see above, it will improve the customer experience for everyone!  Send me an email at John.Samuel@Ablr360.com, because I want to hear from you, and make sure that you have a great customer experience working with our team!