It is often the second that happens when people face their first deaf customer. Serving a queue full of people, busy taking orders, making coffee, you are faced with a deaf customer. When we are faced with a situation that we are not expecting, it sends off signals in our body which start our fight or flight mode. Our need to survive at the moment either makes us want to run or primevally renders us cemented to our place, like a rabbit in the headlights unable to do anything!
First of all, you may not know that the customer is deaf – you just know that the communication is not flowing as it usually does with customers, and then you start to show panic on your face.
These, ironically, are situations that we are NOT EXPECTING.
But how comes?? We know that there are over 10 million deaf people in the UK, yet we have not prepared ourselves for the communication tactics we could use when serving a deaf customer.
This is all about preparation.
Benjamin Franklin famously said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”.
If you had considered what you would do if you were serving a deaf customer – you would have the opportunity to offer ALL of your customers that world-class customer experience that we are all aspiring to – by simply preparing.
But you see, the majority of individuals, teams and organisations are not prepared to deal with deaf customers.
In the world of sports, we see teams perform after preparing for every possible scenario. What would happen if the ball went over that side of the court if we had 2 minutes left, and we were losing if our most talented player went off with an injury? They will have a plan for each and every possible occurrence.
And this is a concept that could create dramatic change if it were applied to how deaf customers were served.
If a team regularly considered the ‘What if?’ scenarios…
I am serving a customer, and they don’t answer me.
A customer does not understand what I am saying?
I say how much something is, and I get given in the incorrect amount of money.
This allows you to think about how to deal with these situations. You are not leaving it to chance or allowing the communication to break down. Still, you are being proactive about the possibilities – you are priming yourself to deal with any situation you face.
Enabling you and your business to provide a world-class deaf customer experience.