Whether a customer is deaf or hearing, their experience with a business will undoubtedly impact both their loyalty to the business and the likelihood of recommending the business to others. If they have a good experience with your business then they are also more likely to return, and choose your business over a competitor.
Business is competitive. We believe that one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is through a truly exceptional customer experience. When we consider that 1 in 6 individuals in the UK has a hearing loss, we can appreciate the significant size of the deaf and hard of hearing customer base. And for businesses, providing a positive customer experience for deaf individuals is not only the right thing to do, but it can also lead to improved reputation and increased revenue. However, despite the many benefits of providing a positive customer experience for deaf individuals, many businesses still struggle to meet the needs of their deaf customers.
This is often due to a lack of understanding of the challenges faced by deaf individuals in daily life, as well as a lack of access to the resources and technology needed to support deaf customers. Fortunately, there are many steps that businesses can take to address these challenges and provide a positive customer experience for deaf individuals. To improve the deaf customer experience, businesses can start by understanding the unique challenges faced by deaf individuals.
Deaf customers often face communication barriers, so they may lipread to understand others, or write down on a piece of paper if they want to communicate to someone else. There are lots of ways to communicate with a deaf person, and it is important to know what is and isn’t appropriate.
Providing Deaf Awareness Training to staff is a great way to educate staff on the best approach to communication-related challenges. There are also some simple things that businesses can do to ensure deaf individuals have a positive customer experience.
For example, businesses can ensure that their websites and marketing materials are more accessible to deaf individuals by including closed captions on videos.
It is surprising how many big businesses still do not caption their videos and adverts. When we consider that 61% of young people – deaf and hearing – watch with subtitles, this is even more shocking (YouGov). Deaf people (and some hearing people) notice when there aren’t captions, or if someone has relied on auto-generated captions, which are known for being inaccurate most of the time.
Another way to improve the deaf customer experience is by incorporating deaf culture and perspectives into the business. This can include hiring deaf employees, providing deaf-friendly training programs, and ensuring that deaf customers are represented in customer feedback and surveys.
To conclude, providing a positive customer experience for deaf individuals is essential for businesses in today’s competitive environment. By understanding the challenges faced by deaf individuals, investing in the right resources, and incorporating deaf culture and perspectives, businesses can improve customer satisfaction, reputation, and revenue.
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