There are 11 million deaf people in the UK.
150,000 of those use British Sign Language (BSL) to communicate.
But where do they shop? Whose services do they use?
Like the majority of customers, deaf customers will favour businesses who provide a better level of customer service. And for a deaf customer that service includes an understanding of their specific needs.
Provide that, and you can be sure they will shop with you, not your competition.
But you will need to be aware of the challenges you might face in the current marketplace.
- Customers’ expectations are higher than ever, and increasing all the time
- It has never been easier to switch loyalty to another brand
- When an unhappy customer complains, they can do so publically and reach many thousands of your customers
- There is huge disruption in the marketplace
The consequence is that retaining customer loyalty is becoming increasingly challenging.
BUT there is a community of people who make shopping decisions based on a different set of criteria entirely.
This community is searching for businesses, retailers and organisations who understand their specific needs. And, once they have found a supplier who offers that level of service, they are highly likely to remain loyal because finding that service elsewhere will be challenging.
This community is made up of the 11 million people in the UK who are deaf or have a hearing loss. And, with an ageing population, this number is estimated to rise to an estimated 15.6 million by 2035.
Imagine. If you penetrated just 0.5% of this market, your return on investment would be huge!
Getting it right will bring significant rewards both in terms of:
- Increased sales
- Press coverage
- Social impact on reputation and CSR
However, getting this wrong could have catastrophic consequences for a business. Looking at social media will demonstrate how several well-known brands have been subject to this experience already.