Sensory disabilities, including hearing impairments and deafness, are probably the aspects of accessibility that are the last to be thought about.
Initially, you may not be too sure, but there are plenty of steps you can take to help a customer have a positive experience with your business.
John Kamatis, who had been deaf since birth, says it can be very difficult to access businesses – the biggest hurdle that as a deaf person, he cannot ring a business to ask about a service or book tickets.
This means that there is a whole group of potential customers that could be excluded from your business – and head elsewhere instead.
John’s top tip for businesses to enhance their customer service is being prepared to ask a deaf customer if you can help them.
He also recommends staff communicate to a deaf customer by writing down what they want to say – even using text on a mobile phone.
Hear more about the experiences of deaf people accessing businesses as John speaks to Mike Goody about his personal experiences, which could help you to make a difference to your customer base.
tips for communicating with deaf customers:
- Always face the person and maintain eye contact
- Use normal lip movement – and don’t cover mouth
- Speak at a normal volume
- Move away from noisy or low-lit backgrounds to aid lip readers
- Write down what you want to say
And, it is always good to ask deaf customers how you can improve, which will help your business in the long term and bring about loyal custom.