It’s no secret in this day and age that a poor customer experience will cost your company greatly by damaging your overall reputation. In 2019, 49% of American shoppers made a switch to a different company because of poor customer service.
Customer experience has quickly become a top priority for businesses, and this year is no different. Consumers no longer base their loyalty on product or price point—instead, they stay with companies due to the positive experience they consistently receive. As we at Talk Retail have stated,
“Customer experiences can make or break a business. Consumers always prefer brands that keep them happy and satisfied. This satisfaction comes when a product meets their exact needs and is delivered in a quick and easy way.”
If you cannot keep up with the times and provide a positive experience for all users, your customers will most likely take their business elsewhere.
More than 61 million adults in the U.S. live with a disability, and in 2021, it’s crucial to begin treating accessibility as an integral part of your overall customer service. When a website is inaccessible, there is no positive customer experience to be had. Fortunately, with the right tools in place, your business’ website can evolve into an inclusive, ethically-conscious space that results in an excellent customer experience, for all customers.
While there are many different aspects to take into consideration when thinking about website accessibility, the most necessary accessibility requirements of a website generally include elements such as:
- captions for all of your videos
- alt text for all images
- compatibility with assistive technology like screen readers
- keyboard accessibility
- and a list of many more
These kinds of factors, which usually aren’t difficult to accomplish (especially when considered early on in website development), directly impact how well people with disabilities can navigate a site to find and do what they need. The more difficult part, however, is ensuring that as your website updates with new content, you keep up with accessibility.
This is where AI-powered accessibility tool accessiBe comes into play, ensuring that your site is consistently accessible, even as you update content.
A quick overview of accessiBe
accessiBe scans and analyzes the functionality of every element of a site and adjusts it for screen reader accessibility and keyboard navigation. Every 24 hours, it scans for new content to fix. accessiBe also provides websites with an interface that allows for specific accessibility modifications based on a user’s preferences. Users can make adjustments such as increasing font sizes, changing color contrasts, stop flashing animations, and more.
Attract more customers
Making your website fully inclusive and accessible will generate an entirely new customer base, due to including disabled users. So even if you think you’re providing a positive customer experience without an accessible website, you are overlooking and missing out on an entire group of potential consumers.
Improve customer retention
Not only does having an accessible website attract new consumers, it also can improve customer retention. Getting new customers isn’t easy, and keeping them coming back is even more difficult. What many companies don’t realize is that they can keep customers longer by demonstrating that they value their business through accessible digital and customer service experiences. The Bureau of Internet Accessibility states, “Most research and statistics are pretty consistent in finding that it is much cheaper to keep the customers you have than to acquire new ones. In fact, small improvements in retention rates have been shown to increase profits by large amounts. Accessibility is an important but often-overlooked aspect of customer retention, and the reason is simple: if customers can no longer or easily use your products or services, they are probably going to do business elsewhere.”
Most discussions surrounding customer retention focus on building out complicated marketing and loyalty strategies to help cash in on the value and opportunity that existing customers can provide. While important, these considerations don’t provide any benefit to customers who really may like to stay, but can’t or choose not to due to accessibility barriers.
According to small business owners, “Web accessibility is critical to the full participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of life. Today we rely upon the internet for shopping, for education, for employment, for all aspects of our daily living. Without full and complete real-time access, it’s not fair for people with disabilities to be put behind.” Accessibility itself is an experience, not just some back-end coding that a web developer was hired to implement. If you aren’t keeping people with disabilities in mind when you’re creating or redesigning your website, it’s time to change your way of thinking.
Although most companies are well aware of how important their customer service is, a positive customer service experience will give customers trust and confidence in a company—making it more likely they’ll become loyal and repeat consumers.