It is hard to fathom, but not all customers use computers. Response staff should resist the urge to send computer references for further information to the low-tech crowd: these will likely annoy rather than enlighten. Pamphlets, printouts from the internet site and other printed materials are preferable. A telephone call can help appease the frustrated customer, who already feels (and is) left behind by technology. Never forget that behind every customer is a network: family, friends, neighbors and other connections that will appreciate a company that addresses the concerns in a sympathetic manner. In this way, even the “disconnected” customer can provide more positive feedback for your company.
Many websites lack 21st-century instructions on how to reach companies.
Verify that your internet site includes:
- coordinates and other GPS-friendly details. If necessary, give an alternate street address that a GPS is more likely to recognize.
- a clear note of significant road-work--inevitable in metropolitan areas--preferably with a link to a site that gives up-to-date information on road closings.
- detailed information on parking, including free options for the thrifty customer.
- updated public transportation information, if applicable.
- unless it is obvious, instructions on how to get from the parking lot/bus stop/train station to your establishment.
- time indications: if visitors need to allow for extra time for parking or walking, it should be noted.
- Any further details for those with mobility issues.
In addition, if you have invested in signage in the vicinity, make sure it is complete. It is frustrating to be led partially to a destination only to come to a cross point and have no indication of which way to go.
Further: once customers arrive, are the entrance and reception areas clearly indicated, attractive, inviting and wheelchair accessible? Are visitors warmly received? Is there a comfortable waiting area, preferably with internet potential?
In short, an accessible company is customer-friendly. Take steps to optimize accessibility by empathizing with your customer’s needs. The most important way to do this is to provide clear indication that your company values their time. That powerful message should keep them coming back for more!