December 7, 2022

The Importance of Accessibility in Customer Service

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The concept of accessibility in customer service is based on the premise that everyone, regardless of their different abilities, should be able to interact with a company and obtain help and answers on equal terms. 

But sometimes, customer support environments do not have the necessary requirements to guarantee this access, creating barriers in communication that affect those with different visual and hearing abilities. 

How can companies move towards greater accessibility in customer service? Keep reading to learn more about the main points.

Ensuring accessibility in customer service   

There are regulations around the world that, at a legal level, seek to promote an equal communication and assistance experience between people and companies in the private and public sectors. 

In Brazil, for example, Decree No. 11,034, enacted on April 5, 2022, establishes the guidelines and rules of the Consumer Defense Code. It highlights the mandatory nature of accessibility in Customer Service channels so that they can be used by people with disabilities and thus, they can exercise their right to get attention to their demands. 

In Argentina, Law No. 26,653 on Accessibility of Information on Web Pages recognizes the need to facilitate access to the contents of Web pages in order to avoid discrimination and guarantee equal opportunities and treatment for people with disabilities.  

What can companies do to offer an inclusive customer service experience?

To begin with, it is essential to have 24/7 customer service through the various digital channels with which people communicate in their day-to-day lives. While in recent times this is already a requirement when it comes to customer service in general, especially for these groups in question, it is key to be able to communicate with a company at any time of the day and through a medium, they already know how to manage.   

On the other hand, when it comes to automated chats, the technology must be developed with screen readers used by people who are blind or have impaired vision in mind. These tools transform the written text into an artificial voice or tactile Braille lines, thus facilitating accessibility to this means of interaction. 

Some points that an automated chat window must take into account to ensure accessibility are: 

  • A digital product has to inform what it offers in a simple, intuitive, and clear way. 
  • Each component, such as a button, for example, must be accessible to screen readers and have a label that clearly describes its purpose.    
  • Make it explicit when a process has started and finished so that the person always knows what to expect and when to move forward in a procedure. 
  • Avoid icons that do not contribute to the interaction to be taken by readers, so as not to contaminate the reading.   
  • Emojis should be read as part of the text. 
  • In the case of having an emoji selector, it must be configured to be contacted at all times, until the person decides to expand it to explore the available emojis. Otherwise, there is a chance that the reader will still navigate through the options and thus, detect content that is not actually on the screen. 
  • Interaction windows usually differentiate the automated message and the client message with different colors and alignments. But, to ensure accessibility, the screen reader has to obtain the necessary information to be able to make explicit when it is the person's message and when it is the conversational bot. 

In this line, Aivo's web interaction window meets the necessary requirements to promote accessibility and comply with international standards. 

Related article: Customer service vs. customer experience: Explained

Inclusive customer service 

Ensuring accessibility is a fundamental requirement for building a customer experience that is not only effective, natural and responsive, but also that provides equal attention to all users. 

At Aivo we work every day to develop a customer service experience that contributes to improving the interaction in digital channels. 

If you want to start providing accessible and exceptional customer service experiences, schedule a demo with our representatives.

Are you looking for new ways to improve your CX?

Our customer service solutions powered by conversational AI can help you deliver an efficient, 24/7 experience  to your customers. Get in touch with one of our specialists to further discuss how they can help your business.