The foundation of successful accessibility in call centers lies in comprehensive training. Equip your staff with the knowledge and skills needed to interact respectfully and effectively with customers of all abilities. Most critical is that you provide call center empathy training. This training will educate your contact center customer service representatives to recognize and understand different accessibility needs, addressing customers’ needs with empathy and patience. Sensitization to this kind of human experience helps create a culture of inclusivity, ensuring that your call center team treats every customer with the respect they deserve.
2. Technology as an Enabler
While it’s true that technology can be both a boon and bane for your senior customers, by equipping your call center with tech that supports accessible communication from the agent’s side, you can drastically improve the customer experience. Here are a few ways to leverage technology for improved contact center accessibility:
Text-to-Speech and Speech-to-Text
Incorporate text-to-speech and speech-to-text technologies to assist customers with hearing impairments or speech difficulties. This technology facilitates accessible communication and limits misunderstandings for all parties.
Screen Reader Compatibility
Ensure that your call center’s online platforms and information are compatible with screen readers. This allows visually impaired customers to access your services independently. If you have online platforms or interact with customers via digital communications, ensure that the text is large and easy to read.
Design user-friendly online platforms with intuitive navigation systems with easily accessible support resources. Use clear type fonts and appropriate color contrasts to enhance visibility. Before choosing your technology vendor, be sure to do your research and ensure partnership with an organization whose products meet all of your contact center accessibility requirements.
Before choosing your technology vendor, be sure to do your research and ensure a partnership with an organization whose products meet all of your contact center accessibility requirements.
3. Streamlined Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Systems
By optimizing IVR systems, you can enhance accessibility. Keep the menus concise and clear, allowing customers to easily navigate to the desired options and include the option to reach a live human agent is available every step of the way. Find an efficient IVR system that incorporates voice recognition technology that understands various accents and pronunciations and can understand different speeds of speech to foster smoother interactions.
4. Personalized Assistance
Recognize that each customer is unique, and their accessibility needs may vary. Offer options for customers to request personalized assistance, whether through a dedicated accessibility hotline or an online chat service. This way, customers can communicate their specific requirements, enabling your team to provide tailored assistance and a memorable customer experience.
5. Feedback and Continuous Improvement
Engage with your 55+ customers to gather feedback on the accessibility of your call center services. Create various channels for customers to voice opinions about their experiences. This feedback loop can provide invaluable insights into areas that require improvement and highlight the aspects that are working well.
6. Multilingual Support
Offer multilingual support and translation services to cater to customers who may not be proficient in your contact center’s primary language.
7. Collaboration with Accessibility Experts
Consider partnering with accessibility experts or consultants who can assess your call center’s practices and provide recommendations for improvement. These professionals can offer insights into the latest accessibility standards and best practices, helping you stay ahead of the curve. Contacting your local Area Agency on Aging is a great place to start.