If a company is more concerned with its immediate bottom line than it is with the customer’s best interests, that is a short-term decision, and a poor one. That company is maximizing a short-term profit in exchange for a long-term loss. When that company stops looking out for its customers, it might maximize its profits that month, that quarter, or maybe even that year—but there are going to be long-term problems down the line…and if the company ignores those problems for long enough, its survival will eventually be at stake!
The sixth Convenience Principle in Shep Hyken’s new book, The Convenience Revolution, is Access. This principle is about “removing unnecessary friction from the typical customer’s day.” According to Hyken, the three factors that contribute to it are availability, communication, and location.
A large and growing percentage of the population has a disability, and these customers contribute greatly to the economy. However, many businesses do not make an effort to be accessible to customers with disabilities, which, on top of being unethical, can be really detrimental to their company. It’s important to consider how your business—and the businesses you support—make themselves accessible to their customers who have disabilities, whether visible or invisible, physical or mental. Using the three components of Access that Hyken mentions in his book as a framework for this discussion, let’s reflect on the various ways that companies can enrich (or harm) the customer experience of people with disabilities.
As a person who prides himself on giving great customer service, I learned three ways to create superb customer service after a recent experience I had with Delta Airlines. I made three observations:
It doesn’t matter what happens. It’s all about the recovery.
If you hear it, you own it.
Customer service is not a department; it’s a mindset.