As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, we cheer ourselves by thinking of future socializing in-person. We also think about returning to work or activities we love. These hopes help us through the challenges of physical distancing. Moreover, these challenges show us that we can be more flexible or more creative than we thought we could. For instance, retail stores and other organizations have adapted to physical distancing requirements during the pandemic. Many of these adaptations are also practices that make customer service more accessible for customers with disabilities. In the post-COVID-19 future, more people may recognize the value of adapting service to meet customers’ diverse needs. Consequently, more service providers may offer accessible customer service after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Customer Service After the COVID-19 Pandemic
As businesses and other organizations encourage customers to contact them remotely, they are developing new service policies. For instance, some businesses are expanding their presence online. Moreover, they are also offering more options for delivery. For instance, businesses may reduce or waive delivery charges. In addition, they may outline new rules for contactless delivery. Likewise, they may develop ways to remotely provide services they once offered in person. For instance, they may encourage customers to contact them by phone, by email, or through their websites.
Similarly, businesses may create policies about where customers can pick up their purchases while remaining physically distant. Finally, they may make changes to their hours of operation. For example, they may designate certain hours only for seniors and people with disabilities.
Some of these strategies will continue to be useful after the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, flexible options for remote service or delivery will allow companies to do more business with people in distant locations. Likewise, these options make it possible for companies to serve people with disabilities even if their physical premises are not accessible.
Furthermore, businesses that have adapted rapidly to physical distancing may make other changes to improve their service. For example, businesses and other organizations could:
- Ensure that their websites are accessible to computer users with disabilities
- Provide their workers with high-quality AODA customer service training
- Install accessible counters, fixed queuing guides, and fixed waiting areas
These and other changes make service accessible to more customers. When businesses and other organizations make these changes, they make their services more welcoming to customers of all abilities.