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Providing Accessible Customer Service Feedback

Under the Customer Service Standard of the AODA, service providers’ policies must include how they will create processes for accessible customer service feedback. These processes must outline how providers will receive and respond to feedback from customers with disabilities about how accessibly they provide goods and services. Accessible customer service feedback ensures that customers with disabilities can communicate with organizations about how well they are meeting customers’ needs.

Accessible Customer Service Feedback

Providers might receive feedback about many aspects of their services. For instance:

  • Accessible elements of the building or physical set-up, such as:
    • Service counters accessible to customers using wheelchairs or scooters
    • Large print signs with good colour contrast
    • Braille room numbers
  • Availability of technology or equipment, such as:
    • Websites customers can use with screen reading software
    • Video relay service for communicating in American Sign Language (ASL)
    • Assistive listening devices
  • Staff knowledge of how to operate technology or equipment, such as:
    • Whether Braille or large-print menus are available and where they are
    • Differences between closed-captioning, video description, and assistive listening devices
  • Providers’ welcome of service animals or support persons
  • How prepared staff are for temporary service disruptions
  • Staff willingness to assist customers with invisible disabilities, such as:
    • Reading aloud to customers with learning disabilities
    • Serving customers with mental health disabilities in less crowded places
    • Explaining policies in different ways for customers with intellectual disabilities
  • Availability or awareness of communication methods, such as:
    • Audible cues and detailed directions
    • Writing, communication boards, or alternative communication devices
    • Plain language

Feedback Methods

Since customers with disabilities may communicate in different ways, providers must allow customers to offer feedback in a variety of formats. For instance, some of the ways customers might give feedback are:

  • In person, by:
    • Speaking
    • Signing with ASL interpretation
    • Communicating through a support person
  • By phone, using:
    • Speech
    • TTY
    • Speech-to-speech relay service
  • In writing, using:
    • Pen-and-paper notes
    • Email
    • Texting

Responding to Complaints

Moreover, providers’ processes must detail how they will respond to any complaints they receive. However, the Standard does not give any guidance about how or when providers need to respond. Nonetheless, if customers offer negative feedback, providers must address the customers’ concerns. Furthermore, providers must respond using communication methods that take customers’ disabilities into account.

Documentation

Finally, providers must alert the public about their accessible customer service feedback processes. They should inform customers about their processes in multiple ways, such as on signs, on their websites, on phone messages, and in person.

Accessible customer service feedback processes ensure strong communication between customers and providers. As a result, providers that communicate with their customers gain opportunities to learn about customers’ wants and needs. Providers can use feedback to improve their services, become better, and attract new customers. They can also learn that some of their services are exceeding customers’ expectations.