Purple Tuesday: 5 Actionable Steps to Improve Your Customer Experience For People With Disabilities.

In a recent article we highlighted the value of The Purple Pound, which refers to the combined £274 billion annual spending power of disabled households in the UK. Despite these figures, many organisations are not taking steps to accommodate this large consumer group and are missing out on a significant revenue stream as a result.

Today is Purple Tuesday, a global social movement working to improve the customer experience for millions of people worldwide who have some form of disability. Organisations around the world are encouraged to develop their understanding and commit to developing practical solutions that will increase their accessibility.

If you’re not sure where to get started, here are some practical steps you can take this Purple Tuesday.

1. Listen to the right people

It is vitally important to listen to people with lived experience about what their needs are before you take action, rather than to just assume this yourself.

As well as being a social movement, Purple Tuesday is an organisation and number one brand for improving the customer experience for disabled people and their families throughout the year.  For 2022 they are conducting the Disabled Customer Survey, allowing the community to share valuable insights into what works well and what they wish to see implemented by organisations. Seeking out reports like this will give you a roadmap to move forward, driven by the right data.

2. Inclusive marketing

To attract the Purple Pound in the first place, it is important to look at your marketing and the message it sends to consumers. A recent Kantar study found that adverts that are considered progressive are 25% more effective.

When marketing your product or service, think about all of the different people that may use it so that they feel included and welcome. For example, stairlifts can be of great assistance to people of all ages but are often only modelled by older people. Make sure that you are not reinforcing a stereotype in your advertising or alienating certain groups of people.

3. Physical accessibility

Ensure that your points of sale/service are physically accessible by conducting a Physical Access Audit on your premises. Planning a visit can be quite stressful for someone with a disability, so share your access solutions on your website and clearly signpost them on-site.

4. Digital accessibility

The online marketplace is particularly relied upon by disabled users that are housebound or find it difficult to get out to a physical shop. However, 73% of these potential customers experienced barriers on more than a quarter of websites they visited. The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) provide guidelines and top tips on where to start with making your website more accessible.

It is important to also consider the digital accessibility of your social media platforms. As an indirect selling tool, you should be implementing good practice across all of your content. For example, video captioning, alt text image descriptions and writing hashtags in #CamelCase. This will improve reach and show your consumers that you have considered their needs.

5. In the workplace

Offering Disability Awareness Training to all of your staff will allow them better understand individuals’ needs, have more positive and meaningful interactions and offer a higher level of customer service. This should include training to recognise the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower for non-visible disabilities.

Disability Inclusion is also important in the workplace and should be an integral part of your D&I strategy. Ensure that your recruitment process is accessible to all and that support is in place to meet the individual needs of any employee who has a disability.

We hope these tips have inspired you to examine your own strategies for Purple Tuesday and beyond. Please feel free to share in the comments the steps your organisation is taking to become more accessible

Kat Peskett
Kat Peskett

Kat oversees the Marketing and visual identity of Disability Expo, from our branding to the everyday content on our website and social channels. She is enjoying the challenge of learning to communicate in the most accessible and inclusive way possible, through her designs.
Her previous role at Age UK gave her experience in understanding the varied challenges faced by older people, in her community and as a whole. Both her professional and personal experiences with disability mean she always approaches her work with empathy and understanding.

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