Education Featured

Disability Discrimination | How to Improve Your Customer Services for Disabled Clients

November 03, 2023

Did you know there are 1.8 billion disabled people in the world, representing 17% of the entire population? Did you also know that 70% of disabled people will NOT return to a business after receiving a poor customer service? Can any business afford to ignore the needs of the world’s largest minority group?

Next week marks Purple Tuesday (7th November), a social movement that works to improve the customer experience for disabled people and their families, ultimately leading to greater inclusion and accessibility worldwide. Last year, 6,000 organisations from across all sectors participated in Purple Tuesday, spanning 5 countries with a total audience reach of 23 million people.

In light of next week, we sat down with Craig Henderson, owner of a gender-neural, neurodiverse barbershop in Bolton. Craig’s Barbershop is a unique and compassionate space that works to desensitise the haircutting experience for children with additional needs. “From lying on the floor and chasing them around the shop, to making them feel at ease by playing with fidget toys or looking at the fish lamp, I do whatever I can to prevent unnecessary stress and discomfort for the child”, he explains.

With only 10% of businesses implementing a targeted strategy and support solution for disabled people, Craig offers his expertise on how hair professionals can improve the customer service for this clientele:

  • Ensure your shop is accessible for wheelchair users.
  • Introduce quiet times for clients who struggle with autism, anxiety or any other similar disabilities.
  • Support your staff in learning sign language.
  • Offer inclusive customer service training.
  • Create picture communication cards to help with non-verbal consultations.
  • Commit to a digital accessibility audit, as well as a physical site access audit of your salon.
  • Implement the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard scheme.
  • Introduce the six second rule when engaging with customers on the autistic spectrum.

To find out more about how your business can get involved, click here

Plus, read our exclusive interview with Craig Henderson on page 31 below!

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