Even though businesses are making progress with accessibility across all fronts, it’s still an afterthought for many. When accessibility is treated as something only implemented when absolutely needed, the needs of many people can be neglected.
On the other hand, when you keep accessibility at the forefront of everything you do in your business, you can attract and deeply connect with a broader audience. Your brand identity, awareness, and recognition will grow too.
Prioritizing accessibility in your loyalty program, specifically, can significantly elevate your business and customer relationships. Ensuring anyone and everyone can sign up for and use your loyalty program is influential in your customer retention efforts.
Here’s how to integrate accessibility into your loyalty program effectively.
First and foremost, educating yourself on accessibility is critical. You must know what true accessibility is and the best steps to take to ensure it’s a priority in your entire customer experience, loyalty program included.
You can start with web accessibility. Study what accessibility looks like on digital platforms and see where you’re digital channels fall on the accessibility scale as they are now. This includes your website, social media pages, apps, or even ads run on search engines or other sites.
Then, go beyond digital accessibility. Research what accessibility looks like in the entire customer experience. Look at offline interactions your customers may have with your business in more detail and how you can make them accessible to more people.
As important as learning about accessibility and how it affects people, it’s even more crucial to know about your customers and their accessibility experiences. The goal is to make your customer experience and loyalty program accessible to your audience.
So, learn more about them. Understand their behaviors, interests, experiences, backgrounds, and lifestyles. Find out more about the disabilities they’re living with and how they’re navigating life with them.
Additionally, find out their thoughts about your loyalty program. Dig into what they desire in a loyalty program and their input on making it more accessible.
Of course, you can learn about your customers and business by manually collecting information about them. But, leaning on business intelligence and data analysis tools is a much more efficient approach.
Business intelligence and data analytics use data to inform business and customer decisions. Putting the insights you gather to good use can lead to stronger customer relationships, increased loyalty, and more profits.
Business intelligence insights can also help you address accessibility preemptively so that it’s a core part of your loyalty program and other business initiatives. So, revisit your business intelligence and data analysis tools. If you need to enlist the help of data professionals, do so. This will ensure you’re building a data-driven culture in your company by collecting the data you need and getting meaningful insights from it.
Once you’ve educated yourself on accessibility and learned as much as possible about your customers, it’s time to focus on your loyalty program.
We see a lot of points-based loyalty programs where you get points for every purchase and use those points for discounts, merch, and money off your future purchases. We also see referral-based loyalty programs, where you’re rewarded for referring people to a business.
As common as the above loyalty programs are, they aren’t the only ones available. Putting accessibility at the forefront of your loyalty program means giving your customers what they want and need within one.
Don’t go the typical route with your loyalty program. Instead, build one that your unique customers would appreciate and participate in.
Your customers want access to exclusive events and experiences. They might like VIP clubs or game-based loyalty programs. Customers can enjoy rewards. It’s about crafting a loyalty program that customers love.
Navigation is one of the most important aspects of accessibility. If most people can’t easily navigate every platform and channel you use to build your customer experience, they aren’t accessible. So, it’s essential to hyperfocus on navigation when creating your loyalty program and the rest of your customer experience.
Make it as easy as possible for each person to sign up for, understand, and use your loyalty program platform. They should be able to get to what they need, when needed, in the least amount of steps.
Accessibility also extends to the visual elements you use in your loyalty program. Ensure they’re appealing to most individuals in your audience.
Consider individuals with a disability, particularly when choosing visual elements for your loyalty program. Businesses often neglect this group’s needs. You want to ensure you aren’t one of them. Plus, prioritizing their needs when choosing visual elements will enhance the rest of your audience’s experience. Consider using:
Think about accessibility considerations when designing your online content. This will allow most users to consume your content and find it helpful.
In addition to visual elements, paying attention to the messaging, language, and tone you use throughout your loyalty program communications is essential. Be sure you aren’t using any ableist terms or language that could be deemed offensive by particular groups.
Also, define the messages you want to come across in your loyalty program and the tone you want to use to communicate those messages. How you communicate with your customers is crucial to an accessible customer experience.
Ensuring your customers are supported throughout the life of their relationship with your business is integral to accessibility. It’s easier for your customers when you walk them through how to access and get the most from your loyalty program.
Create an onboarding process for your loyalty program. You can start with an email sequence that sends your loyalty program users communications about taking advantage of the program as they complete their profiles and engage more.
Implementing live chat and a chatbot on your loyalty program platform is also good. Your customers can reach out for help with anything they need regarding your loyalty program.
Research live chat and chatbot options thoroughly first. You want to ensure the functions and features support the needs of your audience. You also want to ensure the software you use is easy for you to set up and manage. Having 24/7 customer support to help with common loyalty program issues increases accessibility and opens up your program to a broader audience.
This is one of the most critical parts of ensuring accessibility remains at the forefront of your loyalty program. It’s vital to make sure your overall customer experience is accessible too.
Customer feedback is the best way to find out exactly what your customers need to enjoy their relationship with your business. Reach out to them in various ways to get their feedback on your loyalty program. This could be through surveys, polls, and individual conversations with them.
Once you get feedback from your customers, implement it. Take steps toward giving your customers what they need to have the best experience possible.
Putting accessibility at the forefront of your customer experience is imperative. All your customers deserve to enjoy your loyalty program and everything else you offer fully. Take steps toward that with the tips above.