Disabled Customers

 

Customer Service

Customer service is the most important aspect of your job and the business success of Blue Pudding depends on our customers. Without customers, there would be no business and so your efforts to keep customer service at a high standard throughout all our outlets are of paramount importance.

It is estimated that there are roughly 1 in 10 of the population are disabled people (UK). Blue Pudding is positive about disabled customers and is concerned to ensure that disabled customers are not prevented from enjoying the high standards of service available to all customers. It is your duty to be sensitive to the requirements of disabled customers and to consider in every situation how you can assist their needs.

You are responsible for ensuring that Blue Pudding’s high standards of courtesy and service are extended to all customers. Be flexible and do not come to your own conclusion as to the limits of what can be achieved. Always ask your customer to tell you the best way to help.

Consider the following:

  • Alternative access routes for mobility impaired customers
  • The capacity for providing assistance for hearing or sight impaired customers
  • Allocating one member of staff to assist customers who have difficulties in understanding

Remember not make assumptions as to the assistance required, but enquire as to what you can do to help. Always wait until your offer of assistance is accepted before you do anything. Many of us have no experience of serving or working with people who are disabled in any way. We may feel uncomfortable or ill at ease at first. Don’t confuse disability with illness. The general health of most disabled people is as good as that of anyone else.

Language

  • Avoid using the word “handicapped”, use the words “disabled people” or “people with disabilities”
  • Avoid language that suggests that people without disabilities are “normal”
  • Avoid discussing people by their condition
  • Word such as “cripple”, “retarded”, “defective” or “dumb” are offensive
  • Concentrate on the fact that people with disabilities are individuals and should be treated as individuals

Conduct

There are many types of disability, some of which you may be aware, others you may not, or may not be able to recognise. Although these guidelines are intended to raise your awareness with regard to more easily recognisable disabilities, all customers, no matter what disability, should be provided with the highest standards of courteous customer service.

Hearing impaired customers

  • If necessary, attract attention with a light touch on the customer’s shoulder
  • Don’t shout. If the customer can’t hear what you say, write it down
  • Look directly at customers who lip-read and speak slowly and clearly
  • Use you hands, body movements and expression to help the customer understand you

Mobility impaired customers

  • Try to put yourself at a wheelchair user’s eye level to avoid stiff necks
  • Come round to the customer’s side of reception desks or high counters
  • Offer help with heavy doors
  • Offer assistance with coats and bags

Sight impaired customers

  • Always speak to a sight-impaired customer when you approach them – say clearly who you are
  • To guide the customer if necessary, walk slightly in front allowing them to hold you arm
  • Don’t leave the customer talking to an empty space. Tell them before you move away

When you take payment

  • Check the amount given to you before you process the transaction
  • Count the customer’s change out loud, coin by coin, as you place it in their hand
  • Check the customer has picked up all their possessions
Disabled Customers
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