Looking through my twitter feed earlier, I spotted a new initiative by an Asda manager – to open his store one hour earlier specifically for the benefit of customers who have autism. This will be “Asda’s Quiet Hour”, when there will no in-store music, tannoy announcements and all escalators and televisions will be off. For those with autism, loud, busy environments can be really stressful – making a shopping trip almost impossible.
Being a disabled customer, I’ve experienced both good and bad customer service. But I’m sad to say that I often feel that businesses are often just “ticking the boxes” and aren’t prepared to go much further. A recent example was just last week, when I took my little boy on his first trip on the bus. The driver grudgingly put the ramp down to allow me access but his attitude made it clear that it was a huge inconvenience. So yes, he acted within the law but as a disabled customer, my experience was disappointing.
So it’s really refreshing to see a business actively going that extra mile and doing what they can to make life easier for disabled customers. It’s not really costing them anything, is it? It’s a trial at the moment but I really hope it’s rolled out to other branches and that other businesses might consider similar initiatives.
After all, in case you weren’t aware, disabled people in the UK have a spending power of £80 billion. It might be worth considering what your business could do for the benefit of your disabled customers.