One of the costliest mistakes made by small and medium-sized businesses today is focusing more on acquiring new customers than retaining the old ones. Studies show that it’s five times more expensive to build new relationships than to nurture existing customers.
Also, your loyal customers are likely to spend 67% more and make more significant transactions than your new customers. So, retention wins clearly!
And one factor that can have a significant impact on your customer retention rate is web accessibility.
By not adhering to web accessibility guidelines, you’re possibly driving away almost 25% of your customers!
Unfortunately, most of the prevalent strategies for customer retention today fail to focus on accessibility. Disabled customers tend to leave you because they’re left with no other choice. Hence a small step towards improving accessibility can help you retain tons of loyal customers. Moreover, it can also help you gain new customers.
So, let’s find out more about web accessibility and how to fix it so that you retain your loyal customers for a long time.
What is Web Accessibility?
Web accessibility simply refers to the ease of accessibility for your website that you provide disabled people.
Complying to web accessibility guidelines means that your website does not pose any hindrance to disabled people. They should be able to consume and interact with every feature on your website with ease.
These disabilities can be hearing impairments, visual impairments, inability to lift the mouse or operate buttons on the keyboard, mental disabilities, or even emotional disabilities.
Is your Website ADA Compliant?
As per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) signed in 1990, all the pages on your website should be easily accessible by disabled people.
Right from things like the color choices, alt texts, icons, buttons, forms, navigation, links, pop-ups, display, focus, and animations, every element of your website would contribute to this.
Sadly, the vast majority of business websites are not ADA compliant. A recent survey of 10,000,000 sites showed that more than 50% of web design elements such as menus, buttons, forms, and images failed. This has led to a massive percentage of unhappy and disappointed customers.
How is Web Accessibility Affecting your Customer Retention Rate?
The ADA promotes equal rights and accessibility to all kinds of people irrespective of their disabilities.
Hence, it’s super important for businesses like yours to understand the importance of web accessibility, and take necessary steps to remove any kind of barriers for disabled people.
Unlike the common notion, disabled people do use services over the internet just like any other individual. They might take help of assistive devices such as screen readers, magnifiers, or alternative input and tracking devices. And thus your website must be accessible through all these devices for a smooth experience for your customers.
Probably your customers were happy with your website’s accessibility when they initially subscribed to you. But eventually, they found some difficulties with accessing your site.
This could have happened either because you added new pages, features, or design to your website and failed to work on their accessibility. Or, some human errors cropped up while fixing your web accessibility.
How to Fix your Web Accessibility Issues?
Here are a few steps you can take today to improve your web accessibility and thus eventually increase your customer retention rate:
1. Understand the web accessibility guidelines
The first step is to understand and educate your peers about the importance of web accessibility. Resources such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) help us get a deeper understanding of what web accessibility compliance means for any business.
Understanding this and including web accessibility as a part of your future website designs, plans, and proposals can be a significant first step. This initial step could get you way ahead of your competitors who might have failed to understand the significance of web accessibility.
2. Conduct a web accessibility audit
Your next step towards web accessibility can be to conduct an audit of your website and understand where you currently stand.
This ADA compliance tester can be an excellent place to start. This will analyze your website’s markup structure, which will let you know the hindrances that your site poses for disabled people.
3. Fix your website’s accessibility issues
In the past, you might have made the mistake of leaning towards manual solutions such as hiring web accessibility specialists. But with manual work, comes the risk of errors.
Moreover, it might not be possible for such specialists to go through every page on your website and fix errors every 24 to 48 hours.
This is why an AI-powered automated web accessibility solution could be your best solution. It is affordable, super easy to install, and most importantly, you need not worry about the risk of manual errors.
A tool like accessiBe works by installing one line of code on your website and the tool automatically scans your website for accessibility issues every 24 to 48 hours.
It also comes with an accessibility statement and certificate of performance to ensure your customers that you take them seriously. This one small investment is going to make a massive difference to your customer retention rates.
The top reason why people switch brands is that they don’t feel appreciated. And guess what makes them feel less appreciated? Lack of inclusivity and empathy towards them!
This is why web accessibility can help you retain a vast majority of previously unhappy customers.
So, take this noble step today. Invest in a good web accessibility solution and watch your customers get delighted!
Ashley Kemper is an Assistant Editor at Commerce Mentors. She has 5+ years of experience in writing about Marketing, SEO, and Technology. She also helps with the end-to-end execution of content strategy. When not writing, Ashley spends most of her time reading and cooking. As a sports enthusiast, she spends her weekends running and watching badminton tournaments.