An accessible support experience

Using accessibility guidelines to communicate with your customers really can improve their support experience. 

Your customers come from many different backgrounds. You can't always tell who has dyslexia or anxiety, who's visually impaired, or who isn't a native speaker of your language. But if you consistently use accessibility tools in your response, you can accommodate every single one of them.

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How to use accessible writing in your customer support

zapier.com

  • Provide instructions in the order that the customer needs to do them. Don't assume what your customers know either. List every step that they need to follow to complete a task.
  • Use headings, bullet points, and numbered lists. They provide a visual break for readers and improve readability.

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Write clearly, and get to the point, so they can solve their problems faster.

  • Use simple words and phrases. Avoid using idioms and unnecessary technical jargon. Customers may not be familiar with them, and translation apps may mistranslate them.
  • Use consistent words, terms, and phrases. Synonyms are great for creative writing. They aren't great for accessibility. If you use "submit" to define what a customer should do, don't use "enter" later.
  • Define acronyms and abbreviations. If possible, don't use them at all. If you have to use them, define them when they first appear.
  • Don't use directional language that requires your customer to see the layout of a website. Some people with low or no vision use screen readers, so they'll perceive the page differently.

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  •  Keep it simple when you're writing to someone who is really upset. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to send a simple email saying, "No, we can't do that."
  • Avoid using too many independent clauses in a sentence. Independent clauses are parts of a sentence that express a complete thought. If you separated them out, they would still make a complete sentence.

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Even if your response is clear to you, it may not be clear to the customer.

When you restate your point, your customer has another opportunity to understand you. Repetition drives your point home.

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Images and videos should be used to complement text, not replace it. They can be helpful, but they're not always accessible to all customers. Make sure to fully describe what's in an image or video. Only use images to enhance or clarify meaning.

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