Enhancing website accessibility in a multichannel world

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In the digital era, customers often have nuanced or additional queries when interacting with brands online. However, SMEs that are still building out their customer service division commonly leave customers to depend on FAQs to address the challenges they face online.   

Whilst FAQs are helpful, they are not a one-size-fits-all solution and for many customers, contacting businesses can be tough and often emotionally loaded. With this, human interaction still shapes how they engage with businesses and this is especially true for older and neurodivergent customers.   

To ensure website accessibility in a multichannel world, businesses must develop apps, customer support, and websites that are intuitive, simple, and don’t digitally exclude those who lack familiarity with technology. 

Here are three strategies that businesses can deploy to keep customers actively engaged, satisfied and ultimately, cultivate loyalty.

Optimizing multichannel websites 

More customers are accessing websites on the move. Recent research shows that there are around 6.6 billion smartphone users worldwide and this will rise to 7.5 billion by 2026. Businesses must recognize this and work to prioritize seamless integrations with multiple digital touchpoints as it is essential to have a responsive, mobile-friendly website that delivers frictionless experiences to users on smartphones and tablets.  

Further to this, customers still expect to be able to track orders online, starting from the moment of purchase on any device. Even during peak seasons, customers rely on businesses’ websites to provide support and real-time updates regarding the status and precise location of their order, including when they should expect to receive their delivery.

To manage any unexpected surges in website traffic, businesses must adopt technology that is engineered to handle traffic spikes, guaranteeing that websites remain fast, reliable, and responsive, no matter the demand. Investing in robust and scalable website hosting infrastructure during website traffic surges is crucial to optimize website performance. Implementing this technology is not just a simple bandwidth solution; it is a strategic advantage. 

Our list of the best website builders can help you find a platform that supports multichannel touch points with your audience. 

headshot of Suhaib Zaheer  SVP & GM, Managed Hosting at DigitalOcean
Suhaib Zaheer

The best of both worlds 

Human interaction still shapes how customers engage with businesses. As the market becomes increasingly competitive, businesses must provide the right level of support throughout a customer’s digital journey regardless of their digital capability. To do this, businesses must give customers the choice to interact with live agents and chatbots - especially when customers can’t find the answers they are looking for from FAQs. 

Chatbots can better provide instant responses to simple customer queries and work in tandem with live agents to automatically gather information upfront before transferring customers. Using chatbots to help prioritize customer support tickets by asking the right questions is a great way to ensure customers get the service they need when they need it. This level of personalization can significantly enhance user satisfaction, leaving customers feeling valued and heard.   

The future of customer support using AI  

The rise in Artificial Intelligence (AI) serves as a gateway in transforming the way businesses provide seamless website and customer service. AI now stands at the forefront of human-machine interactions, accessible to both the broader workforce and consumers alike. 

Businesses utilizing AI can enhance self-service tools to help speed up the customer service process. Often, customers just want to get help quickly without waiting on hold for a live agent or having to navigate complex menu options or worse still, getting into the cycle of misery with a chatbot. This occurs when issues are not getting resolved and customers are repeating themselves several times, often leading to shopping cart abandonment.  

By bolstering customer service resources, such as expanding support teams or implementing empathetic AI-powered chatbots, businesses can ensure prompt responses to each customer query. Proactively addressing common concerns through well-crafted FAQs can also alleviate anxieties and provide customers with readily available information. 

Check out our guide to the best AI website builders on the market. 

Enhancing website accessibility: Summary 

Enhancing website accessibility requires businesses to provide equal access to support and services, regardless of the user’s digital capability. It’s crucial for businesses to level the playing field for everyone and acknowledge the different ways users access digital realms. By establishing trust and improving user experience, businesses will see increased revenue and thus be able to build a stronger brand.  

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Suhaib Zaheer
SVP, Managed Hosting at DigitalOcean & GM, Cloudways

Suhaib Zaheer is the Senior Vice President & General Manager, Managed Hosting of Cloudways, a cloud hosting provider that offers businesses, agencies, freelancers and more a fully managed, expert hosting management platform. Suhaib joined Cloudways in 2021 as their COO and helped Cloudways dedicate its services to SMBs. Outside of his love of cloud hosting and business innovation, Suhaib is also a huge music supporter and is a member of the board of directors for HRDRV.