Businesses offering general products and services should strive to create a welcoming environment for all age demographics.
But as the 60+ population grows, making additional accommodations for seniors may be key to a business’s ongoing success. In fact, by 2030,one in six people on the planet will be aged 60 or over.
Here are four measures that can be taken to ensure clients and customers of all age groups feel comfortable so that your business is considered an inclusive, community-minded space.
Make Physical Modifications
Making modifications to a space and investing in mobility aids and devices with seniors in mind means you’ll be immediately creating a welcoming environment.
Some ways to do this include:
- widening aisle ways in storefronts so that those with walkers and walking sticks can easily navigate the space;
- investing in stair chairs for the elderly so that seniors (and other persons with reduced mobility) know that they’re catered to in the event of an emergency;
- installing automatic doors — and purchasing ramps if you have a step at the front door — for ease of entry and exit;
- lowering a desk if services are offered at a counter;
- laying down non-slip flooring, especially during inclement weather; and
- placing comfortable chairs around the space for people who need to rest.
By catering to a wider demographic of persons moving forward, your business can expand its reach and appear forward-thinking and welcoming.
Implement Team Training
Customer service is arguably one of the most important components of any public-facing business. Clients are more likely to return, leave positive reviews and spend more money if they have a pleasant experience with team members.
For that reason, implement a training policy for team members that reiterates the importance of patient and compassionate service that’s free of condescension. Include lessons and practices, so staff know how to accommodate persons with visual and auditory impairments.
In addition, having multiple team members that are trained in First Aid is always beneficial regardless of your clientele’s demographic.
Connect with your customers and clients. Regularly solicit feedback to see how you’re doing and to see if any further adjustments can be made to better the space and your services. This can be done by social media polls, through a website pop-up, by chatting with clients and customers when they’re in your physical store or office, and through in-store suggestion boxes.
By seeking feedback through a variety of means, you’re maximizing the potential for a useful response. Further, by covering all bases in seeking feedback, you’re adopting a more inclusive and community-oriented approach.
Offer Senior Hours
If viable — and if it makes sense financially — consider offering senior-specific hours exclusively for 60+ shoppers. Establish comfortable accommodations, including brighter lights and a lower volume of music.
By making some changes to your physical space and small adjustments in how team members engage with clients, your business is setting itself up for success. Consider all ages going forward, and your business will be known as a community mainstay that genuinely cares about and values its customers.