It can be tempting to believe that if you aren't aware of any customer complaints related to the accessibility of your website or app, that there must not be any accessibility issues — or at least any issues serious enough to bother making accessibility improvements.
Here are five considerations for why no customer complaints probably doesn't mean no accessibility issues
1. Customers might not know how to contact you
Is it easy to find your contact or feedback methods on your site or app? Do you mention accessibility to give customers a reason to believe submitting a complaint will be routed to people who can help resolve the issue? Are your contact channels accessible? Is your site or app accessible enough to find the contact methods at all?
If the answers to these questions are "no" or you aren't sure, it might be true that customers who would otherwise file a complaint or ask for help simply can't. For example, if the only method of contact is through a form, but the form fields aren't labeled in an accessible way, people who use assistive technology like screen readers probably can't accurately complete or submit it.
2. Customers might not think it's worth it to contact you
Accessibility statements are important for a number of reasons, including showing people you are taking accessibility seriously and are at least trying create accessible experiences. If you don't have an accessibility statement that's easy to find, or if your website or app has major accessibility barriers all around, customers might not think there is any point in filing a complaint or asking for help.
After all, why spend time complaining to an organization that hasn't demonstrated they'll know what to do with the complaint (or that they care)?
Related: What if your customers could resolve accessibility issues in real-time?
3. Customers may have found your competitors to be more accessible
In the digital age, people can browse information, products, and even companies very quickly. If one organization doesn't have what a customer is looking for, or if it would take more time and headache to try to go through inaccessible channels, that customer will move on and will do so quickly.
More and more organizations are realizing the power of accessibility. If you haven't yet, you probably have competitors who have.
4. Customers may not have known their rights
Digital accessibility lawsuits have sky-rocketed over the past few years, but this hasn't always been the case. Today, customers know that when they've been discriminated against based on their disability and are prevented from accessing the goods and services that others can access, their rights have been violated under laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Increasingly, as the rise in lawsuits shows, people are becoming aware of their rights to digital access and are defending those rights in court.
5. Your website or app probably isn't accessible on its own
If your organization hasn't taken steps to test your website or app, or gone through a trusted third party that specializes in accessibility, it's unlikely you just "got lucky." Most developers, vendors, and content management systems still don't have the expertise to deliver accessible materials, at least not all the time or without monitoring to make sure.
To get an idea of your site's accessibility, you can get started with a free website accessibility scan. When you're ready to contact us, we'll help you create a customized accessibility compliance strategy.