If you run a taxi firm or private hire car service, you might be wondering what you can do to cater to disabled customers. This could be as simple as having larger print information in your vehicle or looking at wheelchair accessible minibus conversions. Here are some tips for how you can support disabled customers.
The life of a driver is often a frantic one as you go from job to job. A disabled customer may be a little slower than someone who is more able. Let them take their time and don’t rush them. You can help where possible to be patient and take their needs into account.
Get the right equipment
A wheelchair accessible bus or taxi with a fold down ramp allows for a dignified entrance into the vehicle. While many wheelchair users might be able to get from their chair into a saloon car, it’s not always easy and there are better options available.
Know the rules
Licensed taxi drivers are required to allow assistance dogs on board. If a driver has a medical condition such as asthma that may be aggravated by these dogs, they are allowed to obtain an ED (exemption dogs) sticker.
Read up on the rule surrounding your relevant licenses as well as disability law.
Go above and beyond
If you’re dedicated to helping disabled passengers then it’s OK to go above and beyond for them. A helpful driver is a pleasure no matter who you are and is the key to repeat custom.
While you may not be required to fit a hearing loop in your vehicle, it can make things easier for those who are hard of hearing, especially if you run a large vehicle or one fitted with a screen between the driver and passengers.
Not all disabilities are obvious
A lot of people forget that not all disabilities are obvious. Be patient with all customers and understand that some may have extra needs that aren’t obvious at a first glance. Be polite and ask if you can help, if they decline, let them take their time.
Speak to your customers
The best way to find out what your customers need is to speak to them. By creating an open dialogue with passengers who have extra needs, you can cater to them. This saves you paying out money but guessing what they might need.
Good communication with passengers also leads to customer loyalty. Make sure you are visible online and in the places your target market spend time. You should advertise your services and how you cater to disabled passengers.