This promoted content is produced by a publishing partner of Open Mic. A paid-for membership product for partners of The Drum to self-publish their news, opinions and insights on thedrum.com - Find out more
Here’s how agencies can address their client’s objections to web accessibility
October 18, 2022
Web accessibility has become a primary staple in agencies’ service offerings, largely due to the benefits and values the inclusive practice holds for those who implement it. Whether web accessibility is offered as a standalone service or part of a package deal, agencies can ensure that their clients’ websites are open to everyone, regardless of ability. This level of accessibility optimizes their clients’ website user experiences, enhances performance metrics and SEO, and attracts a new, loyal customer base. All of these benefits have been included in conversations focused on web accessibility for quite some time now.
However, agencies still have to combat common objections from their clients that are intended to justify why their sites are still inaccessible. The reasons for overlooking web accessibility usually include a lack of awareness or understanding of the law that requires websites to be accessible, budgetary constraints, and design preferences.
The top five objections made by clients are ones that frequently circulate within the accessibility industry’s target market. So, by now, web accessibility experts and service providers know how to address these objections and, therefore, better inform businesses or website owners about the importance of web accessibility, its benefits and requirements, as well as any misconceptions that need to be corrected. The following objections made by clients to their agencies can be approached accordingly:
Objection 1: It only benefits a small community
Chances are, clients don’t know about web accessibility and if they do, they believe it only serves a nice audience. In contrast, the disability community actually makes up 25% of the United States population and possesses colossal spending power. That’s a large market that they can’t afford to ignore, but it’s also a sizable community they shouldn’t discriminate against. This objection is a chance to highlight the potential to tap into a new market, but it’s also the right time to enter moral responsibility into the discussion.
What to say: “The disability community is massive, and one out of every four Americans lives with a disability of some kind. Not only is the community bigger than you expected, but their total disposable income equals $490 billion. Besides tapping into this untouched market, you would also be setting a moral example and doing the right thing for an enormous group of people who deserve fair access to the online realm.”
Objection 2: I had no idea the law required my website to be accessible
It’s more than possible that your clients aren’t aware of the existence of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which also means they know little to nothing about ADA compliance or the legal requirement to be accessible. And, if this is the case, they’re likely unaware of the legal risk they face as a business for operating an inaccessible website, and they remain clueless about the rise of demand letters and web-related lawsuits the United States sees yearly. When a client makes this objection, it’s simply about educating them on the law and its consequences.
What to say: “Yes, web accessibility is a matter of compliance, and we see web-related lawsuits lift yearly, accumulating a 320% increase over the past eight years alone. Get ahead of the game and mitigate the risk of litigation. You’ll save valuable time and money in the long run, and you’ll preserve a positive reputation as a company that operates an inclusive, accessible site.”
Objection 3: No one has complained about our website yet
Many clients will hear about web accessibility for the first time and think to themselves, “No one has complained about my website yet, so it must not be such a big deal.” This couldn’t be further from the truth, and just because your clients haven’t encountered any complaints yet, it doesn’t mean that they won’t in the future.
What to say: “Word of mouth is extremely important within the disability community. And once you block off one user with a disability from your website, their friends and family will hear about the experience and no longer support your business. Inclusivity is what drives consumer loyalty, with two out of three Americans allowing their social values to shape their shopping choices; And, web accessibility offers the most optimal, inclusive experience that one can find. You would rather gain recognition and exposure with a reputation for being inclusive rather than exclusive.”
Objection 4: We don’t have the financial resources for it
This objection usually comes from small to medium-sized businesses or a startup with a tight budget. While it used to be true that implementing web accessibility was a complicated and expensive task, affordable solutions that are powered by advanced technology are now available to those who can’t afford to break the bank. Any client who offers this as a reason for overlooking web accessibility just needs to be updated on the modern options available to them that suit their financial needs or preferences.
What to say: “New, automated web accessibility solutions are business-friendly and affordable for businesses of all sizes. AccessWidget, for example, offers pricing plans based on page count with yearly billing charged at only $49 per month.”
Objection 5: It makes my website ugly
Clients who are super invested in their website’s design and aesthetic will make this objection frequently. We need to inform them that, today, advanced solutions can be integrated into a website without disrupting the look and feel of the interface, and instead, actually clean up elements such as page structure or visual media found on a website. Web accessibility creates an improved user experience, after all.
What to say: “Automated, integrated solutions open your website to everyone and include audiences of all types, without impacting your website’s design or your product team’s creative aspirations. Web accessibility enhances an interface according to the personalized preferences of the user with a disability, and most solutions can be customized to match the branding of a business’ website. This, in turn, offers optimal user acquisition experiences.”
Objections can always be cleared up with facts and information
Common objections, reasons, justifications, or misconceptions will always be raised from client to agency when relevant to web accessibility. As sure as they are to come up, it’s important to be prepared with the correct details and facts that will counteract the initial sentiments so that clients can see from legal, monetary, and ethical perspectives why implementing web accessibility is so crucial. Once you instill this need-to-know information within your clients’ knowledge base, offering web accessibility as a service will be a more fruitful endeavor.