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How can brands engage better with customers with ‘invisible’ disabilities?

Posted Tue 30th Jul 2019 at 15:15
by Serena Bhandari

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Serena Bhandari joined Martin Newman from Consumer Focus to discuss her experiences around having Tourette Syndrome, and how stores and restaurants can make sure that staff can assist customers with ‘invisible’ disabilities.

A few weeks ago I was approached by a friend of mine from university, Maddie. She’s been working at a PR consultancy since graduating and one of their clients is Martin Newman, host of the Consumer Focus podcast (this podcast aims to educate, inform and provoke debate on how businesses can offer the best possible experience and service to their customers). Maddie asked me to be a guest on the podcast to talk about my experiences with TS in consumer environments. Having had Tourettes since childhood, I felt as though I have my fair-share of grievances with experiences in shops and restaurants so I was more than happy to talk to Martin about them.

For example, I’ve found visiting certain restaurants to be a stressful experience based on seating arrangements – and don’t even get me started on airports and flights. Every person with TS has their own tics and triggers, but there are certainly ways in which businesses can accommodate and make life easier for us. I hope that people listening to my conversation with Martin will be able to take away something useful – and if they happen to work in a customer-facing industry, maybe even implement some changes in the way they interact with customers! 

The experiences associated with having TS in public can be difficult and frustrating at times, but I hope that with more of us speaking out about it we can help to make a positive change.

Listen to the podcast here


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How can brands engage better with customers with ‘invisible’ disabilities?

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