By Joanne Fletcher, Consultant

It is frustrating for both the customer and dispatcher or call center agent when they are unable to communicate with each other, especially during an emergency. As a service provider, you work hard to ensure satisfying customer experiences each and every time they interact with you. For most this means being satisfying and efficient, responding quickly, and providing accurate information or services. This journey is harder to deliver to some customer groups including those with speech or hearing impairments.

According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, approximately 48 million Americans have hearing loss of some kind, while the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that about 7.5 million people have trouble using their voices. And, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), people who are deaf or hard of hearing are entitled to the same services afforded those without hearing impairments.

For these individuals, receiving a service or reaching a business via a voice call isn’t always an option. Many rely on another person to make calls for them or attempt contact via other slower, inefficient channels. Text telephone (TTY) assistants and devices help, but can be expensive, unreliable, and require the other party to use the same technology. Short Message Service (SMS) and real-time (RTT) text are valuable options and mitigate these types of communication barriers. Using text options to communicate allows those with special needs to reclaim their independence while providing businesses with the confidence to assist them.

AGENT511 has text offerings to meet all your business needs including a text-to-911 platform for calls to the police or paramedics as well as a 10-digit long code or short code text option which allows a company to easily identify itself via a known and easily identifiable number.

Taking advantage of these texting services allows customers with speech and hearing impairments to connect easily, independently, and conveniently with your businesses.