Empowering sport and leisure through inclusive customer service
Activity Alliance is excited to reveal the new updated eLearning course, Delivering an excellent service for disabled customers. With refreshed content, the online module sets out to empower workforces within leisure and sport organisations. Upskilling the teams responsible for customer care in these active environments will enable more disabled people to have a better, positive experience. Supported by London Marathon Charitable Trust, Swim England and Everything eLearning, it is revealed ahead of National Fitness Day (23 September).
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, disabled people and people with long-term health conditions were twice as likely as non-disabled people to be physically inactive. During this crisis, inequalities have widened, and the full impact on disabled people’s activity is yet unknown.
Activity Alliance continues to work with key partners to ensure disabled people are not forgotten as we return to play. Previous Annual Survey research shows four in five disabled people do want to be more active. This means as activities resume in facilities across our communities, the workforce in customer-facing roles play a vital role. They will have a crucial part in encouraging more disabled people to be and stay active.
The societal impact of inclusive customer service is as notable as the business potential for leisure and sports organisations. 1 in 5 of our population considers themselves a disabled person or is living with a long-term health condition. That means there is potential to reach an untapped market. But research shows more than 8 in 10 disabled customers have taken their business elsewhere after experiencing poor customer care.
Users will be able to learn from top tips and practical advice when serving disabled customers. It is packed full of useful advice, including disabled people talking about their lived experiences. For a small cost for one user or multi-purchase for teams, organisations can access this online training here.
Barry Horne, Chief Executive for Activity Alliance, said:
“We all have a role to play in achieving fairness for disabled people in sport and activity. This course is a great way to improve your organisation’s confidence and competence. Inclusive customer service brings with it a more welcoming and positive experience for everyone, including more disabled people.
“Our team is here to help in your goal to be a more inclusive organisation. We want providers to embrace the opportunities that returning to play brings for us all to be innovative and accessible. This popular eLearning course is one way to do just that.”
Huw Edwards, CEO ukactive, said:
“ukactive wants to encourage and celebrate inclusion and diversity, and is committed to ensuring that more people from all backgrounds are more active. With our ‘Everyone Can’ programme, a key part of this mission is to create a sector that is equally and freely accessed by people. Our findings show that the levels of customer service and the welcome provided by fitness and leisure facilities are vital to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the mental and physical benefits of physical activity.”
Jane Nickerson, Swim England chief executive, said:
“Never has there been a more important time to reduce the barriers to aquatic activity for people with long-term health conditions or disabilities. A critical part of this is the confidence and competence of the workforce to provide a quality customer experience, which this training will deliver. We are delighted to have been able to work with Activity Alliance in further developing this essential training as part of The London Marathon Charitable Trust’s Inclusive Pools project and Swim England’s Water Wellbeing Programme.”
 Research citation: 83% disabled people cited this finding in a report by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Office for Disability Issues.