WCAG Compliance is Key to Accessible Customer Service

In a recent blog, we covered strategies for combatting employee burnout in the contact center. Investing in and developing the best talent should be a priority for your organization, and a key part of that is making your contact center as accessible as possible for your employees. In the digital era, there’s really no excuse.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are a set of technical standards, that aim to make web content as accessible as possible to the broadest range of people. In the contact center, this involves making sure that your cloud contact center solution meets this regulatory standard. In short, the interface your agents use to answer contacts must be WCAG 2.2 compliant.

To understand how to achieve this, we need to go in-depth on the WCAG guidelines. What do they prescribe? What does a WCAG-compliant solution look like? How can you implement one in your contact center?

Before we go on, accessibility is only one aspect of the Agent Experience (AX). To learn about the biggest trends in agent experience, download Content Guru’s whitepaper: From AI to AX: How Generative AI will Revolutionize Agent Experience.

What Does WCAG Compliance Mean?

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) recently saw an update. The latest standard is WCAG 2.2; a step up from the previous 2.1.

WCAG 2.2 is built around four principles. A website has to be:

  • Perceivable,

  • Operable,

  • Understandable,

  • Robust.

Each of these principles is supported by thirteen guidelines, with each broken down into success criteria that a given service must meet. That might seem like a lot, but luckily, there’s no need to grapple with every success criterion right here and now. To give you an idea of what kind of measures WCAG compliance entails, here a just a few examples:

  • To make a service perceivable, you need to ensure that users can recognize your online services with their available senses. This involves ensuring every image has descriptive alt-text, or using text colors that show up against their background, to make your website accessible to people with visual impairments.

  • To make a service operable, your users must be able to interact with your content through any interface. This could be making sure users can navigate your website using the keyboard only, letting users disable animations, or making your interactive elements obvious and convenient.

  • To make a service understandable, you need to make it clear to all your users how your service works. For instance, you need your content and features to behave in consistent, predictable ways, and make errors easy to identify.

  • To make a service robust, you need to ensure that your website is compatible with a range of assistive technologies, such as screen readers. That means making sure your website components can be interpreted by assistive technologies, including their current state, and if that state will change.

Adopting all these principles will result in a service that can easily be accessed and navigated by anyone, regardless of their different needs. This isn’t just regulatory box-checking; your business stands to benefit in real times.

Why Adopt WCAG 2.2?

WCAG is popular; both the UK and EU have adopted WCAG 2.2 as the standard for web content. If you’re a public sector organization, your online services are legally required to meet this standard. If not, it’s still good practice.

There’s a good reason to prioritize accessibility for your business:

  • Customers with accessibility needs are often classified as vulnerable. These customers are the ones most in need of support, particularly in the event of a disaster. If they can’t access one of your most important points of contact, they’re going to struggle to find your organization’s contact information.

  • And this doesn’t just apply to your current vulnerable customers; any one of us can become vulnerable at any time, through illness, accident, or injury. If one of these things were to happen to you, you’d be a little more comfortable to know you can still access essential services.

  • All this filters through to the overall Customer Experience (CX). Negative reviews have a huge impact on business performance (even more so under the gaze of regulators). Failing your most vulnerable customers will lead to knock-on effects amongst your broader customer base, and will provoke rising customer defections.

And this applies to more than just your customer-facing websites. The online tools your employees use should also meet this standard of accessibility. If your customers can’t access a particular system, why would you expect your employees to?

Improving Agent Experience with WCAG 2.2

Perhaps the most important applications of WCAG are employee-facing. In this contact center, this means ensuring that your cloud CX interface is as accessible as possible. Here’s why this is critical:

  • Your agents work fast. This means taking hundreds of calls every day in quick succession. A clunky, inaccessible interface is going to slow your agents down dramatically, forcing customers to wait longer for a response, and driving up customer frustrations.

  • As previously stated, any one of us could become vulnerable at any time. In fact, given that humans do age, there’s a 100% chance of you needing accessibility tools during your life. Your employees are going to feel much more comfortable in their roles knowing you have their backs in a tough situation.

That’s not to mention the fact that, as of 2025, the European Accessibility Act will make WCAG 2.2 compliance a legal requirement for businesses, both internally and externally. If your business isn’t up to standard, you could be at risks of regulatory fines. To get ahead of the regulatory curve, your organization needs to be working to adopt WCAG 2.2 guidelines now.

WCAG 2.2 Compliance with storm®

The storm® cloud contact center interface is fully WCAG 2.2 compliant. This means that our single point of access interface, the DTA®, follows all the principles of WCAG, and meets every success criteria. This makes storm the perfect cloud CX solution for public sector organizations; indeed, one of the world’s largest healthcare providers, NHS England, uses storm to handle both non-emergency 111 and emergency 999 calls.

storm’s accessibility, scalability, and reliability make it a first choice for both private and public sectors. To learn more about the ways Content Guru is leading public sector innovation, download our newest whitepaper, The Patient Revolution: How Customer Experience is Transforming Healthcare.