Improving Communications For The Deaf Community
July 24, 2018
Improving Communications for the Deaf Community
AnswerNet and Connect Direct Partner to Bring Customer Service Solutions and Jobs to Deaf and Hard of Hearing People
Philadelphia, Pa. - AnswerNet and Connect Direct have partnered to bring the deaf community to the forefront of today’s customer service solutions. With 1 million Deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States, it is astonishing how little progress has been made in customer service communications. While the use of smart phones and video chat has been well-established over the past few years, companies still have not taken full advantage of the opportunity to provide the instant customer care expected by most hearing consumers.
With the latest partnership between AnswerNet and Connect Direct, companies can now allow customer service representatives to connect immediately with their Deaf or hard of hearing consumers through video. The agents will then use American Sign Language (ASL), often the first language of Deaf and hard of hearing people, to communicate with the consumer regarding their issue in a quick and efficient manner.
While this innovation is great for businesses, it also is a unique opportunity to employ Deaf and hard of hearing people. 47% of the Deaf community in the United States are not in the labor force. However, call centers can now expand their offering to handle emails, chats, texts, social media, as well as live video calls that require ASL.
“The Deaf community has lacked the support from corporate America. As consumers, they are not given the chance to speak in their native language [ASL],” says Gary Pudles, CEO and President of AnswerNet. “However, as an owner of many omni-channel contact centers, technology has so greatly opened up the world of communications that we can not only provide better customer service solutions but also provide employment opportunities that didn’t exist before; Being Deaf should NEVER be considered a limitation but being unaware of the community and the value they bring to a corporation is.”
AnswerNet is a full-service provider of inbound, outbound, automated and business process outsourcing (BPO) call center services. AnswerNet has more than 25 call centers in 19 states and two Canadian provinces, providing a vast range of services to optimize telephone answering services, appointment setting and confirmation, customer support, sales, lead qualifications and market research. Learn more about AnswerNet at www.AnswerNet.com.
About Connect Direct:
Connect Direct is a division of Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (CSD), the largest non-profit focusing on Deaf people in the world. Connect Direct eliminates the need for a third party to interpret or relay a call between a company and a Deaf consumer, allowing for direct communication in ASL, the native language of many Deaf Americans. Learn more at https://www.csd.org/innovations/connect-direct/.