VUSSC/Content/Tourism/Customer Care/Recognising Customer individual Needs

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To be able to respond to the individual needs of customers we need to be able to recognise that their needs exist. How do we know that a customer has a particular need?

In some instances particular needs may be quite obvious.

(i) A customer with a disability affecting mobility may be using

  • a wheelchair;
  • a walking frame;
  • sticks or crutches;
  • other mobility aids;
  • the assistance of a companion.

(ii) A customer with a sight-impairment may use a white stick.

(iii) A customer with a hearing impairment may have noticeable hearing aids or a badge indicating that their hearing is limited.

When you see these indications, you should be able to recognise that customers have particular needs that you can respond to. This is not always the case.

In other instances, customers’ individual needs may not be as apparent. If this is the case you will need to use your observational skills to recognise that the need exists.

Examples: You may

  • recognise that a customer, who is experiencing difficulty understanding what you say to him/her might have a hearing impairment;
  • have difficulty understanding the words of a customer with speech impairment;
  • notice that someone is confused by his/her surroundings or your actions.

At this stage complete activity 16.

Activity 16

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Make a note of some indications that you might recognise, which would help you to understand that your customers have a particular need.
(i) A customer who has had an injury.
(ii) A customer who has become unwell.
(iii) A customer who is confused.