Following customer strategy consultations with Business Disability Forum (BDF) Partners in October/ November 2014, a priority action was updating ‘walkaway pound’ research to help businesses justify investment in the accessibility of their products and services.
Collaborating with the Extra Costs Commission - which has examined and made recommendations about how to reduce the ‘extra costs’ that disabled customers and households face as a direct result of disability (e.g. higher transport, energy and insurance costs) - BDF was able to integrate updated walkaway pound research into the Commission’s consumer survey that more than 2,500 disabled people engaged with.
At the time of the interim report launch in March, BDF generated media interest in the headline figure of £1.8 billion per month being lost to businesses as disabled customers and their families and friends ‘walked away’ from service providers that were not disability smart1. The research found that more than 3 in 4 disabled customers and their families and friends had moved their business elsewhere as a result of a lack of disability awareness by specific service providers.
Overall findings of the new report
The Commission asked people whether they had left a shop or business because of poor disability awareness or understanding: three-quarters (75%) of disabled people and their families said that they had done this (75% of disabled people and 76% of parents or carers). Looking at this across impairment, the percentage of people who have left a business can reach 83%. In particular, 83% of those with memory impairment, 81% of those with a behavioural impairment, 81% of people with autism and 79% of those with a learning disability said they had left a business for this reason.
Download 'Walkaway Pound' Report Conducted by the Extra Costs Commission in collaboration with Business Disability Forum - PDF