Access and Resources
Many businesses know already that seniors are an important segment of their customer base. Seniors often have both the time and the money to shop and they tend to be very loyal customers. And if you are friendly for seniors, you are likely to be friendly for other people as well, including:
Most older people are healthy, independent individuals, but changes can occur with age. Attending to some of the common issues related to aging will increase the age-friendliness of your business.
Consider how your existing or planned business fosters safety, comfort, visibility and clarity, and respect. In addition to this information, the BC Seniors and Healthy Living Secretariat has created an Age Friendly Business Guide to help you determine what to look for to make your business more age-friendly, but here are some basic points to consider. It includes a self-assessment and case studies.
Consider how people with mobility limitations access your place of business. They will find it easier if you have:
Consider places to rest and refresh, such as:
Visibility and Clarity
People are able to see what you want them to see, and hear what you say when:
A business shows that it promotes respect when:
The Better Business Bureau receives inquiries and complaints from seniors everyday. They take a slightly different approach and suggest this is what seniors typically look for when selecting a business:
1. Reputation. Older consumers are very likely to use a consumer agency to check the history and reputation of a company before doing business.
2. Service after the Sale. Businesses should contact their senior customers to see how they are getting along with the product or service. Offer support or additional materials if needed.
3. Guarantee or Warranty of the Product or Workmanship. Offer to stand behind your sale.
4. Making the Elderly Consumer Comfortable. Train your younger sales people how to deal with older consumers. Provide a quiet place to discuss business. If possible, provide written information about the product or service in large print.
5. Your Facility. Is the office or store easy to move through? Is there a place to sit and rest? Is your music appropriate to their taste? Consider conducting a safety audit or fall prevention audit in your establishment.
6. Advertising. Consider placing your ads in media that appeal to these mature readers, viewers and listeners. Use senior models in your advertising. Do not be afraid to ask for their business.
Source: Better Business Bureau
The Alberta Council on Aging has created a Senior Friendly™ Program designed to help businesses understand the importance of seniors as consumers and to encourage more age friendly business practices.