Is Your Website at Risk of ADA Ligation?

Is Your Website at Risk of ADA Ligation?

Is Your Website at Risk of ADA Ligation?

Suzanne McBride

The Cowbell Agency

ADA (American Disabilities Act) was signed into law in 1990, and is America’s most important law regarding accessibility and civil rights for people with disabilities, including web accessibility.

U.S. courts apply ADA and its accessibility requirements websites.  The Guidelines for web accessibility covers the 4 principles:

  • Perceivable (how one perceives content through sight, sound and touch
  • Operable (the way someone can use the site)
  • Understandable (how easy is it to understand)
  • Robust  (does coding meet standards, etc)

Rise in Litigation:

Since 2017, the number of ADA title III-related lawsuits skyrocketed – with small and medium business being in the center of the storm.

Why are there so many ADA lawsuits?

There are a few reasons why ADA web accessibility has become such a hot legal topic in just the last few years, including the spread in awareness about web accessibility requirements. Experts estimate that approximately 40,000 demand letters were sent in 2018, and 2019 has peaked with over 100,000 demand letters and over 10,000 lawsuits. 

Since it’s almost inevitable that the court would find in favor of the plaintiff, small business owners often feel that they have no choice but to settle out of court. The cost of defending a lawsuit would destroy even a medium-sized business, but the average settlement agreement still comes to $35,000.

Who has to comply with the ADA?

There’s a common misbelief that ADA only applies to very large corporations, but that’s a serious mistake. All types and all sizes of businesses have to comply with ADA legislation, for their customers, and for their employees if there are over 15 employees. That means that ADA affects:

  • Places of entertainment like theaters, movie theaters, and concert halls
  • Restaurants and eateries
  • Small and medium businesses of all types
  • Large enterprises
  • Retail stores
  • Local government offices, employment agencies, and labor unions

Here’s how Cowbell can help:

We can run a no cost audit of your site to see if there are any issues.  If so, we can add the ADA software for a free 7 day trial period, and if you decide to stay with the plan, the cost is $490/year, plus small set up fee.

Why Chat Rules

Why Chat Rules

Why Chat Rules

Adam Latham
The Cowbell Agency

Why does chat rule? Well, the answer to that question is simple, and it is the same reason why no one over thirty is really considered “cool.”

Ever looked at how the next generation communicates? They’ve got their head in their phones constantly, and they’re chatting.

The generation just before them seemed to live in email. And the divide is getting greater as we become more chat-entrenched. As someone with teenage children or grandchildren if they are more likely to get a response by text than any other form of communication.

Major corporations realized this a long time ago, moving a lot of their customer interaction to chat. And here’s the surprising thing. An automated bot in chat isn’t nearly as annoying as an automated voice system. I don’t know why that is. It just is.

And now, there are finally a whole host of platforms out there that small to midsize companies can implement to both improve their customer relationships and lighten their workload. And the costs are typically less than an expensed lunch a month.

So the question isn’t really “should I be using chat?”, but rather, “what’s the best way to be using chat?”

At Cowbell we’ve looked at a number of easy-to-install plugins for most websites, and here’s what we’ve found.

There are two basic levels: 1) I just want to chat, or 2) I want to actually embrace chat and use it as a competitive advantage.

For those who want to “embrace chat” for all it can deliver, we’ve recently discovered a tool that actually replaces most of your lead nurturing and similar drip campaign platforms. It uses an “omni chat” feature that links your facebook messenger to your website chat. This not only means they can chat to you in an environment they’re familiar with, but they are instantly a lead in your CRM. 

You can also configure pre-programmed bots to help your customers quickly get to the information they need without someone on your team having to hold their hand.

Let me make sure we’re completely clear about this. I didn’t mention CRM to scare you away. I’m not talking about having to invest into a holistic software solution for customer relations and lead nurturing.  The chat tool itself IS its own CRM. 

In other words, once they begin a chat conversation with you, they are converted. They are a lead, and all of their contact information, like name, email address or phone number that they have on Facebook, is now attached to their record in your chat tool. 

In the backend, we can develop a whole series of drip campaigns that can run directly through the facebook messenger or through SMS text. In other words you are communicating with your customers in the space they actively communicate throughout their day.

If this sounds too good to be true, it gets even better. Imagine if you will, that you are running an online banner ad campaign and someone is on a mobile device. And, someone then clicks on that ad. What if, instead of going to a landing page, they were launched immediately into a chat session with someone on your team. And, you immediately had all of their contact information and were in your system as a lead. You didn’t have to worry about whether they would find your call-to-action on your landing page. There is no landing page! 

In fact, conversions through chat are now as much as 10X greater through landing page or email-based drip campaigns. Why? Because…and some marketing professionals may be afraid to admit this… we have moved past the email-to-landing page-to-contact list paradigm. We are now in the instant mobile chat phase, and those who recognize that first will reap the lion share of benefits.

If you want to learn more about how the different chat platforms work and which one is best for your business needs, contact us at Cowbell, or better yet…why not just chat.

 

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