Finalist category: Accessibility Award
Accessibility Award, Finalist, 2019
Welcome by Neatebox is an automatic, smartphone initiated, proximity aware conversation between a disabled customer and a business or venue they are visiting.
At this time, society relies on traditional training to prepare a staff member for the arrival of any visitor to their location. With increasing numbers of disabled people looking to improve their interactions with society, knowledge on how to interact has become increasingly challenging for businesses to address. This is made even more problematic as 75% of disabled people live with a hidden disability.
There are 1.3 Billion disabled people on planet earth with 13 million in the UK alone. Welcome By Neatebox is a pan-disability solution at a time when we must increasingly look for cost-effective solutions which cover the greatest demographics. It is also used by carers where an individual is unable to operate the technology themselves.
Using a phone’s location service attributes Welcome By Neatebox trains staff before the visitor walks through the door through the use of a name, profile picture, an overview of a condition, top tip and further learning (supplied by the organisation supporting the disabled visitor). The disabled visitor remains at the very centre of this interaction becoming more empowered and dictating the level of service they receive.
The beauty of this solution is its simplicity and its ability to enhance the lives of not only the disabled visitor, who can now shop and travel without anxiety but also the customer service representative. It does this whilst at the same time enhancing the reputation of the business and increasing their commercial success and societal standing as a leader in best practice. Neatebox is the first company in the world to do this and there has been immense interest in the system, with contracts being secured with RBS, The Scottish Govt, House of Fraser, Dundee Council, Stirling Council, Guide Dogs for the Blind, NorthLink Ferries, Visit Scotland, NatWest Bank, DoubleTree Hilton and many others.
At every step of the design and development process, the team sought the advice and included both disabled people and customer service teams as well as building relationships between them. Throughout Beta testing, they used live sites for disabled visitors and customer service teams to provide feedback. Their social media is incredibly busy with users of the service posting about their personal experiences on a daily basis. With Over 45 venues across the UK and Republic of Ireland, they receive feedback on visits and requests for more venues to be added on a daily basis. There have been over 1600 downloads so far although mainly around certain locations.
In 2019 Neatebox is growing from two founder members to 10 – 12 by the end of the year. With their #Employ20 pledge they will ensure that 20% of the company reflects society and contains either disabled staff members or people directly linked to disability.