Each week we are going to be saying “Hello” to another organisation in the VI world to learn more about who they are and what they do.

This week, we are chatting to Gavin Neate (Founder and CEO) of WelcoMe.

So, Hi Gavin, please can you tell us about WelcoMe: 

We developed WelcoMe – to help deliver better customer service, appropriate to the individual – when we realised that businesses/venues were making the same mistakes time and time again.

1 in 5 people in the UK have a disability. Many of them are hidden but even for those that are visible, customer service staff often don’t necessarily know what support the person requires and are nervous of saying or doing the wrong thing.

The idea of the WelcoMe app therefore is that it allows businesses/venues to know their customers before they walk through the door. By having a better understanding of a specific disability or condition in advance – be it Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, a stammer or a visual impairment for example – the confidence of staff is raised, improving the interaction, which in turn enhances the customer’s experience.

How does the app work? 

Firstly, you need to download the app via the App Store  or Google Play and set up your personal profile. This includes key information about your access needs and information about what support you require. So, if you are visually impaired, this may be a sighted guide, written information provided in an alternative format or a suitable spending area for your guide dog.

You can then start planning trips. Your details will be shared with your chosen business/venue. They will also be provided with best practice information and top tips. This will hopefully reduce your arrival anxiety, knowing that someone is expecting you and will be able to provide you with the assistance that you need, so that you will then have a positive experience.

If a business/venue isn’t currently registered with WelcoMe, we can get in touch to let them know about the opportunity and encourage them to sign up.

What’s the cost?

Businesses/venues pay a small monthly fee but the app is completely free for customers. Currently we are just based in the UK and Republic of Ireland but hope to eventually extend around the world.

How can we find out more information?

You can email us hello@wel-co.me or visit our website.

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