Double Tree by Hilton embraces tech to help disabled customers

An Edinburgh hotel has adopted new technology to improve customer experiences for disabled people.

Gavin Neate

Gavin Neate

The DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City is one of the latest businesses to subscribe to ‘Welcome’ by Neatebox.  The innovative platform, which was developed by former guide dog mobility instructor Gavin Neate, allows users to notify venues ahead of their arrival and request additional support if needed.

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Since signing up, the four-star hotel has seen an increase in positive online reviews and boosted return visits from those with additional needs. It now regularly welcomes guests with assistant dogs, wheelchair users, those with physical impairments and hidden disabilities, and are able to prepare for each visitor ahead of their visit.

More than 2,000 individuals across the UK and Ireland have downloaded the app, which has shown to improve staff morale as employees feel more comfortable when interacting with customers. It has also been adopted by a number of high-profile locations across Scotland including Edinburgh Airport and the Scottish Parliament. Leading political figures and businesses including DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City are now calling on more venues to become involved.

Damien Benevent, front office supervisor at DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City, said: “The Welcome app has been great for our hotel. Using simple technology, we’ve been able to enhance the experience of so many of our guests.

“Having this advanced knowledge means our staff are better equipped to welcome customers and can put in place necessary arrangements to ensure their check-in is as smooth as possible. We want all our guests to feel comfortable and relaxed when they visit the DoubleTree Edinburgh City, and Welcome by Neatebox helps us deliver that.”

Welcome is revolutionizing the way services for disabled people are delivered by improving foundational communication between the visitor and the venue making repeat visits more appealing and enjoyable.

Staff are notified ahead of a visit and will be able to make necessary arrangements, whether it’s greeting them personally at the door or simply ensuring wheelchair users have a table reserved in an accessible area. Welcome also caters for the millions who

have a hidden disability by providing venues with tips on conditions such as autism, dementia or epilepsy

Founder Gavin Neate said: “Imagine a hard of hearing person was able to communicate that they required a quiet area to be set aside before their arrival or a blind or visually impaired guide dog owner was able to ensure that staff knew how to behave around their assistance dog.

“For those living with hidden conditions, it can understandably feel uncomfortable declaring this in a public space t but, if it is important to their visit, they can let the customer service team know confidentially in advance.

“Having this type of advance knowledge helps businesses build relationships with their customers. Using simple tech, Welcome ensures users get the respect they deserve, and staff feel more comfortable in their interactions. Everyone wins.”

Figures from leading charity Scope estimate disabled people spend around £249 Billion each year in the UK. Welcome allows businesses to open their services to more customers than ever before and helps them access this remarkable commercial potential.

For more information or to sign up please visit http://bit.ly/2ByTMjV.

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