Image Promo description

Register to use our site and access free newsletters, book events and lots more.

You don't have to be a member to use our site. Already registered? Login here

Become a member today

The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

‘Welcome’ by Neatebox – How to deliver a better, disability-confident service to your tenants


During his work with Guide Dogs for the Blind, Neatebox founder, Gavin Neate, identified poor customer service as a big challenge for people with disability.

In fact, 75% of disabled people report that they have left a shop or deserted a business due to inadequate customer service.

‘Welcome’ is a solution to revolutionise the way customer service and front desk staff interact with disabled visitors. While most customer service personnel receive some training, they are often nervous about putting it into practice at the time of the meeting and fail to meet the individual’s requirements. No matter the level of training, for many people living with "hidden" disabilities it is impossible to know about a requirement to act unless the visitor accepts the need to initiate a conversation and publicly reveal their condition.

‘Welcome’ by Neatebox addresses the issue of inadequate and inconsistent customer service by providing a solution that improves the foundational communication for both visitors and customer service staff. It allows a person with a disability to build a simple online profile with details of the additional help they might need when they visit a business or organisation. By booking a visit to a specific organisation, they can make sure that they will receive the assistance required. 

The system bridges the gap by supporting staff with essential tips on how to interact with their disabled customers and by giving users the confidence that their needs will be met upon arrival.

A 3-point notification system utilises geofence and iBeacon technology to alert staff of users who are on approach and who have arrived at their entrance. The advance notification and training refresher that is specific to the visitor will make the customer service more streamlined, yet personalised. This is the foundation to building lasting relationships with customers and to take a major step forward in the business' accessibility efforts.

The success can already be seen in venues like Jenners, House of Fraser, who in a matter of days upgraded their access service provision reviews from a 1.5 star to a 5-star rating on Euan’s Guide, a popular accessibility review page.

Jonathan highlights how ‘Welcome’ helped him on a recent trip: "This whole experience made my visit completely stress free by not having to find the reception desk myself or finding a member of staff to ask for assistance. It just felt so liberating being able to go and enjoy my lunch with absolutely no access barriers or worries whatsoever."

With ‘Welcome’, you can utilise a real solution to transform people's attitudes towards and understanding of disability to create more inclusive experiences for disabled people. Everyone should feel enabled to enjoy their independence and technology is a key contributing factor to empower people with disability. More than that, Neatebox want to use technology as a way to facilitate communication and genuine human interactions.

The Team at Neatebox is working to ensure that as many people as possible can benefit from better customer experiences by encouraging more organisations to sign up to the Welcome app. Gavin Neate, founder of Neatebox said,

“Housing organisations are in a unique position to support people with disabilities. The sector already works to ensure that new homes are accessible and tenants can get adaptations to their homes when they need them but are your offices and customer services as accessible and supportive as they could be? We want ‘Welcome’ to be available as widely as possible and are encouraging housing organisations to recognise that a simple app like ‘Welcome’ could make a big difference to your tenants.”

If you would like to find out how your housing organisation can utilise ‘Welcome’ to create more inclusive experiences for tenants living with disabilities, get in touch at or 07429 155 934.

Please log in to comment

Your comments

No comments made yet

Join today

We’re here to help you make a difference. Join CIH today and discover your potential


Fire safety

All the latest info and fire safety resources for housing professionals


The new housing apprenticeships

With a century of experience equipping housing professionals with the skills they need to do the brilliant work they do, we can help you make the most of the new housing apprenticeships – whatever stage of the journey you are at.