Sainsbury’s SignVideo service launched to Deaf BSL customers

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Sainsbury’s is the first food retailer in the UK to bring SignVideo to its customer service centres – revolutionising the way deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users can contact them.

The year-long trial of the Sainsburys SignVideo service begins on 2nd June 2015 and enables deaf customers using BSL to contact Sainsbury’s call centres via a secure video interpreting service.

Sainsbury’s is committed to ensuring the customer experience is as easy as possible for customers and this service means that deaf customers using sign language now call them instantly at no cost.

How it works:

The service allows customers to place a call to Sainsbury’s careline and grocery online contact centres via a free link on the Help Centre.

It instantly connects deaf customers to a BSL interpreter who phones the call centre and relays the conversation in real time.

The service will be available at all times Monday-Friday 8am-6pm and is free for deaf customers to use.

Sainsbury’s already uses Text Relay which is used by many deaf and hard of hearing people. However, this will be the first time that deaf customers will have instant British Sign Language access when calling the supermarket. Previously, deaf BSL users had to rely on hearing friends or relatives to make the call for them. With SignVideo they can do it themselves from the comfort of their home, with waiting times less than 30 seconds.

Tim Fallowfield, Company Secretary and Diversity Lead at Sainsbury’s said: “We pride ourselves on our customer service, and part of this is making sure it’s as easy as possible for all our customers to communicate with us about their shop. We already have induction loops in all our stores for hearing aid users, and we’re pleased to be trialling this innovative solution to make it even easier for our deaf customers to get in touch with us when they need to.”

Jeff McWhinney, Chairman and Founder of SignVideo said:

“Sainsbury’s has broken new ground in embracing SignVideo, a video relay service in BSL. They have been pro-active in seeking to ensure equality in their customer service experience for deaf BSL customers and SignVideo is looking very much forward to working with them to deliver high quality video interpreting services. By implementing this technology, Sainsbury’s has shown the way forward for the food and retail industry and I hope that more will follow their example by opening up access to deaf BSL customers.”