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Tesco: Making the Customer Experience More Accessible for all Customers

Navigating the accessibility landscape can prove challenging for businesses looking to better accommodate customers who require assistance for their disability. For customers who have hidden disabilities, it can be even more difficult for an organization to predict how they can best provide assistance.

Hidden disabilities can include sight or hearing problems, epilepsy, autism, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and more. Additionally, hidden disabilities can also include mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, attention deficit disorder, learning disabilities, and agoraphobia.

Tesco is a multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer based in England, and is the UK market leader for groceries. They have committed to providing sunflower lanyards to their customers as a discreet sign that the wearer has a hidden disability and could require additional assistance.

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The Set-Up

Tesco will make sunflower lanyards available to all customers who wish to participate in this program, allowing them to receive additional assistance when they are in the store. To sign up for this program, customers can contact their local store and pick up their lanyard during their next shopping trip.

By making these sunflower lanyards readily accessible at any point in the shopping experience, Tesco makes this component of their customer experience frictionless. Smoothing out the potentially bumpy nature of providing disability accommodations enables Tesco to exceed expectations and better serve those who need assistance.

The Execution

Within Tesco brick and mortar locations, the lanyard acts as a sign to employees that the wearer has a disability and is asking for additional assistance. Tesco employees are now able to offer help such as speaking face-to-face to allow lip-reading, packing bags, and taking them to customers' cars, or reading labels for partially sighted customers.

Making all disabilities visible enables customers to receive additional assistance that otherwise would have been overlooked by employees. This added visibility allows employees to build a more customized experience for each customer, and to tailor the shopping experience to better suit the needs of a customer that may have a different expectation for their experience inside a Tesco store.

The Benefit

CX is about providing an exceptional experience for every customer – and some customers need a more specific experience than others. Tesco understood that and began rolling out free sunflower lanyards – a strategy that was quickly mirrored by many other UK-based organizations.

When your organization takes the time to consider the unique needs of each customer’s journey, you are able to provide better service, build lifelong loyalty, and ultimately drive revenue. Better service for just one customer journey can ultimately impact your entire CX strategy as your organization learns to better adapt to the evolving needs of your customer base.

If your business strives to create personalized and responsive customer experiences that exceed the expectations of your customers, it may be time to consider new approaches to how you currently meet their needs. Just like Tesco, finding new and creative ways to serve your customer base better can be critical to growing loyal and long-lasting relationships.

At Avtex, we are excited to partner with your organization to find the systems and tools that will best fit your organization and help you deploy those in the timeframe that works best for you. By taking a design-first approach to your CX plan, we can help you tap into actionable customer insights and strategically orchestrate an intentional, holistic Customer Experience.

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