Citroën UK has introduced a sign language video service in its sales and after-sales network, to help deaf and hard of hearing customers.

It claims to be the first car maker to offer the service on all of its UK retail locations.

Citroën has partnered with SignLive to offer its video relay service, which allows customers to communicate with the brand using British Sign Language (BSL).

Eurig Druce, CEO of Citroën UK, said: “At Citroën, we are inspired by our customers, and this philosophy is the basis of our ‘The French car that speaks your language’ campaign. We understand the needs of our customers and strive to exceed those expectations through our products and services.

“By partnering with SignLive, we are once again demonstrating how our customers inspire our thoughts and actions as we improve the way we serve people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

“Nationwide adoption of SignLive by Citroën UK retailers will transform the car buying process for thousands of motorists, ensuring that it is not only our products that provide comfort and peace of mind for all, but also the customer experience.

BSL is used by 150,000 people in the UK and it is estimated that there are over 11 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK.

SignLive is an online interpretation service that allows people who are deaf and hard of hearing to connect with others through a phone or tablet for help through a live interpreter. The service is accessible through a web browser or a dedicated application service. There are two main functions of SignLive: Video Relay Service (VRS) or Video Remote Interpreting (VRI).

Thanks to VRS, users can press the “call” button on the SignLive app to connect with an interpreter that appears on the screen to help relay conversations between the customer and Citroën.

VRI works by using tablets inside the retailer’s premises, which staff can use to call an interpreter who can then communicate with the customer, or leave a BSL voicemail message. Users typically wait 5-20 seconds to be connected to an interpreter.

To optimize access through Citroën UK’s retail network, all employees have received training to ensure that they can use SignLive’s services with ease.

Joel Kellhofer, CEO of SignLive, added: “Until now, the process of buying a car has been inaccessible to the Deaf community, with retail experiences on the whole being a regular challenge for Deaf people. and hearing impaired.

“It’s great to see a leading retailer like Citroën make a positive change to provide UK Sign Language users with access to interpreters to help them on their car buying journey, completely free of charge. We are delighted to help Citroën and all of its dealers across the UK make this massive change.

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