Sainsbury’s are well known for their sense of social responsibility. As the COVID-19 pandemic forced the UK into lockdown, that sense of social responsibility did not change.

Sainsbury’s were committed to ensuring that their elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers were given the prioritisation they needed during such uncertain and challenging times.

What Sainsbury’s needed.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK, Sainsbury’s needed a way of understanding who needed their help. And fast. They needed to ensure that vulnerable customers were prioritised, meaning essential deliveries could get to where they needed to be on time.

For this to work effectively their agents needed to:

  • • accurately identify and qualify someone as vulnerable
  • • manually record that information
  • • use that information to prioritise deliveries

Because the pandemic was escalating rapidly, their contact centre was experiencing unprecedented contact volumes. Sainsbury’s needed a way of optimising this process to ensure the wellbeing of both their agents and their customers.

“To put this into context: we’ve been registering about 5000 calls per day manually. So 3,000 per hour is impressive.

Senior Engineering Manager

How we helped.

Over the space of just one weekend we developed an end-to-end intelligent IVR solution using natural language processing and text to speech technology.

We worked collaboratively with Sainsbury’s to design simple user journeys that were easy to follow and respond to. Our smart robotics brought all inbound calls into an automated journey, identifying callers and enabling them to register automatically for priority delivery slots. The solution also included the ability to quickly fail-over to a human agent in the event a caller could not self-serve.

The solution helped Sainsbury’s to:

  • • pre qualify callers with intelligent automation
  • • reduce agent workload
  • • enable agents to speak to those who needed them the most

At the beginning of the pandemic Sainsbury’s had the capacity to register 5,000 vulnerable customers per day.

Our smart automation did the work of 38 agent days, in just 7 days.

What was needed in a partner.


The COVID-19 crisis was developing fast. From initial brief, to planning, and implementation - we had them up and running in less than a week.


Vulnerable customer data was being collected on a mass scale. Our end-to-end encryption and specialist knowledge gave Sainsbury’s the peace of mind they needed.


Setting up an IVR is only half the story. Ensuring the right questions are being asked so that customers can be accurately identified is the other.


COVID-19 was unpredictable. Agile ways of working meant that we could be a responsive partner and iterate whenever was required.

Cloud tech. Digital platforms. Apps. Competitive advantages. We create them all.

We’re committed to constantly improving digital customer experience through cutting-edge communications technology

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