Warm ‘Welcome' on NorthLink Ferries with accessibility app
2nd July 2019
Company is first Scottish transport operator to introduce pioneering support service.
Serco NorthLink Ferries has partnered with one of Scotland's digital start-ups to improve journeys for customers who require additional support.
The ‘Welcome' app by Neatebox helps to overcome hurdles for passengers with specific accessibility requirements.
The free app allows users to indicate the areas they need customer service to be aware of and the specific assistance they require. Service providers are notified of the visit request and receive an overview of the users condition and top tips to aid their interaction with the customer.
Gavin Neate, founder and Chief Executive of Neatebox, said: "Our app helps disabled people to receive a better service, communicate with ease and travel with confidence. Even staff at companies with excellent customer service, like NorthLink, can struggle sometimes to know how best to support customers. We're delighted that they have seen how the product can help both passengers and staff, and hope that other operators will follow suit."
Seumas Campbell, Serco's Customer Service Director at NorthLink Ferries, said: "We use the Welcome app to make staff aware of the specific needs of their visitors in advance of their arrival. We can greet customers by name and offer them the assistance they may require. This greatly improves the confidence and interactions between customer service teams and passengers helping to build lasting relationships."
The move is the latest in a series of measures aimed at improving journeys for all travellers.
Earlier this year NorthLink implemented its new ‘Recite Me' accessibility tool to the website to enable more people to experience the NorthLink Ferries website in a way suitable to their needs.
NorthLink staff have also attended disability awareness training with Access Panel Orkney and in 2018, NorthLink teamed up with a sign language interpreting agency to improve access and user experience for its customers with hearing difficulties.
For more information Neatebox visit https://www.neatebox.com/
Serco, the international service company, has been selected as preferred bidder to continue managing and operating the lifeline Northern Isles Ferry Services for passengers and freight between the Scottish mainland and the Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands, providing essential access and supplies for the islanders. The outcome of the tender was announced by the Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands to The Scottish Parliament this morning.
Visitors to some of Scotland's main agricultural shows this summer could win free travel to the Northern Isles on board Serco NorthLink Ferries. Anyone stopping by the company's stand at the Royal Highland Show, Caithness Show, Turriff Show or Isles Shows will be able to enter a prize draw for a trip on board its vessels.
Northern Isles ferry operator Serco NorthLink Ferries is predicting its busiest ever holiday season. The company has just completed training for its 31 seasonal Passenger Service Assistants who have joined the team ahead of the summer surge.
Whether it's a day of pampering and relaxation or one of adventure and activities, Mother's Day is always the perfect opportunity to remind mums how special they are. As sons and daughters travel this weekend to see their mums, NorthLink Ferries is helping those still searching for that perfect gift by offering the chance to win a beautiful handmade pendant from Shetland Jewellery.
Serco NorthLink Ferries has been commended by the Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Paul Wheelhouse, for developing young people from Shetland and Orkney and becoming the first and only ferry operator in Scotland to receive the highest Investors in People accreditation. As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2019, 11 apprentices with NorthLink Ferries met the Minister at NorthLink's Stromness office where they discussed the benefits of modern apprenticeships and the opportunities being presented to them by Serco, the operator of the lifeline ferry service.
NorthLink Ferries is set to star in a new STV documentary on Friday (08 March 2019), providing viewers across the country with a unique insight into life on board the company's passenger services. Titled All Aboard and broadcast at 8pm, the 30 minute programme follows MV Hrossey as she travels between Aberdeen and Lerwick, offering a behind the scenes chance to see the many roles of crewmembers as well as a glimpse into island life and the stories of those making their way to and from the mainland.
The Serco NorthLink freight ship Helliar is now running the Stromness to Scrabster ferry route while the Hamnavoe has its refit this week. Bad weather is affecting trips today and tomorrow per the Serco Northlink website - Updated Wednesday 16th January at 13:30 M.V.
NorthLink Ferries has published timetables confirming arrangement for the regular planned maintenance of its passenger vessels, with one vessel at a time due to be out of service between 13 January and 25 March 2019. MV Hamnavoe, which operates between Scrabster and Stromness, will be removed from service for five days from 13 - 19 January and MV Hjaltland and MV Hrossey on the Aberdeen to Kirkwall and Lerwick route from 2 - 18 February and 19 - 25 March.
Northern Isles ferry operator NorthLink Ferries has reported a 10 per cent increase in the volume of passengers who have travelled on the route network since the firm took over running the lifeline ferry service in July 2012. The passenger increase coincides with recent VisitScotland tourism figures which highlighted a rise in visitors to Orkney by 20 per cent since 2013, while the number of visitors to Shetland increased by 10 percent over the same period.
Northern Isles school pupils are calling for passengers' attention with the introduction of refreshed safety briefing announcements on board NorthLink Ferries passenger vessels. As part of the Scottish Government's Year of Young People 2018, the lifeline ferry service chose four students from Anderson High School in Lerwick for the announcement on MV Hjaltland and MV Hrossey and a further four pupils from Stromness Primary School in Orkney for the MV Hamnavoe recording.
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