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NorthLink Ferries pioneering accessibility app

The ferry Hamnavoe.
(Serco NorthLink)

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 www.neatebox.com

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