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12/01/2020

CalMac offers bi-lingual customer care service

The UK's largest ferry and harbour operator is adding to its support for Gaelic speakers by offering a bi-lingual English and Gaelic customer care service.

As a pilot project over the summer CalMac created a new customer care centre in Stornoway, bringing six new jobs to the town. It has now confirmed this as a permanent fixture with staff there enhancing the Gaelic face of the company.

Previously assistance from a Gaelic speaker was only available to Gaelic-speaking customers telephoning or visiting port offices in Gaelic-speaking areas, but now anyone who would like to make an enquiry in Gaelic can be transferred to a native speaker to deal with their booking.

The Stornoway team will also be steadily transforming CalMac's social media channels into a bi-lingual offering as well.

There are around 60,000 Gaelic speakers in Scotland, and the majority of people living in the Western Isles are able to speak Gaelic.

'We are committed to looking at ways of spreading jobs more evenly across our area of operations and I'm delighted to confirm that the summer pilot we ran in Stornoway will now be a permanent fixture in the town,' said CalMac's Managing Director, Robbie Drummond.

'Given the prevalence of the Gaelic language in the Western Isles it was a natural step to make this the centre of our new bi-lingual customer service offering.

'This is something we have been keen to introduce for some time and this new centre now gives us the capacity to support this.' 

CalMac has long history of support for the Gaelic language, including as the principal commercial supporter of the Royal National Mod.

Shona MacLennan, Chief Executive, Bord na Gaidhlig welcomed the news. 

'We always welcome new developments which contribute to the National Gaelic Language Plan's aim that more people use Gaelic more often in more situations.  CalMac's introduction of this service will support that aim, and is particularly appropriate in their customer care centre which in Stornoway.  By locating those jobs in a Gaelic speaking community this will bring important economic benefits to the Western Isles,' she said.

CalMac currently employs around 1700 people from Campbeltown in the south to Stornoway in the north, 60% of them living and working in fragile coastal or island communities. Last year they carried more than 5.6 million passengers on its fleet of 33 vessels across 28 routes to island and remote mainland destinations. 

CalMac's customer service team handles more than 300,000 calls and 44,000 emails every year. 

They have achieved the highest level of accreditation from the Contact Centre Association for the quality of its customer service who described them as 'a competent, well managed, highly customer focused operation.'

They were particularly impressed by the development and use of social media to keep passengers up-to-date. Over the last year the team managed almost 30,000 social media messages and has attracted more than 100,000 online followers.

'Our social media platforms have a large and loyal following which continues to grow as passenger numbers increase. Being able to offer bi-lingual messages allows us to focus even more closely on how we speak to customers in a way that suits them best,' added Robbie.  

ends

Tha CalMac a' tabhann seirbheis dà-chànanach do luchd-cleachdaidh 

Tha a' chompanaidh aiseig is cala as motha san Rìoghachd Aonaichte a' cur ris an taic aca do luchd-labhairt na Gàidhlig le bhith a' tabhann seirbheis dà-chànanach do luchd-cleachdaidh sa Bheurla agus sa Ghàidhlig.

Mar phròiseact pìleit as t-samhradh chruthaich CalMac ionad cùram luchd-cleachdaidh ùr ann an Steòrnabhagh, a' toirt sia obraichean ùra don bhaile. Tha iad a-nis air dearbhadh gum bi seo seasmhach le luchd-obrach an sin a' neartachadh ìomhaigh Ghàidhlig na companaidh.

Roimhe seo cha b' urrainn do dhaoine cuideachadh fhaighinn bho neach-labhairt le Gàidhlig ach le bhith a' fònadh no a' tadhal air oifisean puirt ann an sgìrean Gàidhlig, ach a-nis faodar duine sam bith a tha airson ceist fhaighneachd sa Ghàidhlig a chur gu neach-labhairt dùthchasach na Gàidhlig gus dèiligeadh ris a' chùis aca.

Bidh sgioba Steòrnabhaigh ag atharrachadh seanailean mheadhanan sòisealta CalMac mean air mhean gu bhith dà-chànanach cuideachd.

Tha timcheall air 60,000 neach-labhairt na Gàidhlig ann an Alba, agus tha a' mhòr-chuid de dhaoine a tha a' fuireach anns na h-Eileanan an Iar comasach air Gàidhlig a bhruidhinn.

'Tha sinn dealasach gus dòighean a lorg airson obraichean a sgaoileadh ann an dòigh nas cothromaiche thar ar raon obrach agus tha mi air leth toilichte dearbhadh gu bheil am pìleat a ruith sinn ann an Steòrnabhagh as t-samhradh a-nis ga chur air bunait sheasmhach sa bhaile,' thuirt Stiùiriche Riaghlaidh CalMac, Robbie Drumainn.

'Leis cho cumanta sa tha a' Ghàidhlig anns na h-Eileanan an Iar bha e nàdarra seirbheis dà-chànanach ùr do luchd-cleachdaidh a chur air bhonn an seo.

'Tha sinn air a bhith ag iarraidh seirbheis den leithid a thoirt a-steach airson greis agus tha an t-ionad ùr a-nis a' toirt comas dhuinn sin a dhèanamh.'

Tha eachdraidh fhada aig CalMac a thaobh taic don chànan, a' gabhail a-steach a bhith nam prìomh luchd-taic malairteach don Mhòd Rìoghail Nàiseanta.

Chuir Shona NicIllFhinnein, Ceannard, Bord na Gaidhlig fàilte air an naidheachd.

'Tha sinn an-còmhnaidh a' cur fàilte air leasachaidhean ùra a chuireas ri amas a' Phlana Nàiseanta Ghàidhlig gum bi barrachd dhaoine a' cleachdadh Gàidhlig nas trice ann am barrachd shuidheachaidhean. Bheir seirbheis ùr Calmac taic don amas sin, agus tha e gu sònraichte iomchaidh san ionad cùram luchd-cleachdaidh aca ann an Steòrnabhagh. Le bhith a' stèidheachadh nan obraichean ann an coimhearsnachd Ghàidhlig bheir seo buannachdan eaconamach cudromach do na h-Eileanan an Iar,' thuirt i.

Tha CalMac an-dràsta a' fastadh timcheall air 1700 neach eadar Cheann Loch Chille Chiarain mu dheas agus Steòrnabhagh mu thuath, 60% dhiubh a' fuireach agus ag obair ann an coimhearsnachdan cugallach cladaich no eileanach. An-uiridh ghiùlain iad còrr is 5.2 millean neach-siubhail ann an 33 soithichean thairis air 49 slighe gu eileanan is cinn-uidhe iomallach air tìr-mòr.

Bidh sgioba seirbheis luchd-cleachdaidh CalMac a' làimhseachadh còrr is 300,000 gairm agus 44,000 post-d gach bliadhna.

Tha iad air a' mholadh as àirde fhaighinn bhon Chomann Ionadan Fiosrachaidh airson càileachd na seirbheis luchd-cleachdaidh aca, a' toirt cunntas orra mar 'bhuidheann chomasach a tha air a deagh riaghladh, le fìor aire air luchd-cleachdaidh.'

Bha an Comann gu sònraichte toilichte le leasachadh agus cleachdadh nam meadhanan sòisealta aig CalMac. An-uiridh, làimhsich an sgioba faisg air 30,000 teachdaireachd mheadhanan sòisealta agus tha iad air còrr is 100,000 neach-leantainn air-loidhne a thàladh.

'Tha mòran luchd-leanmhainn dìleas againn air na meadhanan sòisealta a tha a' sìor fhàs mar a bhios àireamhan luchd-siubhail a' dol am meud. Le bhith comasach air teachdaireachdan dà-chànanach a thabhann bidh aire nas dlùithe againn air bruidhinn ri luchd-ceannaich anns an dòigh as fheàrr leotha,' thuirt Robbie.

crìoch

 

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