STUDENTS from Ballakermeen High School have been researching customer service at the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company as part of their B/TEC course in travel and tourism.

The students visited the Ferry Travel Shop at the Sea Terminal to meet customer service staff and this was followed up by a visit to the school by David Findlay, the Steam Packet Company’s Director of Marketing and Communications and Lisa Broadbent, Passenger Services Coordinator.

Teacher Nicky McDaid explained: ‘The research is for the Edexcel BTEC First Travel and Tourism course. We were looking at the Passenger Charter and how it influences policies, staffing and processes. The visit served to enhance the students’ understanding and delivered a first-hand experience of what it would be like to work behind the scenes at the Steam Packet Company. Richard Hird, Passenger Services Supervisor, who showed us around was very knowledgeable and gave us an honest view of customer service.

‘This experience was invaluable to the students. Living on such a small island makes it a challenge to access examples of tourism businesses, and to get the students the first-hand experience they need in order to understand certain aspects of the course and achieve their standards.

‘We hope this will become a regular feature of the course; the students really enjoyed the tour and found the second question and answer session with David and Lisa back at school very helpful. They were able to ask questions and receive honest and open answers. They found this session very interesting and discovered lots more information that helped them produce a more rounded view of the Steam Packet Company.’

David said: ‘The Steam Packet Company invests a significant amount of time and training towards customer service, as it is a vital element to any business. Customer service is also a fundamental part of any travel and tourism course, so we are pleased that the work we are doing in this area is benefiting schools such as Ballakermeen.’

Photo for PR194 IOMSPC linkup with Ballakermeen students F