Shannon Heritage has become the first tourist attraction company in Ireland to be awarded Fáilte Ireland’s Accredited Service Excellence Programme’s Business Award.
To achieve the Award, tourism businesses at Shannon Heritage undertook Fáilte Ireland’s Accredited Service Excellence Programme with over 125 tourism frontline staff across the Group’s 10 Visitor Attractions completing a dedicated course of customer care training.
Fáilte Ireland’s Services Excellence Programme is aimed at helping tourism businesses reach the highest standards in customer care, which can result in major benefits such as business growth, additional repeat business, increased visitor spend and positive recommendations.
Speaking at the presentation of the Award, Miriam Kennedy, Head of the Wild Atlantic Way at Fáilte Ireland said that the Programme is an important aspect of Fáilte Ireland’s business development and training supports.
“It is a marvellous achievement for the Shannon Heritage Group to achieve the Business Award from Fáilte Ireland. The Accredited Service Excellence Programme is aimed at helping tourism businesses strengthen competitiveness and to help differentiate Ireland from its international competitors. Today’s Award substantially reinforces Shannon Heritage’s reputation in customer service excellence where visitors are at the centre of everything the Group does.”
Welcoming the Award, Niall O’Callaghan, Managing Director, Shannon Heritage, a Shannon Group company said:
“At Shannon Heritage we are steadfast in our strategy to be Ireland’s most customer centric tourism company building on our long reputation for customer service and unforgettable experiences. I would like to thank Fáilte Ireland for introducing their Service Excellence Programme and I am extremely proud that our staff have embraced this programme, with over 75% now officially accredited. As Ireland’s largest commercial operator of tourist attractions and experiences, these awards give us an accolade that will greatly assist in our mission to always put our employee development and visitor experience, first.”
Dr. Dean Panter, National – Development Manager Hospitality Operations at Fáilte Ireland said:
“This Award is about commitment to the continued provision of “Best in Class” service provision; turning each interaction with the visitor into a positive experience; providing the welcome to Ireland that we are renowned for worldwide; strengthening competitiveness whilst helping to differentiate Ireland from its international competitors.”
The Programme trains front-facing staff across all sectors of a business to maximise their potential in the area of customer relationships and satisfaction. It aims to reduce and/or better handle complaints, introduce new operational standards and efficiencies through best in class service, and increase sales through up-selling and cross-selling techniques.
The Shannon Heritage businesses who have completed the Accredited Services Excellence Programme are:
- Adare Heritage Retail Outlet
- Bunratty Castle & Folk Park
- Cliffs of Moher Retail Outlet
- Dunguaire Castle
- GPO Witness History Visitor Centre
- King John’s Castle
- Knappogue Castle
- Malahide Castle & Gardens
- Newbridge House & Farm
About the Accredited Services Excellence Programme
The Accredited Service Excellence Programme is suitable for all management and front facing staff in a tourism related business who come into contact with visitors. The Award can be achieved in three ways:
- Individual Award – for individual staff upon completion of a full day or online workshop;
- As a Business Award whereupon 75% of front facing staff have completed the Programme;
- As a Destination Award - where a number of set criteria are met and where an agreed level of key businesses in the area have achieved the business award.
To achieve the Business Award each of the Businesses who took part in this initiative were required to achieve the individual Service Excellence Business Award by having a minimum of 75% of their visitor facing staff and Management successfully complete the programme.