CalMac's customer service updates team has been named team of the year by the Contact Centre Association (CCA) for the quality of their customer care.

The ferry and harbour operator beat off competition from major international brands such a Vodafone and SKY to pick up the prestigious UK excellence award. The team is responsible for delivering consistent and clear messaging to customers at times of disruption.

CalMac Managing Director, Robbie Drummond said today (Monday November 18th): “They are the voice of the company when disruption occurs. Their job of keeping our customers up to date with what's happening is essential if they are to get to where they're going with the minimal of fuss.”

The team’s success was reflected in more than 500 letters of thanks they’d received from customers, and judges were impressed by the commitment to communicate disruption to customers within eight minutes of being alerted.

They also noted an innovative use of social media, developing a following of just 1,500 to reach more than 18,000 in just three years. Over the course of last year they published 13,513 social media posts and responded to more than 45,000 messages and emails.

Robbie said: “The pressure on the team during times of disruption, for reasons more often than not outwith our control, is intense. Customers rightly need to know what's going on and having staff who can keep calm under stress can do a lot to determine whether a customer's experience is a good one or not.

“I'm delighted for the team, being recognised by their industry peers as being the best in the business is a great accolade and one they fully deserve. This responsiveness and commitment to first class customer service is a huge asset for us.”

There are five people in the updates team, operating round-the-clock monitoring on more than 160,000 sailings and looking out for potential disruption, as well as monitoring other transport operators for events that could have an impact on ferry services.

“It is our goal to try and speak to customers in a way that suits them. Our team is committed to embracing the very latest communications channels to keep passengers informed quickly about any changes to their planned sailing,” added Robbie.

Picture shows the team celebrating their win on Wednesday November 13th (CalMac).