CALMAC’S service updates team has been crowned 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 Vodaphone and Sky to pick up the prestigious UK Excellence Award in the Telco, Utilities, Retail and Leisure category.

The CCA works with more than 500 leading companies reflecting more than 30% of total customer service activity in the UK.

The team is tasked with delivering consistent and clear messaging to customers and stakeholders in times of disruption.

CalMac managing director Robbie Drummond said: “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.”

He added: “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.”

The five-strong team operates 24/7 every day of the year, monitoring more every sailing for potential disruption as well as monitoring other transport operators for events that may impact ferry services.

Over the course of last year they published 13,513 social media posts and responded to more than 45,000 messages and emails. Judges were particularly impressed by the commitment to communicate disruption to customers within eight minutes of being alerted, and their innovative use of social media growing a following of just 1500 to more than 18,000 in just three years.

“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 Drummond.

“This responsiveness and commitment to first class customer service is a huge asset for us.”