Covid performance helps CalMac secure top customer award

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The UK’s largest ferry operator has secured the highest level of accreditation for the helpfulness and professionalism of its customer operations staff.

CalMac’s 47-strong customer service team was given the much-coveted top-level quality assurance mark by the Contact Centre Association (CCA).

The association commended CalMac for its commitment to customer service, especially in the face of the coronavirus emergency.

Rapid and regular changes to travel guidelines as the crisis developed pushed the customer team to its limits.

Over March, April and May they processed nearly 30,000 refunds, actioned 12,000 emails and answered 11,000 social media enquiries.

The CCA assessor highlighted a number of strengths in the team with evidence demonstrating staff being motivated and proud to work for the company, while being passionate about delivering high performance results and excellent standards of customer service.

They also praised some key strengths within CalMac’s culture including a commitment to continuous improvement, investment in staff training and development, and a focus on keeping stakeholders informed of service changes and updates.

The accreditation involved surveying a range of staff on their customer focused processes to ensure a consistent and professional approach across the centre, and also included closely auditing the the daily workings of the operation.

Every year staff deal with almost 400,000 phone calls, 37,000 emails covering ferry
bookings, enquires, claims and complaints.

Last year CalMac carried more than 5.6 million passengers and 1.4 million vehicles. Its 34 strong fleet serves 27 routes to island and remote mainland locations.

CalMac’s commercial director, Diane Burke, said: ‘The fact that we have achieved this recognition by a nationally recognised industry body in the middle of pandemic is quite an achievement for the team. They have performed magnificently across this emergency period, working tirelessly to ensure customers have a positive experience of CalMac even though we were in the unfortunate position of having to cancel their plans.

‘This approach has certainly paid off as demonstrated by the loyalty of our customers. We received more than 140,000 phone calls on the first day we reopened bookings from passengers keen to come aboard again.’