with quality standards set by the
Authority for 4 services
average waiting time at branches
and chance to reserve an
appointment with an operator
thousand analyses
Group drinking water, 1,100 per day, of which 63% on the supply network

The technical call centre

Receiving and diagnosing the telephone calls made to the toll-free emergency service numbers is of key importance, since the calls can be used as actual reports of irregularity in the service provided.

The technical call centre service has toll-free numbers for each service (gas, integrated water service and district heating), and area (Emilia-Romagna and Triveneto) in addition to a joint toll-free number for the entire Group for public bodies (fire service, municipalities, provincial administrations, prefectures, police stations, AUSL local health authorities, ARPA environmental protection agency, law enforcement agencies, port authorities, etc.).

Percentage of calls received by the technical call centre answered (within or after 120 seconds) or abandoned within 120 seconds
  2016 2017
Gas 98.8% 98.8%
of which for gas emergencies (general level 90%) 97.2% 97.5%
Water 98.0% 96.9%
of which for water emergencies (general level 90%) 94.3% 93.1%

Excluding Marche Multiservizi. The percentage of emergency gas and water calls is calculated according to criteria defined by Arera, considering the calls received, answered or abandoned within 120 seconds

Average technical call centre waiting times
s 2016 2017
Gas 16.8 49.4
Other services (water and district heating) 20.9 67.8
Number of calls 364,023 428,350
of which for the gas emergency service 102,092 98,942
of which for other emergency services 261,931 329,408

In 2017, the total calls received by the technical call centre of Forlì were about 428,000, up 17% compared to 2016. The decrease in the percentage for the water service, which fell from 98.0% to 96.9%, was due essentially to two factors: the significant increase in calls due essentially to frost-related malfunctions (leaks due to broken connections and/or meters and blocked meters with no service) and malfunctions caused by the prolonged water scarcity that caused breaks in the pipes of the catchment areas served.

A wide range of actions started in 2016 was completed in 2017 and had a significant impact on work organization, processes and instruments. To these were added further actions such as: setting up simulators for forecasting and monitoring performance KPIs which, by extracting data records for historical calls and the distribution of the presence of personnel in the room, made it possible to carefully adjust the presence according to the size of the target and to the specific requirements of hourly coverage.  In addition, monitoring was carried out by means of a monitoring system using dynamic heat maps.

Two projects were also tested: one for outsourcing, where excess calls were conveyed at peak times in order to maximize performance; the other for dynamic work flow, aimed at maximizing quality and safety. In the latter case, it is a software that supports the operators to rationalize their work through a new workflow function that records processes, procedures and activities. The software guides operators in real time to respond to customers, allowing them faster and more stringent timing and reducing the discretion with which operators can interact in the few minutes they have on the telephone with customers.

In 2017 further initiatives were carried out, such as massive training on the management of customer relations and technical training, which was accompanied by a role-playing project: a process of work support among colleagues consisting of an inspection at the main plants of the integrated water or gas cycle, with a general illustration of the distribution cycle and the peculiarities of the service to supplement the theoretical learning elements of operation.

In order to prevent critical situations such as those due to frost, we set up an extraordinary management of frost events with deferred recording, i.e. calls forwarded of to a virtual operator (except for critical user types) for subsequent management by the back office.

Lastly, in order to improve the quality aspects and reduce the workload of ineffective response by the emergency operators, a visibility tool was implemented for meters blocked due to late payment by providing updated information on the customer’s status with regard to commercial issues, in order to avoid activating the Emergency Services for customers whose service has been stopped due to late payment.