The average waiting time at branches has improved compared to 2018 both at Group level and in each individual company.
|Weighted average on contacts||10.6||9.6||9.4|
|Number of contacts||764,640||915,921||998,358|
The performance of the Group’s branches improved overall and the higher number of customers compared to 2018 in all areas did not adversely affect the results achieved.
Overall, inflows to the branch offices increased by around 9% during the year. The increase in inflows was mainly concentrated in the first part of the year and mainly concerned issues such as water pricing and e-billing. In order to continue to provide high service levels, we upgraded the branch offices, and at the end of 2019 the average waiting time was even slightly shorter than it was in 2018. The percentage of customers waiting more than 40 minutes also decreased further: from 2.4% to 2.2%. These service levels have also been achieved by implementing a new reception model that directs customers better and takes care of the simplest procedures quickly. Customer satisfaction also increased from 88.1 to 88.7, as measured by an independent agency.
The branch offices also contributed to the process of dematerialisation of contracts and invoices, expanding the use of digital signatures on tablets, and suggesting that customers switch to e-billing.
Hera Comm has also pursued an investment strategy on a new, more functional and welcoming layout for the Hera Comm branch offices. In 2019, several contact points throughout the service area were renovated: the branch offices in Faenza, Sassuolo, Maranello, Massa Lombarda now have renovated their premises, with larger spaces, a greater number of desks to minimise waiting time, new sound-absorbing materials to protect privacy, and a new reception desk to welcome and give faster and more targeted answers to customers’ needs.
The acquisition of CMV Energia&Impianti at the beginning of 2019 led to our expansion into the Upper Ferrara basin, with energy services and thus contributed to increase our customer base. Thanks to this acquisition, we have been able to quickly adapt the branch office in the city centre of Ferrara to Hera Comm’s model and offer an additional reception point for Ferrara’s customers, also to handle quantity-based tariff for waste collection services.
In total, considering Hera’s entire service area and those of its subsidiaries AcegasApsAmga, Marche Multiservizi and EstEnergy, there are 117 branches. Adding those outside the area brings the total to 159 branches throughout Italy.