99.6%
compliance with quality standards
set by the Authority for four services
9.6
minutes average waiting time
at help desks and chance to book
an appointment with an operator
399
thousand analyses
carried out on Group drinking water,
1,100 per day, of which 63% on the
distribution network

The call centre

The increase of informative and commercial contacts confirms our customers’ appreciation for this channel, which they use to resolve their needs practically and effectively. The growing number of customers that call the call centre from a mobile phone testifies to the success of the company’s decision in 2016 to make this method free of charge.

Residential call center quality
  2016 2017 2018
Average waiting time at the call centre for residential customers (s) 40 34 36
Calls with satisfactory outcomes for residential customers (%) 94.0% 95.7% 95.6%
Number of residential customer contacts at the call centre (thous.) 3,052 4,268 4,496

The average waiting time, based on a telephone call by a customer that wishes to speak to an operator, is the time between the moment a request is made to talk with an operator and the beginning of the conversation. It does not take into account the initial information provided by the automatic answering system. The data refer to the call centres of Hera Comm, AcegasApsAmga, EstEnergy and Marche Multiservizi.

For the residential call centre for the household market, 2018 saw a substantial confirmation of the technical indicators despite the 5% increase in calls handled by call centre operators, compared to 2017. The service level reached 95.6% for residential customers, improving compared to 2016 by almost two percentage points, while the average waiting time confirmed an excellent waiting time of 36 seconds.

For Hera Comm’s call centre, an important result was achieved on qualitative indicators where there was an increase of more than 2 points (+2.3) in the customer satisfaction index in just one year from 84.5/100 to 86.8/100 and a simultaneous drop of almost 2% of dissatisfied customers.

Business call center quality
  2016 2017 2018
Average waiting time at the call centre for business customers (s) 36 38 31
Calls with satisfactory outcomes for business customers (%) 94.8% 94.7% 95.5%
Number of business customer contacts at the call centre (thousands) 375 393 379

The average waiting time, based on a telephone call by a customer that wishes to speak to an operator, is the time between the moment a request is made to talk with an operator and the beginning of the conversation. It does not take into account the initial information provided by the automatic answering system. The data applies to the call centre of Hera Comm.

For the business call centre the level of service improved compared to the previous year in terms of both average waiting times and calls answered.

In 2018, the contribution of the call centre in the commercial area increased significantly, both in terms of the acquisition of new contracts and presenting the campaigns launched during the year that involved various areas (proposal of offers, collection of customer data such as: mobile phone number, data privacy consent and email). In 2019, the objective is to maintain the trend of gradual growth in the results achieved.

The business call centre continued to innovate its service offering for business customers. Innovations in the ways critical cases are handled have improved problem solving, prevented many complaints and improved customer relations.

In the AcegasApsAmga area, close monitoring of services and analysis of the timely Customer Satisfaction Index (In Touch) continued throughout 2018 to identify critical areas and correct them with targeted training. Corrective measures were therefore applied for critical customers and processes were simplified where necessary, and more extensive training sessions were held to explain the bill and the invoicing process.

As regards Hera Group’s commercial call centre, calls are handled by the staff of specialized Italian companies who have their operations located exclusively in Italy and in particular in the provinces of Bologna, Padua and Venice.

The trade promotion activity is carried out by Italian-based and Italian-owned sales agencies, that rely on operating units both in Italy (predominantly) and abroad. Their staff is employed directly by these sales organizations, who have signed with Hera Comm a standard agency mandate.

Considering also the management of the emergency service call centre for gas, water and district heating, which is always active in the event of failures and emergencies and manned mainly by dedicated staff from within the company (only for some minimal operations of the integrated water service, the service is outsourced) and located at Forlì, during 2018, 99.8% of the calls was handled from Italy.