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Commercial policy and customer care

As far as accessibility of channels is concerned, in spite of the constant increase in flows, the level of performance confirms the overall trend of improvement for branches where the effectiveness of the actions implemented for improving processes has led to a considerable improvement in quality.

  • Family call centres: 92.5% of calls answered, compared with 92.6% for the first half of 2011, with an average queue time (AQT*) of 90 seconds compared with 94.6 seconds for the first half of 2011. Note that in spite of the increased number of calls answered by operators in 2012 compared with the first half of 2011 (+6.74%), there was a 5.11% improvement in the average queue time.
  • Company call centres: 94.9% of calls answered, essentially unchanged compared with the figure of 95% for the first half of 2011, with an average queue (AQT*) which went down to 60.1 seconds from 71.4 seconds for the first half of 2011, a decided improvement (11.3%) in average queue times for corporate customers too.
  • Branches: in spite of the increased number of contacts managed at branches (approximately +10.8%) compared with the first half of 2011, the average waiting time improved going from 11.59 to 10,26 minutes;

 

in detail, with regard to company branches, specifically as far as average queue times for corporate customers are concerned, the excellent performance achieved in the first half of 2011 was improved upon still further, going down from 3.49 minutes for the first half of 2011 to 3.17 minutes in the first half of this year.

The results achieved also demonstrate the effectiveness of actions set up with a view to creating a lean organisation in several of the top branches during the critical months of February and March when the weather conditions caused several influxes. The actions, together with the flow-prediction management system, which came into full operation at all major branches, allowed KPIs to be maintained within the set targets.

  • The above indicators also showed signs of improvement as perceived by customers contacting the call centre and branches. Customer satisfaction, measured on a monthly basis during the year (with scores on a scale ranging from 1 to 100), showed an improvement over the excellent results achieved by the Family Call Centre, the Company Call Centre and the Branches in 2011. Specifically:
    • Family call centres: from an average of 76 for the first half of 2011 to 79 for the first half of 2012
    • Company call centres: a 5.8% steady and significant increase in satisfaction, reaching an average score of 73 in the first half of 2012 compared with an average score of 69 in the first half of 2011.
    • Branches: from an average of 78 for the first half of 2011 to 80 for the first half of 2012

 

Overall the Hera customer base continues to increase, with a figure of 4.5% in June 2012 for a total of 3,815 electricity, gas, water and environmental hygiene points of delivery. The services of the water and environmental hygiene regulated markets have also contributed to this growth, with inertial growth of approximately 0.6% for these services. The dynamics in the gas and electricity markets are very positive, with free market activity and acquisitions continuing to post positive figures even against the background of the continued economic crisis and strong competition in the market. Specifically, gas recorded growth of 4.62% from both sales activity and the acquisition of Sadori Gas, which took place in July 2011 with its 35,000 points of delivery. Electricity’s year-on-year growth was consolidated, with points supplied up 14% at June 2012.

Points of supply 30/06/2012 30/06/2011Change in supply points (no.)Change in supply points (%)
Gas1.1161.067                        49,34,62%
Electricity517453                        63,814,08%
Water1.1871.179                          7,50,64%
EHT997991                          5,50,55%

Figures expressed in thousands

The impact of the crisis was felt in volumes of electricity supplied, which saw a 2% drop compared with sales in June 2011. Specifically, volumes at June 2012 stood at 4,713 GWh compared with 4,815 GWh in June 2011**. Gas, on the other hand, went against the trend with the effect of the harsh winter prevailing over the economic climate. An increase of 6% was recorded (+4% net of the acquisition of Sadori in July 2011), going from 1,186 million m3 in the first half of 2011 to 1,258 million m3 at June 2012.

Group policies continued to focus on the internet. Hera is continuing to encourage customers to receive electronic bills which, thanks to below the line activities associated with paper billing, has made it possible to reach the entire Hera customer base and record an 85% increase in the number of customers receiving bills via email. Customers who opted for electronic bills increased to 50,213, over 3% of the customer base. This also had a positive effect on Hera OnLine registrations, which in June 2012 had 148,349 registered customers, 9% of the customer base with a 30% increase compared with June 2011.

Lastly, the new Hera Comm website went live in the first half of the year. It is possible to sign up online for all services offered. With regard to the environment, another step was taken towards dematerialisation. With a view to maximum transparency during the online subscription process, all the stages of the purchase are clearly highlighted so that the customer is aware at all times of which stage of the process they are in, and they can sign up to all the Hera Comm services on offer, receiving all agreements via email.

Notes:

* AQT: In line with AEEG regulations, AQT measures the average time between the beginning of the call until the operator answers or the customer rings off, for calls in which the customer chooses to speak with the operator.
** At 30 June 2011, electricity volumes were relative to Hera Comm and Hera Comm Mediterranea.

 
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