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Commercial Policy and Customer Care

The commercial policy for 2007 as well was basically broken down into two major programmes:

  • Commercial development
  • Optimisation of customer management


Commercial Development

Supply points



Delta (06-07)

















For the free market services, the increase was achieved by continuing the commercial development policy that breaks down into the following points:

  • Multi-service: simplifying customer management by offering a sole contact and a sole bill for energy services (Gas and Electricity), and also for those licensed (water and TIA) in the districts Hera manages.
  • Proximity to the customer: this means being "physically" close to the customers through a network of branches and a widespread sales structure; being quickly accessible through contact centres and the web; being socially responsible and contributing to the growth of the territory and local communities through its activities.
  • Economic advantage and openness: proposing offers that are always competitive and clear, suited to the needs of all customers (over thirty offers are available, many of which can be further personalised).


The pillars of the sales strategy are otherwise based on the following types of customers:

  • Families
  • Small and medium-sized companies
  • Large companies
  • Blocks of flats
  • Public Administrations


During 2007 we particularly witnessed the opening of the electricity market for families, which have been able to freely choose also their electricity supplier since 1 July.
It was starting on that date that the "Savings Formula" offer was launched. It offers a 4% savings on the raw material component established by the Authority for Electrical Energy and Gas (AEEG) (applied to all customers who have not switched to the free market).

Optimisation of Customer Management

Since the day it was established the Hera Group decided to maximize integration between services and group systems by setting up a single platform that is composed of two main structures:

  • Group invoicing and collection system
  • Management channels


Group Invoicing and Collection System

During the first half of 2007 the group invoicing systems were standardized, leading to the progressive elimination of all the systems used by the various companies that during these five years since the group's establishment have joined Hera. Today we have a system that sends more than 13 million bills a year.

The second half of 2007 on the other hand brought with it a revised layout of our bill. We confirmed the multi-service bill strategy with this renewal that allows our customers to simplify the administrative portion and reduce the costs for payments by introducing:

  • a simplified and easier-to-read bill;
  • dynamic messaging in order to promptly communicate with customers based on contingent needs to achieve better service terms and effectiveness;
  • specific information about the offers the customer chooses.


As far as the methods of payment are concerned, in 2007 we added payment at Sisal and Lottomatica offices and online payment by credit card to the more traditional methods, such as bank domiciliation and payment at post offices and banks.

Another method for the customer to communicate his own reading of the meter was put into use in 2007 as well, added to the telephone communication already available: in fact, now it is possible to send an SMS communicating the self-reading by following the instructions printed on the bill, to the side of each service.

Management Channels

In 2007 the Hera Group continued its policy of strengthening the channels through which customers can contact it with the goal of making contact increasingly simple and quick.
The Group has 5 separate contact channels:

  1. mass market call center
  2. business call center
  3. branches
  4. web
  5. mail

Several parameters of services rendered that highlight the accessibility of these channels are shown below.

Average waiting time at the contact center (sec.)200520062007
residential customers70,234,546,2
business customers 43,926,8
Number of calls to the contact center (no.)200520062007
residential customers1.394.4581.991.2642.375.823
business customers 59.686105.447
Percentage of calls to the contact center successfully resolved (%)200520062007
residential customers87,10%94,10%94,20%
business customers 89,00%97,60%
Waiting and operation time at the branch (min.) 200520062007

During 2007 we witnessed substantial improvement of all the accessibility parameters except for the average waiting time at the contact center, which in the aftermath of the increased traffic due to the change of IT systems in Modena and Ferrara increased, but in any case remained at basically lower levels than those of 2005.

Today the Group has 8 major branches located in the largest cities served, another 34 secondary branches managed by Hera personnel and 43 branches run by third parties.

A project envisaging modernizing the layout of the Group’s chief branches started in 2007. It follows architectural lines that communicates the concepts of territoriality, neighbourhood and respect for the environment, and reconciles them with degree of accessibility, liveability and service efficiency. The layout – optimised based on the results of special focus groups – was for the first time put into effect at the main Bologna branch, inaugurated in September 2007.

The plan provides for the Cesena and Forlì branches to be renewed in 2008.

During 2007 there was an increase of the supply points on all services (as pointed out in the table)