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Customer satisfaction

A glance back over the strategies employed in the last 3 years

Since its establishment in 2002, the Group has benefitted from a solid customer base that demanded good quality primary services and whose loyalty had built up over many years of services provided by former municipal enterprises who merged into Hera. The strategic and commercial challenge was therefore to maintain the intangible wealth of the customer base following the corporate mergers that took place under the “Hera” brand, throughout the local areas of the territory of reference.

The quality of the multi-utility offer, coupled with the after sales service, have always been elements to which the Group has paid particular attention  and over the years the “sentiment” of its customer base has always been monitored using an approach of listening and continuous interaction.

Hera has made significant investments in improving the quality of its services in terms of reduction of service failure times, providing more rapid and efficient emergency services, improving measurement and meter reading systems, and making more analyses of water resource quality and the environmental impacts of its activities.

The quality of its customer service has always been strategically significant for the Group and over the last few years has resulted in a significant improvement of the service offered. This is obvious in the results of the last three years, in terms of the reduction of waiting times at counters, improved telephone assistance, increased cases in which customer requests were resolved in a shorter time and finally the functionality of the website, are some examples.

The results of these activities are monitored every year through retail and business customer market research. Reports  show a constant increase in customer satisfaction for the service and after sales support over the past 3 years, to the point where it has reached a high rating (average vote about 7/10), with a reduction in “low” satisfaction ratings, and a higher concentration of customers with positive ratings, increasing every year.

Customer satisfaction trends improved once the unsettled transition period finished which had been related to the installation of new invoicing systems for consolidated billing. The consolidated utility billing system, along with the continued improvement in after sales support performance led to a rapid recovery of customer satisfaction levels. This led to an improved image of Hera, frequently seen as a reliable, transparent, customer orientated, innovative and sustainable company. The level of customer satisfaction was therefore equal or more than what had been recorded prior to the mergers.

Market surveys also indicate that the increase in the level of satisfaction is associated with a higher perception of convenience, propensity towards cross-selling and positive word of mouth promotion to other potential customers. This reflects Hera’s multi-utility strategy, particularly with regard to upstream energy activities, which constitute a truly competitive offer. These are the factors that constitute the basis of the Group’s commercial success over the last 4 years and show significant ongoing growth of the customers through the expansion of the various markets. To this end, the data relating to the electricity sector, which shows double digit growth rates, is particularly significant. Furthermore, the reduced level of the alienation of existing gas customers allowed Hera to reconfirm its dominant position in the markets within the territory of reference.