Key strategic issues: The story told by the people working for Hera

Laura is a 34-year-old employee working in the team based in the Forlì remote control room. Her story facilitates a better understanding of the way in which Hera manages its businesses, leveraging on a range of intangible assets that have a key-role in guaranteeing future competitiveness and profitability to the Company.

“When I joined Hera, as an employee of the technical call centre, I was afraid that my destiny was to become one of the many sellers of utility services that crowd the world of offers on the phone. On the contrary, I found myself in a completely different situation. The technical call centre has a crucial role, as it activates first-responding technical assistance in case of crisis and emergencies in the part of network that supplies customers. My team works within the centralised remote-control system, which plays the role of central operator of all the assets and networks that Hera manages locally, in water, gas, and district heating services. The imposing aspect of the remote-control room said it all: I immediately realised that my fears were groundless.

Since the very beginning, the Company has taken care of my professional training, providing me with technical skills and, at the same time, with the proper way to approach a customer. I learnt a lot from the professionality of my colleagues. They boast solid technical competences, ability in finding solutions as quickly as possible, and are definitely open to team cooperation. Even in the remote-control room, I found high-standing professionals, skilled in managing cutting-edge technologies, who were willing to listen and to collaborate, to the benefits of customers and Hera’s operational efficiency. Remote control, which covers all Hera’s businesses, is an example of intensive use of big data, with the aim not just of improving speed and efficiency, but of limiting risks and pursuing sustainability as well – through lower water leakages, to set an example.

The attitude to problem solving is part of our corporate culture. The diversity that characterises our staff contributes to feed it.

Our work completely focuses on the customer, or – better – on its satisfaction, in a crucial situation, when there are critical service issues that can compromise the relationship or improve the positive perception of it, depending on the way we succeed to manage it. The search for excellence is a priority in a context in which the increasing availability of digitalised services continuously provides opportunities for new relationships and comparisons of Hera’s offers vs. those of competitors. To excel means to be the best operator; in a very competitive environment, in order to continue to be the best, a company needs innovation, growth and people capable of leveraging on them.

For instance, by working in close touch with the centralised remote-control centre, I could learn that among the next objectives of the system there will be the predictive and automatic control, which will take action in repairing damages and replace materials BEFORE the event of breakdown, therefore without needing to wait for the customer report. We will also be able to repair damages remotely, through satellites that continuously monitor the networks with the aim of identifying macro-criticalities.

Communications with the customers have found new channels: in addition to the tested “rifiutologo” app in the waste business, we now can count on the “acquologo” app, dedicated to the water services, and on the last app launched, myhera, for all the other kinds of services that Hera supplies.

For sure, the use of technology has not led to depersonalisation of customer relations; far from it! The reduction in intervention time provides more dialogue opportunities and better customisation of the relation; for each call we receive, we verify that the customer is aware that his claim has been taken in hand and that we will do our best to satisfy it: we know that a positive customer experience is key to future customer retention.”

10 January 2018
Site Manager:
Jens K. Hansen
Concept and editorial content:
Blue Arrow - Lugano