Perceived quality

Each year Acea entrusts a specialised outside company, identified by means of tender,with the customer satisfaction surveys with the aim of surveying the level of customer and citizen satisfaction with regard to the electricity, water29 and public lighting services.

The Institutional Relations Unit co-ordinated the process, together with the operating companies, following the course of the surveys: from the definition of the questionnaires to identification of the samples to be interviewed, and presentation of the results and shared interpretation of the ensuing output.

During 2012, two six-monthly surveys were achieved, carried out using a method30 which makes it possible to process specific indicators:

  • the overall opinion on the general quality of the service (expressed on a scale of 1 to 10) , expression of an “impulsive” opinion by the customers
  • overall summary satisfaction indexes and those on the macro-components of the service (Customer Satisfaction Index – CSI Satisfied Customers, index 0-100) based on the portions of customers who declare they are satisfied and processed considering the opinions of the customer with regard to individual aspects of the service;
  • the overall satisfaction intensity indexes and those on the macro-components of the service (Customer Satisfaction Index – CSI Satisfaction Intensity, scale of 1-10)31which gauge “how much” the customers are satisfied or unsatisfied with the service.

29 With regard to the water service, besides the surveys carried out on Rome and other municipalities in ATO 2 - Central Lazio, Acea SpA carries out perceived quality surveys on other ATOs, in which it operates via investee companies.
30 CATI method - Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing, with the aid of a structured questionnaire, on a sample stratified on the basis of variables (such as zones of residence, consumer brackets), featuring a maximum statistical error of 2.8% and a significance level of 95%.
31 The CSI Satisfaction Intensity indexes are created on the basis of the average satisfaction vote and the importance assigned to each aspect.

Chart No. 10 - GLOBAL OPINIONS ON THE SERVICES SUPPLIED (2010-2012)

Chart No. 10 - GLOBAL OPINIONS ON THE SERVICES SUPPLIED (2010-2012)

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Assessment of the electricity service  

The surveys on the perceived quality of the electricity supply service were carried out in June/July and December 2012, via telephone interviews addressing an overall sample of 5,023 customers, for the aspects relating to the sale of energy, handled by Acea Energia, and an overall sample of 4,208 customers, for technical-operational aspects of energy distribution (network), headed up by Acea Distribuzione.

Both for the survey into customer satisfaction regarding the sales activities and regarding the technical aspects, the sample of those interviewed was made up of “domestic” customers and “non-domestic” customers on the protected market” (residents in Rome and Formello) and “domestic” and “business” customers on the eligible market. The surveys concerning “contact channels” involved customers selected through a call back” procedure, in other words people who had recently used the telephone services (free-phone number for sales or that for reporting faults) or had gone to the counter or who had requested service measures, giving authorized to be called back.

The overall opinion on the electricity service, both with regard to technical aspects and those concerning sales, remained satisfactory between 2011 and 2012, despite registering a slight decrease; in fact the percentage of those interviewed who judged the service, overall, as between sufficient and excellent remained high: 89.5% (90% Network, 89% Sales) (see table No.  16)

Table No. 16 - OVERALL OPINION ON THE ELECTRICITY SERVICE (2011-2012)

Opinion votes 1-10 2011   2012  
  (average of the two six-month periods)(average of the two six-month periods)
  networksalesnetworksales
excellent 9 -10 32.0% 32.5% 24.0% 21.5%
good 8 37.5% 39.0% 35.0% 35.5%
sufficient 6 - 7 25.5% 24.5% 31.0% 32.0%
insufficient 1 - 5 5% 4.0% 10.0% 11.0%
total average   7.8 7.9 7.5 7.3

For a more accurate presentation of the results, the outcome of the surveys relating to the sales activities, both on the protected market and, for the first time this year, on the eligible market and the outcome of the surveys on technical-operational aspects, are presented separately further on in this section.

With regard to sales activities, the survey, addressing customers of the protected and eligible markets, was divided up into 4 macro-components of the service - billing, sales free-phone number relationship, counter relationship and website -  for each one of which the summary satisfaction index and the satisfaction intensity index were calculated and the overall indexes defined. 

The results for the two six-month periods reveal that the handling of the commercial and contact aspects for  protected market customers, despite remaining satisfactory in the overall index (80.2 out of 100) disclosed a drop with respect to last year’s surveys (87.3 out of 100); the aspects for which customer appreciation decreased the most were billing (from 89.4 in the second half of 2011 to 81.3 in the same survey period of 2012) and counter relations (from 91.7 in 2011 to 79.3 in the second half of 2012); the appraisal of the website by contrast remained positive.

The same aspects assessed by the customers of the eligible market disclosed a level of satisfaction equal to 76.4 out of 100, a deterioration of the “counter relationship” quality

factor between the first and second half of the survey period (from 79.1 to 66.8) and an excellent level of satisfaction on the website (see chart No. 11 and 12).

Chart No. 11 - ELECTRICITY SERVICE – protected market SALES: OVERALL CUSTOMER SATISFACTION CSI AND SATISFACTION INTENSITY CSI AND ON MACRO-COMPONENTS (1st and 2nd half of 2012) 

Chart No. 11 - ELECTRICITY SERVICE – PROTECTED MARKET SALES: OVERALL CUSTOMER SATISFA CTION CSI AND SATISFA CTION INTENSITY CSI AND ON MACRO-COMPONENTS (1ST and 2ND half OF 2012)

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Chart No. 12 - ELECTRICITY SERVICE – eligible market SALES: OVERALL CUSTOMER SATISFACTION CSI AND SATISFACTION INTENSITY CSI AND ON MACRO-COMPONENTS (1st and 2nd half of 2012)

Chart No. 12 - ELECTRICITY SERVICE – free MARKET SALES: OVERALL CUSTOMER SATISFA CTION CSI AND SATISFA CTION INTENSITY CSI AND ON MACRO-COMPONENTS (1ST and 2ND half OF 2012)

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With regard to the mainquality aspects of the electricity sales service assessed by the customers of the protected market,whilst there was satisfactory appreciation for certain elements such as courtesy andthe skill of the operator or the ease of navigation of the website and the range of possible on-line transactions, there was a significant decrease, within the counter component, with regard to satisfaction for waiting time to speak to an operator (from 88% in 2011 to 62% in 2012).

With regard to eligible market customers, the percentages of satisfaction on the specific aspects of quality, published for the first time in this edition, were in general high; however, certain aspects of the service received minor appreciation: the correctness of the amounts and the ease in reading bills, within the billing component,even if the surveys showed an improvement between the first and second half of the year, and waiting time to speak to an operator within the two sales and counter free-phone number components; in conclusion, the data relating to the website was satisfactory also for the eligible market customers(see table No. 17).

Table No. 17 ELECTRICITY SERVICE (SALES - PROTECTED AND ELEIGIBLE MARKETS): PERCENTAGE OF THOSE SATISFIED ON SPECIFIC ASPECTS (2012)

% of satisfied customers
SALES ON PROTECTED MARKET 1st half of 2012 2nd half of 2012
Invoicing
  • regular sending of bills, without delays 84%
  • correctness of billing amounts 81%
  • ease in reading bills 76%
  • regular sending of bills, without delays 87%
  • correctness of billing amounts 81%
  • ease in reading bills 78%
Sales free-phone number
  • courtesy of operator 92%
  • range of possible transactions 85%
  • clarity of the responses provided by operator 77%
  • waiting time for speaking to the operator 77%
  • courtesy of operator 92%
  • range of possible transactions 84%
  • clarity of the responses provided by operator 77%
  • waiting time for speaking to the operator 78%
counter
  • courtesy of operator 92%
  • skill of operator 83%
  • opening hours 88%
  • waiting time for speaking to the operator 58%
  • courtesy of operator 91%
  • skill of operator 84%
  • opening hours 87%
  • waiting time for speaking to the operator 62%
website
  • navigation ease 89%
  • range of possible transactions 88%
  • comprehensibility of commercial offers 86%
  • navigation ease 89%
  • range of possible transactions 83%
  • comprehensibility of commercial offers 83%
SALES ON ELIGIBLE MARKET 1st half of 2012 2nd half of 2012
Invoicing
  • regular sending of bills, without delays 78%
  • correctness of billing amounts 68%
  • ease in reading bills 69%
  • regular sending of bills, without delays 83%
  • correctness of billing amounts 77%
  • ease in reading bills 71%
Sales free-phone number
  • courtesy of operator 93%
  • clarity of the responses provided by operator 80%
  • range of possible transactions 87%
  • waiting time for speaking to the operator 66%
  • courtesy of operator 91%
  • clarity of the responses provided by operator 80%
  • range of possible transactions 82%
  • waiting time for speaking to the operator 67%
counter
  • courtesy of operator 89%
  • skill of operator 86%
  • opening hours 86%
  • waiting time for speaking to the operator 60%
  • courtesy of operator 85%
  • skill of operator 78%
  • opening hours 79%
  • waiting time for speaking to the operator 49%
website
  • navigation ease 95%
  • range of possible transactions 85%
  • comprehensibility of commercial offers 95%
  • navigation ease 91%
  • range of possible transactions 88%
  • comprehensibility of commercial offers 84%

The survey into customer satisfaction with regard to energy distribution activities (network) was divided up into 4 macro-components - technical aspects of the service, technical measures, fault reporting, scheduled blackouts - for each one of which the summary satisfaction index and the satisfaction intensity index were calculated.

The results for the two six-month periods disclosed, in the overall indexes, a decidedly high level of appreciation, 91 out of 100, and a discreet satisfaction intensity (7.6 out of 10). The four macro-components all received positive assessments; in particular, there was an improvement in the opinion on the technical service (from 62 in the second half of 2011 to 83.2 in the equivalent survey in 2012) (see chart No. 13).

Chart No. 13 - Electricity service - Network: OVERALL CUSTOMER SATISFACTION CSI AND SATISFACTION INTENSITY CSI AND ON MACRO-COMPONENTS (1st and 2nd half of 2012)

Chart No. 13 - ELECTRICITY SERVICE - NETWORK: OVERALL CUSTOMER SATISFA CTION CSI AND SATISFA CTION INTENSITY CSI AND ON MACRO-COMPONENTS (1ST and 2ND half of 2012)

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The percentages of satisfied customers in relation to the individual quality factors of the macro-components of the electricity distribution service  (networks - see table No. 18) were high and disclose a general improvement with respect to last year. In detail, within the “technical measures” component, mention is made of the figure regarding the efficacy of the measures, rising from 59% of satisfied customers in the second half of 2011 to 83% in the same period of 2012 and the observance of the appointment times (from 60% reported in the second half of 2011 to 82%in the second half of 2012).

Table No. 18- ELECTRICITY SERVICE (NETWORK): PERCENTAGE OF THOSE SATISFIED ON SPECIFIC ASPECTS (2012)

% of satisfied customers
NETWORK 1st half of 2012 2nd half of 2012
Technical aspects (supply)
  • service continuity 96%
  • voltage constancy 94%
  • service continuity 96%
  • voltage constancy 95%
technical measures
  • courtesy of engineers 90%
  • measure efficiency 82%
  • observance of appointment times 81%
  • speed in carrying out measures 81%
  • courtesy of engineers 89%
  • measure efficiency 83%
  • observance of appointment times 82%
  • speed in carrying out measures 82%
faults free-phone number
  • courtesy of operator 94%
  • clarity of the responses provided 91%
  • correctness of the information 83%
  • waiting time for speaking to the operator 83%
 
  • courtesy of operator 95%
  • clarity of the responses provided 92%
  • correctness of the information 89%
  • waiting time for speaking to the operator 91%
scheduled black outs
  • correctness of information on service resumption timescale 90%
  • manner of receiving communication 91%
  • notice timescales 89%
  • correctness of information on service resumption timescale 94%
  • manner of receiving communication 92%
  • notice timescales 92%
 

Assessment of the water service

The surveys into the quality of the water service perceived by the customers were carried out in the periods June/July and October/November 2012, by means of telephone interviews carried out on a sample of 3,209 residents in the municipalities of Rome and Fiumicino.

The sample comprised domestic customers and apartment block administrators. With regard to the surveys concerning telephone sales contact and counter contact, the samples were made up of customers selected through a “call-back” procedure, in other words people who had during the previous days used the free-phone number or gone to the counters, agreeing to be called back.

The overall opinion on the water service remained positive between 2011 and 2012, with 96% of those interviewed expressing a vote of between sufficient and excellent (see table No. 19).

Table No. 19 - Overall opinion on the water supply service in Rome (2011-2012)

Opinion votes 1 - 10 2011 (average of the two six-month periods) 2012 (average of the two six-month periods)
excellent 9 -10 26.0% 21.5%
good 8 40.0% 41.5%
sufficient 6 - 7 31.5% 33.0%
insufficient 1 - 5 2.5% 4.0%
total average   7.9 7.7

The survey concerned 6 macro-components of the water service; for each one, the summary satisfaction index and the satisfaction intensity index were calculated. The opinions expressed contributed toward the definition of the overall summary satisfaction indexes (CSI).

The surveys for the two six-month periods disclosed a satisfactory level of appreciation for the service overall (86 out of 100) and a discreet satisfaction intensity (7.2 out of 10). With regard to the macro-components of the services, even though the satisfaction levels are still good, there was a general drop with respect to the previous year’s surveys, except for the technical aspects which maintain a high level of appreciation and are in line with 2011; the fault reporting and sales free-phone number reported lower satisfaction, even if the call center improved during the second half of the year. The opinion on the counter relationship received high levels of appreciation (see chart No.  14).

Chart No. 14 - WATER service: OVERALL CUSTOMER SATISFACTION CSI AND SATISFACTION INTENSITY CSI AND ON MACRO-COMPONENTS (1st and 2nd half of 2012)

Chart No. 14 - WATER SERVICE: OVERALL CUSTOMER SATISFA CTION CSI AND SATISFA CTION INTENSITY CSI AND ON MACRO-COMPONENTS (1ST and 2ND half of 2012)

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Table No. 20 presents the percentages of satisfied customers in relation to the individual quality factors of 5 macro-components32 of the water service, on the basis of which summary satisfaction indexes have been drawn up. Among the technical aspects, the continuity of the supply received particular appreciation; within the fault free-phone number, the aspect of “waiting time to speak to an operator” still presents unsatisfactory appreciation even if it has risen with respect to the 50% satisfied in the second half of 2011; with regard to the quality factors of the sales free-phone number, the same criticalities are revealed but the percentage of those satisfied with regard to waiting time improved decidedly in the second half of the year. With regard to the various factors assessed within the “counter relationship” component, high percentages of satisfied customers were revealed.

32 The “quality-price” ratio component has been surveyed using just one question, without additional analysis factors.

Table No. 20- ROME WATER SERVICE: PERCENTAGE OF THOSE SATISFIED ON SPECIFIC ASPECTS (2012)

% of satisfied customers
  1st half of 2012 2nd half of 2012
Technical aspects (supply)
  • supply continuity 98%
  • water pressure level 93%
  • supply continuity 98%
  • water pressure level 92%
Invoicing
  • correctness of billing amounts 92%
  • clarity and ease of bill reading 86%
  • regularity in meter reading 76%
  • correctness of billing amounts 88%
  • clarity and ease of bill reading 84%
  • regularity in meter reading 74%
faults free-phone number
  • courtesy of operator 96%
  • skill of operator 86%
  • waiting time for speaking to the operator 57%
  • courtesy of operator 84%
  • skill of operator 76%
  • waiting time for speaking to the operator 59%
Sales free-phone number
  • courtesy of operator 89%
  • skill of operator 83%
  • waiting time for speaking to the operator 68%
  • courtesy of operator 91%
  • skill of operator 86%
  • waiting time for speaking to the operator 79%
counter relationship
  • courtesy of operator 93%
  • skill of operator 89%
  • counter opening hours 89%
  • waiting time for speaking to the operator 78%
  • courtesy of operator 91%
  • skill of operator 89%
  • counter opening hours 89%
  • waiting time for speaking to the operator 78%

Box – Satisfaction surveys on the water service in other ATO 2 – Central Lazio municipalities and other ATOs  (SO1)

The customer satisfaction surveys to discover customers’ level of satisfaction with the water service provided are carried out not only in Rome and Fiumicino, but also in other municipalities in ATO 2 – Central Lazio.

In 2012, the two six-monthly surveys covered 7 municipalities in the province of Rome in which the company has operated for some years, in order to discover the opinion of customers in relation to improvements made in the area. Overall, 2,022 residents were interviewed: 1,436 in 5 standard municipalities, in other words run without criticalities (Gallicano, Segni, Cerveteri, Mentana, Fonte Nuova), and 586 in 2 municipalities “under observance” (Zagarolo and Frascati); the overall opinion revealed  was equal to 6.5 (scale of 1 to 10) for the first type of municipality and 7 (scale of 1 to 10) for the second.

Acea also carries out customer satisfaction surveys with customers of other companies in the Group that manage the integrated water service in other ATOs (in Lazio, Campania, Tuscany and Umbria), sharing both the layout of the surveys and their results with these companies.

Assessment of the public lighting service

The quality of the public lighting service perceived by the citizens of Rome was surveyed in June and October 2012 , by means of telephone interviews on a total sample of 2,411 inhabitants,  representative of all the municipalities, grouped into 3 urban macro-areas: central-north, east-southeast, south-west Rome.

The overall opinion remained stable and positive, with 88.5% of those interviewed expressing a vote ranging between sufficient and excellent (6-10) (see table No. 21).

Table No. 21 - Overall opinion on public lighting in Rome (2011-2012)

Opinion votes 1 - 10 2011 (average of the two six-month periods) 2012 (average of the two six-month periods)
excellent 9 -10 12.0% 13.0%
good 8 27.0% 29.5%
sufficient 6 - 7 46.0% 46.0%
insufficient 1 - 5 15.0% 11.5%
total average   6.9 7.1

The survey concerned 2 macro-components of the public lighting service - technical aspects of the service and the fault reporting service - for each one of which the summary satisfaction index and the satisfaction intensity index were calculated and the overall summary satisfaction indexes defined (CSI).

With regard to the “technical aspects of the service”, differentiation was made between those attributable to Acea operations - service continuity (in other words the absence of faults or inefficiencies in the city); switching on and off times and the colour of the lights - and those dependent on other parties33  - presence and extension of the service; intensity of the street, pavement, parks and gardens lighting; lighting of monuments - and have been graphically represented by two separate items.

The results for the two six-month periods (see chart No. 15) disclosed appreciation for the service overall (84.7 out of 100) and a discreet satisfaction intensity (6.8 out of 10). Both the technical aspects attributable to the company and the telephone contact for reporting faults received satisfactory opinions, the latter having improved with respect to last year, in the second half reaching a satisfaction level of 88.4 (80.5 in the same period of 2011).

Chart No. 15 - PUBLIC LIGHTING SERVICE: OVERALL CUSTOMER SATISFACTION CSI AND SATISFACTION INTENSITY CSI AND ON MACRO-COMPONENTS (1st and 2nd half of 2012)

Chart No. 15 - PUBLIC LIGHTING SERVICE: OVERALL CUSTOMER SATISFA CTION CSI AND SATISFA CTION INTENSITY CSI AND ON MACRO-COMPONENTS (1ST and 2ND half of 2012)

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Table No. 22 shows the percentages of satisfied customers in relation to the main quality factors of the macro-components of the public lighting service. With regard to all the factors indicated, in 2012 the percentages of satisfied customers was higher than in the previous year; specifically, in relation to the fault reporting service there was a marked increase in the percentage of those satisfied with the skill of the operator (from 82% in the second half of 2011 to 93% in the same period of 2012) and with the telephone waiting times (from 71% in the second half of 2011 to 85% in 2012).

In relation to the colour of the lighting of the street lamps, those interviewed were asked (as an additional aspect) if they found the “white” light (typically LED) or the “yellow” light more pleasant; it emerged that even if 25% found both to their liking, the majority, i.e. 41%, appreciated white light lighting more.

33 The public lighting measures in the urban area in fact follow the indications of the Municipality of Rome, for whom Acea performs the service. The intensity of the street, pavement, parks and gardens lighting can also be altered by factors unconnected with company management, such as the presence of tree foliage, pending pruning activities.

Table No. 22 - PUBLIC LIGHTING SERVICE: PERCENTAGE OF THOSE SATISFIED ON SPECIFIC ASPECTS (2012)

% of satisfied customers
  1st half of 2012 2nd half of 2012
technical aspects attributable to Acea
  • colour of light 92%
  • switching on/off times 91%
  • service continuity in city 84%
  • colour of light 93%
  • switching on/off times 91%
  • service continuity in city 85%
technical aspects attributable to third parties
  • lighting of historic monuments/squares 93%
  • presence of service in city 83%
  • intensity of street lighting 82%
  • lighting of historic monuments/squares 92%
  • presence of service in city 85%
  • intensity of street lighting 80%
faults free-phone number
  • courtesy of operator 91%
  • skill of operator 89%
  • waiting time for speaking to the operator 82%
  • ease in finding the line free 81%
  • courtesy of operator 94%
  • skill of operator 93%
  • waiting time for speaking to the operator 85%
  • ease in finding the line free 84%