Sales in Italy

Ears open to our customers

Repower listens very carefully to the needs and concerns of its customers and other stakeholders. In our Call Centre in Milan, for example, where our staff answer customers’ enquiries.

Customer focus and vision

What distinguishes Repower Sales in Italy from the competition

How can a company that sells relatively undifferentiated products such as electricity and gas stand out from the competition? By keeping one step ahead in terms of pricing and product development and according top priority to the quality of its customer service. A look at Repower's sales department in Italy shows how.

From the outset, one of the strengths of Repower Italy has been the ability to accurately monitor and even anticipate energy market trends. For example, sales managers were quick to recognise the untapped potential inherent in small and medium-sized companies ahead of electricity market liberalisation. Consequently they focused their attention on this customer segment, laying the foundations for a successful sales business which in recent years has undergone steady growth both in terms of volume and margins.

Unchanged philosophy, new offerings

Over all these years, the fundamental maxim of according top priority to reliable service tailored to customers' needs has remained unchanged. Renzo Boschet, Head of Sales at Repower Italy, firmly believes that “Our strategy of targeting quality leadership among Italian energy companies has helped to cushion us from the tough pricing war waged by our competitors.” Repower believes quality calls for attentive employees and agents who aim not just to acquire customers but also retain them and consistently deliver satisfaction. In the five years up to 2011 the number of sales agents has doubled to around 450, creating a closely-knit network that covers the entire country. And the number of customers has increased commensurately: today, Repower delivers electricity and natural gas to some 40,000 end consumers. Customers include industrial concerns, retailers, manufacturers and service providers throughout Italy. Agents can rely on sophisticated IT systems and draw on the support provided by sales staff at the office in Milan. Customers can access a protected zone on the website to obtain information on their electricity consumption and bills. If they need further advice or assistance, they can contact the call centre at office in Milan.

Naturally, only companies that anticipate market trends and deliver compelling, forward-looking products can compete effectively on the liberalised electricity market. Repower was one of the first companies to offer customers a fixed-price tariff as a hedge against major price fluctuations. Today, dynamic price models are more advantageous in most cases: the “Puntuale” model, for instance, which is based on the Italian power exchange index (IPEX). Furthermore, tariffs are offered which are tailored to the consumption profile and select the lowest of three possible prices each month. In 2009 Repower launched the “Nobile pro sisma 09” electricity product, which gave customers the opportunity to support a charitable cause through their electricity consumption: electricity deliveries were linked to a donation of two euros per megawatt hour in favour of the earthquake victims in Abruzzo, with Repower contributing half of the amount.

How ideas are turned into products

At Repower, new offerings are not created at a desk, but on the basis of concrete market observations. As a rule, a product starts with an idea inspired by feedback from the sales network, whose members operate on the market on a daily basis and have first-hand knowledge of customer needs. A comprehensive team process then refines the idea and brings it to market in the form of a concrete product. The same procedure was followed for the latest Repower product, “Verde Dentro”. In addition to delivering renewable energy with a TÜV guarantee of origin, “Verde Dentro” provides a detailed analysis of the electricity consumption and energy efficiency levels of customers' appliances. As an additional element, Repower is the first company in Italy to provide a comprehensive electric mobility (e-mobility) concept, which was made possible thanks to collaboration with market leaders such as Mitsubishi and Leaseplan. The additional elements are delivered to the customers in the electricity supply package and included in the kWh price. “We designed this product package for companies whose efforts to innovate revolve around the environment, and who consciously seek to differentiate themselves from the competition,” says Fabio Bocchiola, Head of Repower Italy. “Verde Dentro” attracted major interest among hotel and spa operators as well as municipalities after its launch in the autumn of 2011.

Thinking ahead remains much in demand

Given the increasingly competitive market, the sales team at Repower Italy will need to continue deploying its comprehensive expertise in a bid to stay one step ahead and grow further. What has proved successful in the past will remain a key success factor also in the future: and that includes, in particular, carefully managing customer relations.