We are in constant dialogue with customers, politicians and society – for this is the only way we can satisfy their expectations and achieve joint goals. Our mission: through this dialogue, to find the best-possible approach to the consumption-based saving of resources and costs.
Only if we know our customers’ needs and wishes can we develop solutions which deliver significant added value – in terms of both costs and resource conservation. Always with the aim of achieving a sustainable improvement in the energy balance.
We seek to exchange views, particularly during visits of our sales representatives to our customers. But we also take part in trade fairs, congresses or conferences where we enter into active dialogue with customers and stakeholders. Furthermore, our customer care team is always available to our customers and their tenants to answer specific questions or take suggestions on board. Pilot projects, which we largely conduct in the German market, are a particularly good source of information to help us better understand customer and tenant needs. For example, the pilot project « Saving Money through Clever Heating » serves, among other things, to spread the word about monthly consumption information and to identify possible obstacles to the use of energy management.
We carry out an international customer survey once a year to systematically obtain feedback from our customers. It gives us first-hand information on how we can further optimise our processes, products and services. In 2015, we surveyed 2,739 customers in a total of 11 countries. The aim is, on the one hand, to obtain strategic recommendations for action to improve our products and services. On the other hand, the survey enables us to determine the Customer Retention Index (CRI). This is a key performance figure which, on the basis of five overarching questions, gives us information on how strong active and passive customer loyalty is and permits us to compare the results of the current year and the previous year. Changes are therefore obvious at a glance.
In 2015, we surveyed 2,739 customers in a total of 11 countries. The aim is to obtain strategic recommendations for action to improve our products and services.
We achieved high customer satisfaction ratings overall in most countries – on a scale from 0 to 10, they were between 6.0 and 8.2. Feedback, particularly in the meter reading and billing segments, has been consistently positive for years, which encourages us to maintain our customer- focused strategy.
As a service provider, we naturally store customer and tenant data. Such data are both personal information, such as addresses, and individual energy consumption figures. Therefore, we give high priority to data privacy. Protecting customer data.
It is not just our customers but also politicians and society in particular who expect us to provide solutions for sustainable resource conservation. In a spirit of fairness, openness and respect, we are also in constant dialogue with them and help them to implement goals for greater climate protection, greater transparency and socially responsible housing.
Therefore, increasing energy efficiency is one of our key concerns. With the consumption-dependent metering and billing of energy and water, we offer a low-investment solution for saving energy in multi-family buildings and increasingly also in commercial properties. In terms of the European Commission’s strategy to implement the energy transition, for example the Heating and Cooling Strategy, we are committed to a holistic approach which includes consumers’ consumption behaviour as an important component. ista also positions itself at events focusing on energy efficiency and climate protection. In 2015, we presented our products and services to customers, politicians and society at the Climate Expo COP21 in Paris.
Our public affairs activities are subject to the strictest transparency and compliance rules. ista supports the « transparent politician » project and is entered in the transparency register of the European Commission. We never make donations to political parties.
Furthermore, we actively engage in association work in order to initiate an exchange of views and opinions with stakeholders in the industry and in particular at political level. It is important to us to discuss relevant topics critically with like-minded people, learn about different perspectives and examine issues from different angles.
For example, we play a very active role in the European Association for Energy Cost Allocation (E.V.V.E.), the industry’s interest group operating throughout Europe. In Germany, ista is also a member of the trade association, Arbeitsgemeinschaft Heiz- & Wasserkostenverteilung e.V. (ARGE), and is actively engaged in the energy efficiency initiative of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and in the initiative of German energy efficiency businesses (DENEFF). We maintain dialogue at international level with real estate associations and work in various national interest groups and bodies.
We also make a contribution to the benefit of the environment and society above and beyond the scope of our core business. We support initiatives and organisations which resonate with our values and corporate objectives. Through our engagement in « Initiativkreis Ruhr », we support numerous projects in the area around the company’s head office. We therefore generate significant momentum for structural change in the Essen region and sustainably promote its economic and ecological image. As a member of the German network of engaged companies and non-profit intermediary organisations (UPJ) and the environmental initiative, Bundesdeutscher Arbeitskreis für Umweltbewusstes Management e.V. (B.A.U.M.), we also fight for the environment.