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Title: Customer satisfaction: a framework for assessing the service quality of urban water service providers in Abuja, Nigeria
Authors: Ojo, Victor Olanrewaju
Keywords: Service quality
Customer satisfaction
Voice
Urban water supply
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: © Ojo, V.O.
Abstract: In recent years, the usual measure of service quality through recorded complaint alone in natural monopolies such as urban water service provision is regarded by literature as inadequate. The aim of this study is to develop and test a model customer satisfaction framework for assessing the performance of public water utilities in Nigeria; in terms of service quality from the customers point of view, and identify priority areas for improvement. A two phased qualitative/quantitative approach was adopted for data collection. Qualitative methods involved observation of complaint handling procedures at the customer care centres, customer forums and document scanning, using a pre-determined assessment checklist; individual interviews of water utility employees and key government functionaries, using semi-structured questionnaires; and customer focus group discussions to identify customers important requirements. Quantitative method involved questionnaires derived from the qualitative data obtained during the exploratory phase; which was piloted, refined and administered face-to-face to a stratified random sample of 1,045 connected water utility customers across the ten service areas of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Nigeria, to determine the level satisfaction and priorities areas for improvement and encourage public water service providers to improve their performances. Findings from the obtained data showed an overall Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) of 73.4%. The customers living in the outskirts of the FCT recorded a lower minimum Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) of 63% and are less satisfied with the service quality provided by FCT Water Board. In comparison, the medium and low density areas recorded a higher minimum CSI of 71%. Also, among the satisfaction variables, reliability of supply predicts substantial (67%) variation in overall customer satisfaction, which in turn is the best predictor of service quality. The research findings also highlighted colour and taste (water quality), as the most important customer requirements. Likewise, the priorities areas for improvement are (i) Billing; (ii) Reliability; (iii) Pressure; (iv) Helpfulness of staff; (v) Colour of water; (vi) Knowledge of staff; (vii) Taste and (viii) Courtesy of staff respectively. One major implication of the findings is that water service providers should improve the avenues of communication between them and the customers; and not see complaint and customer satisfaction surveys as an indictment, but as a tool for capturing customers voice about the quality of service.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/9133
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Civil and Building Engineering)

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