Abstract

Service quality and customer satisfaction are very important concepts that water enterprises must understand and measure from the customers' perspective to satisfy their needs. The main objectives of this research were to assess the level of customer satisfaction on urban water supply services of Southern Region, Ethiopia, and identify major determinants. Quantitative data were collected from 8,413 customers in seventeen towns, using a questionnaire based on the SERVQUAL model. Qualitative data were collected from customers via focus group discussion, and interviews were used with utility employees and officials. The results showed 47% of customers were satisfied with the water supply enterprise services, while 43% were dissatisfied for various reasons. The customer satisfaction score was below the acceptable level for all service quality dimensions, and understanding of customers, communication, and responsiveness were far below the benchmark. The correlation analysis revealed the existence of a monotonic, positive relationship between customers' total satisfaction and service quality dimensions. The proportional odds model indicated that total customer satisfaction was highly dependent on the nine service quality dimensions used in this research.

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