Assessment of villager's satisfaction with the quality of services provided by Rural Water and Sewerage Company based on the SERVQUAL model (Case Study: Rural settlements of Delfan Counties Lorestan province)
Improving the quality of services provided to rural areas in order to empower them in the process of rural development, need to receive feedback from rural residents. Ignoring the Allcomments, the demands and expectations of rural residents has created many challenges in the process of serving the villages. Therefore, identifying strengths and weaknesses in various aspects of quality of service, is helpful to rural planners to achieve the objectives, implementing programs and resolving its weaknesses. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the rural resident's satisfaction with the quality of the civil service was conducted by using the tool SERVQUAL. Thistool, evaluates service quality of an organization from the following five aspects: 1. Tangibles, which evaluates the physical and material aspects of the service provider. 2. Reliability that measures an organization's ability to deliver Services correctly and within the specified time. 3. Responsiveness: that evaluates the tendency of organizations to assist users and provides faster service to them. 4. Assurance that measures knowledge, politeness and ability of employees to create confidence in consumers.5. Empathy that measures the degree of user’s importance and staff dealing with clients.
.In Iran, various organizations undertaken the planning and implementation of projects in rural areas and offer various services. Measuring satisfaction of rural residents about the quantity and quality of programs and services, effectively help to improve this kind of serves. Rural Water and Sewerage Company is one of those organizations and Offers multiple service activities in the villages.
In this descriptive-analytical study, using Probability Proportional to Size sampling (1387 households), 302 households were randomly selected from two rural districts in the Central District of Delfan County.Fiveoptions Likert Scales was used in items adjusting. Cronbach's alpha coefficient was used to analyze the questionnaire reliability of research. This amount in expectations is equal to 0/78 and 0/88 in perceptions; which indicates good reliability of tool. Also, since the SERVQUAL tool is a standard tool, therefore, has high validity. In order to confirm the validity of questionnaire, thematic expert's opinions were used; on these basis necessary corrections was applied. Grading method (Scoring method) to each Likert item was used in analyzing the quality of services provided by Rural Water and Sewerage Company, in surveyed villages and recognition of the gap between the expectations and perceptions of respondents in any studied aspects. Also, to evaluate the relationship between service quality and general characteristics of the respondents, Spearman correlation coefficient was used.
Evaluation of importance and satisfaction averages in any aspect of SERVQUAL scale indicates a large gap between the expectations and perceptions of rural people from Rural Water and Sewerage Companyservices. So that the resulting difference in the quality is equal to -0.29 in tangibles, -0.44 in terms of reliability, -0.13 in the Assurance , -0.52 in empathy and -0.30 in Responsiveness. In order to evaluate the effect of respondent’s characteristics and education in their quality assessment of services provided by the Rural Water and Sewerage Company, with establishment of Spearman the correlation between these attributes was examined with different aspects of service quality. Accordingly, among "tangibles qualities" and "education" negative and significant relationship was observed in 95%. In fact, with increasing of education and awareness of villagerstheir satisfaction about services decreases. Also, among "tangibles qualities" and "income" in the level of 95 percent was a significant negative correlation. In addition, among "responsibility" with "income" and "literacy ", "quality of empathy" with "income" and "literacy", and "quality of service" with "literacy" Significant negative correlation was observed at 95%.
Assessment of Housing Foundation Services in the villages indicates the gap between the overall quality of services provided to the villagers and their expectations.However, the largest gap was observedfor the empathy dimension, and, as mentioned above, the statements relating to this dimension show the greatestgapbetween theexpectations and perceptions ofpeople.
This reflects that the Rural Water and Sewerage Company operates weaker relative to their duties in this part. The results of correlation analysis showed with increasing income and education level of rural residents, amount of expectations is higher. Also, with increased information and awareness through mass media the expectations gradually has increased in the studied areas. And the traditional distance between the urban and rural areas has disappeared in this respect. This is due to increasing demands and expectations of villagers from the civil service. Therefore, it is essential that Rural Water and Sewerage Company as one of the providing services and public organizationsshould pay attention to developments in the field of promote knowledge and information to rural residents about the quality of the environment and rural life; and take action of service to rural areas by changing intellectual and practical approach and attention to the way people think and rural residents moral feel.
Therefore, since the aim of this study was to understand about quality of programs, implementation of civil projects to improve the satisfaction of rural residents, achieving balance and spatial equilibrium, optimal distribution of population and economic activities, optimal distribution of resources, and ultimately improve the lives of villagers in study area;
Journal of Rural Research, Volume:7 Issue: 1, 2016
113 - 138  
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