Customer perception of water utilities | Smart Utilities 2013 Conference

Customer perception of water utilities | Smart Utilities 2013 Conference

I have been asked to facilitate a roundtable discussion on customer perception of water utilities at the Smart Utilities 2013 Conference in Melbourne. These are some thoughts I gathered to help facilitating this discussion. Water utilities don’t need to be customer focused Engineers and scientists in water companies often believe that the level of service …

Service Quality in Essential Services: Smart Utilities 2013

Service Quality in Essential Services: Smart Utilities 2013

This presentation outlines a model to measure the level of service in essential services, based on contemporary ideas in the field of services marketing. Presented at the Smart Utilities Australia/New Zealand 2013 conference on 26 November 2013. In economic models for the pricing of essential services, cost to the consumer is restricted to monetary cost. …

The Engineering-Marketing Interface in Water Utilities

The Engineering-Marketing Interface in Water Utilities

Providing reticulated water services requires a high level of investment in technology to be able to provide a safe and reliable supply. As such, the industry is dominated by professionals with engineering qualifications who develop and maintain the infrastructure required to deliver core services. Engineers are often wrapped in stereotypes, highly focused on the technical …

SERVAQUA: Towards a service quality model in potable reticulated water services

SERVAQUA: Towards a service quality model in potable reticulated water services

A range of methodologies to measure the level of service provided by water utilities is used in the industry. Most of these focus on the intrinsic quality of water supply, measured from the perspective of the service provider. These methodologies are problematic because they often omit the quality of service as experienced by the customer, …

From Asset Performance to Customer Experience in Water Utilities

From Asset Performance to Customer Experience

Judging by the available publications and conference papers, the water industry is dominated by engineers, scientists and economists, with much less attention given to research into customer service. The application of marketing theories to provide value to customers of water utilities is an under-researched area given the monopoly status of service providers. The purpose of …

The Yuck Factor: The Psychology of Drinking Recycled Water

The Yuck Factor: Drinking Recycled Sewage

Using sewage to create drinking water, or recycled water is a controversial topic in many parts of the world, especially in places where drought has forced utilities to develop alternative sources of tap water. In 2006 the Australian city of Toowoomba faced an extreme water supply problem and held a referendum asking its citizens whether recycled …

The Water Quality Paradox and Perceptions of Service Quality

The Water Quality Paradox and Perceptions of Service Quality

Every day, thousands of engineers around the world work hard every day to provide potable water quality to their customers thereby keeping cities liveable and preventing disease. They do this work invisible to most people as customers have very simple, but very high expectations of service. Although in well-managed systems, the chances that somebody does …

The Value of Water — A Marketing Perspective on Tap Water

The Value of Water — A Marketing Perspective on Tap Water

Father of economics Adam Smith identified the so-called diamond-water paradox in The Wealth of Nations. This is the idea that some commodities without value in use, such as diamonds, have a high value in exchange and vice versa, water has a high use value but demands a low price. Smith acknowledges the common sense idea that water is valuable, but how valuable is water exactly? The simplest definition of value is that it is the difference between perceived benefits and perceived cost. In this article, I propose a model to determine the value of water to customers based on marketing.