Creative Approaches to Customer Satisfaction Surveys

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A Case Study in Creative Approaches to Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Background The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (the Commission or WSSC) is a bi-county agency in Maryland established to provide water supply and wastewater treatment services for approximately 1.7 million people in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties. WSSC has a service area of almost 1,000 square miles, and serves about 430,000 accounts. Ascellon’s work on this project was guided by three critical objectives that are tied to our customer’s strategic initiatives: 1. To stay attuned to what customers truly value, their desired services and service levels; 2. To provide those services in a world-class manner; and 3. To improve relations with the customer base. Identifying and Segmenting the Population: Ascellon identified the various segments of stakeholders for WSSC, namely: the elected officials and regulating agencies (stakeholders) WSSC must be accountable to; and the 1.6 million consumers of WSSC’s end products: drinking water and sewer service. The second segment was further divide into three subsegments: Residential Rate Payers, Commercial Rate Payers, and Service Receivers. By identifying unique segments of our population early in the process, we were able to use the information to design unique survey instruments and sampling plan to improve the reliability of the entire survey. A second, equally important benefit of knowing the audience well is the ability to uniquely identify segments of the survey population during the data collection phase. That level of identification is important for meaningful analysis and recommendations for future improvements. Customer’s Objectives The primary objective of the Customer Satisfaction Survey is to identify perceptions and concerns of the served population, and use these to refine
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strategies for providing superior water and sewer services. WSSC identified five key areas as the

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