Assessment of villagers' 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 )



1- Introduction
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 residents' 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.
2- Methodology
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 experts' 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.
3- Results
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%.

4- Conclusion
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;


حاجی‌هاشمی، سعید، 1379، توسعه و توسعه‌نیافتگی: روش تفکر و عقلانیت در توسعه، نشر وپسان، چاپ اول، 732 صفحه، اصفهان.
خنیفر، حسین، 1389، درآمدی بر مفهوم آمایش سرزمین و کاربرد‌های آن در ایران، دوفصلنامة آمایش سرزمین، سال دوم، شمارة دوم، بهار و تابستان، صص. 26-5.
رفیعیان، مجتبی، عسگری، علی و عسگری‌زاده، زهرا، 1388، سنجش میزان رضایت‌مندی سکونتی محلة نواب، پژوهش جغرافیایی، سال 14، شمارة 67، بهار، 68- 53.
سرایی، حسن، 1375،مقدمه‌ای بر نمونه‌گیری در تحقیق، چاپ دوم، انتشارات سمت، 256 صفحه.
شایان، حمید، تقیلو، علی‌اکبر، خسرو بیگی، رضا، 1389، ارزیابی میزان رضایتمندی روستاییان از محیط سکونتگاهی: مطالعة موردی شهرستان کمیجان، فصلنامة روستا و توسعه، سال 13، شمارة 1، بهار، صص. 179- 155.
عصاریان‌نژاد، حسین، شیرازی رومنان، حسن، 1390، ارزیابیکیفیتخدماتانتظامیپلیس+10بااستفادهاز مدلتحلیلسروکوال، فصلنامة مطالعات مدیریت انتظامى، سال ششم، شمارة 2، صص. 221-208.
عینالی، جمشید، طاهرخانی، مهدی، 1384، ارزیابی عملکرد مجتمع‌های خدمات بهزیستی در رفاه و توسعة روستایی، پژوهشگاه علوم انسانی و مطالعات فرهنگی پرتال جامع علوم انسانی، دورة 9، شمارة 4، صص. 73-55.
فیروزآبادی، سیداحمد و ایمانی جاجرمی، حسین، 1391، وضعیت رضایت روستاییان و عوامل مرتبط با آن از عملکرد دهیاری‌ها؛ مطالعة موردی: روستاهای استان قزوین، پژوهش‌های روستایی، سال سوم، شمارة یکم، صص. 91-61.
فروغی، محمدعلی، 1391، سیر حکمت در اروپا، جلد دوم، نشر زوار، 206 صفحه، تهران.
فرزدی، فرانک و همکاران، 1390، میزان رضایت مردم از خدمات بهداشتی درمانی و عوامل مؤثر بر آن: مطالعة سلامت از دیدگاه مردم ایران، نشریة پژوهشکدة علوم بهداشتی جهاد دانشگاهی، سال دهم، شمارة سوم، صص. 330- 323.
عزیزی، جلیل، کرم‌یار جهرمی، مهدی و حجت، محسن، 1391، بررسی میزان رضایتمندی روستاییان شهرستان داراب از ابعاد مختلف عملکرد پزشک خانواده، مجلة دانشگاه علوم پزشکی فسا، دورة دوم، شمارة سوم، صص. 198-193.
ناظمی، شمس‌الدین، پدرام‌نیا، سارا، 1388، ارزیابی و تحلیل کیفیت خدمات با استفاده از مدل سروکوال، مرکز پژوهش‌های شورای اسلامی شهر مشهد، صص. 24-1.
ملکی، آناهیتا و دارابی، ماهان، 1387، روش‌های مختلف اندازه‌گیری رضایت مشتری، مجلة مهندسی خودرو و صنایع وابسته، دورة 1، شمارة 3، صص. 30-27.
Akbaba, A., 2006, Measuring Service Quality in the Hotel Industry: A study in a business hotel in Turkey, International Journal of Hospitality Management, Vol. 25, No. 2, PP. 170-192.
Akgual, D., 2012, Measuring the Satisfaction of Citizens for the Services given by the Municipality: The Case of Kirşehir Municipality, Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 62, PP. 555-560.
Asogwa, B.E., Asadu, B.U., Ezema, J.U., Ugwu, C.I., Ugwuanyi, F.C., 2014, Use of SERVQUAL in the Evaluation of Service Quality of Academic Libraries in Developing Countries, Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal), PP. 1-26, Available at:
Çerri, S., 2012, Assessing the Quality of Higher Education Services using a Modified SERVQUAL Scale, Annals Universities Apulensis Series Oeconomica, Vol. 14, No. 2, PP. 664-679.
Choon Ling, K., Lau, T.Ch., Tan, H.P., 2010, Education Quality Processes Model and its Influence on Students Perceived Service Quality, International Journal of Business and Management, Vol.5, No. 8, PP. 154-165.
Ebrahimi, M.S., Imani, F., 2014, Evaluating Customer Satisfaction in Iranian Agricultural Cooperatives by use of SERVQUAL Model, International Journal of Agriculture and Crop Sciences, Vol .7, No. 4, PP. 203-206.
Egedigwe, E., 2015, Service Quality and Perceived Value of Cloud Computing-Based Service Encounters: Evaluation of Instructor Perceived Service Quality in Higher Education in Texas, Nova Southeastern University, PP. 1-142.( available at :
Ganpat, W., Ramdial, R., Narine, K.L., 2014, Farmers Satisfaction with the Extension Service in Trinidad West Indies, Conference: Association for International Agricultural & Extension Education, At Miami, Florida, Vol. 21, PP. 1-16, Available at: publications, accessed 24.5.
Goodrich, K., Ramsey, R., 2012, Are Consumers with Disabilities Receiving the Services They Need?, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Vol. 19, No. 1, PP. 88-97.
Kang, H., Bradley, G., 2002, Measuring the Performance of IT Services: An assessment of SERVQUAL, InternationalJournal of Accounting Information Systems, Vol. 3, No. 3, PP. 151–164.
Krivobokova, V.O., 2009, Evaluating Customer Satisfaction as an Aspect of Quality Management, World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, Vol. 53, No. 9, PP. 565‐568, Available at: waste/v53-92- oajunsri. pdf, accessed 30.7.2014.
Kumra, A., 2008, Service Quality in Rural Tourism: A Prescriptive Approach, Conference on Tourism in India – Challenges Ahead, PP. 425-431.
Legcevic, J., 2009, Quality Gap in Educational services in Viewpoints on Students, EKON. MISAO PARKSA DBK / Economic Thought and Practice, Vol. 18, No. 2, PP. 279-298.
Osman, Z, Sentosa, I., 2013, Service Quality and customer Loyalty in Malaysian Rural Tourism: A Mediating Effect of Trust, International Journal of Marketing Practices, Vol. 1, No. 1, PP. 31-42. 
Pansiri, J., Mmereki, R.N., 2010, Using the SERVQUAL Model to Evaluate the Impact of Public Service Reforms in the Provision of Primary Heath Care in Botswana, Journal of African Business, Vol. 11, No. 2, PP. 219-234.
Parasuraman A., V. Zeithaml and L. B. [A2] 1988. SERVQUAL: A multiple item scale for measuring consumer perceptions of service quality, Journal of Retailing, Vol.64, No .1, pp. 12–40.
Parasuraman, V. Zeithaml and L. B. 1985. A conceptual model of service quality and its implications for future research, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 49, pp. 41–50.
Parasuraman, A Zeithaml, A. Valarie, Berry, A.  L. 1994. Alternative Scales for measuring service Quality: A comparative Assessment Based on Psychometric and diagnostic Criteria. Journal of retailing, Vol. 70, No.3, pp. 201-230.
Paraskevas, A., 2001, Internal Service Encounters in Hotels: an empirical study, International Journal contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 13. No. 6, PP. 285- 292.
Saleh, F. & Al-Marzouqi, A., 2014, An Examination of the Quality of Customer Service at a Public Utility Organization in the GULF Region, International Journal of Marketing Studies, Vol. 6, No. 1, p. 140.
Shaikh, B.T., Mobeen, N., Azam, S.I., Rabbani, F., 2008, Using SERVQAL for Assessing and Improving Patient Satisfaction at a Rural Health Facility in Pakistan, Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, Vol. 14, No. 2, PP. 447-555.
Sharma, J.K., Narang, R., 2011, Quality of Healthcare Services in Rural India: The User Perspective, VIKALPA, Vol. 36, No. 1, PP. 51-60.
Stafford, M., Marmot, M., 2003, Neighborhood Deprivation and Health: does it affect us all equally?, Intentional Journal Epidemiology, Vol. 32, No. 3, PP. 357–366.