Title: Customer satisfaction measures in the public sector: what do they tell us?

Authors: Denise K. Conroy

Addresses: School of Management, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane, Queensland 4001, Australia

Abstract: In attempting to devise customer satisfaction measures, there are a number of factors which can affect the interpretation of results - the nature of the customer, service provision, service quality and, for the public sector, the extent to which consumer sovereignty exists. It is the contention in this paper that valid and reliable measures of customer satisfaction with public service provision are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve, as there are too many independent and intervening variables which compound the results. Resources may be better directed towards setting and maintaining high levels of standard of service. The paper addresses the difficulties outlined above and highlights the complex nature of a customer or service beneficiary who can be, at the same time, a taxpayer, voter, recipient of financial benefits, with expectations of the public sector and its delivery agent, yet cannot choose another provider.

Keywords: customer satisfaction; measures; public sector.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBPM.2001.000100

International Journal of Business Performance Management, 2001 Vol.3 No.2/3/4, pp.216-230

Published online: 13 Jul 2003 *

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