Service quality and customer satisfaction in a government funded low-income rental housing project in Pietermaritzburg.
Vilakazi, Ayanda Nondumiso.
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Increasing the value customers derive from services contributes to increasing perceived service quality. Perceived good service quality is key to establishing a competitive edge. There is not enough research aimed at the understanding of Service quality in the residential rental industry, especially in buildings that cater for the low-income market. This study aimed at determining residents’ perceptions on the service quality performance of the governmentfunded low-income project in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, in which they reside. The objectives aimed at determining residents’ perception using the dimensions of service quality identified in the SERVQUAL model, these are tangibles, assurance, responsiveness, reliability, and empathy. The study was exploratory in nature and made use of a quantitative research approach. A questionnaire was utilised to collect the primary data, 228 respondents participated in the study. The importance of each dimension relative to total service quality was determined, using ordinal regression analysis. The data was analysed using SPSS to provide descriptive and inferential statistics. The study revealed that the tangibles dimension contributes the most to service quality perceptions, followed by the reliability dimension and the assurance dimension. Service quality is not the only determinant of customer satisfaction in the public rental sector, there are, by attempting to improve, performance on the five dimensions of service quality in the low-income rental housing project in Pietermaritzburg, management will be able to improve residents’ perception of their service offering. Interventions should prioritize the responsiveness and empathy dimensions of service quality where most improvements are, needed.