If you are experiencing problems downloading PDF or HTML fulltext, our helpdesk recommend clearing your browser cache and trying again. If you need help in clearing your cache, please click here . Still need help? Email help@ingentaconnect.com

Including Utility Customers and Stakeholders in Strategic Planning for Customer Satisfaction

$17.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Buy Article:


Columbus Water Works (CWW) is a combined water and wastewater utility serving about 250,000 residents of southwestern Georgia. The utility has a history of effectively planning for its future and has completed a comprehensive update of its strategic plan and facility master plans utilizing the Scan-Plan-Do approach. CWW recognizes the need and has pursued the ongoing challenge of communications, tracking, linking, and aligning of business strategies and goals with operational budgets and day-to-day activities. Utilities face a variety of challenges including the need to build and maintain strong relationships with customers as part of meeting and anticipating their expectations. Customer perceptions (positive and negative), and an understanding of why they exist, are an important part of strategic plan formulation, update, and day-to-day utility business.

Effective utility practice is placing the customer relationship as essential, in addition to focusing on competitively and effectively delivering service. So the most effective way to learn what customers really think about its relationship with utility services is simply to ask. Columbus Water Works did just that while updating their strategic plan. In addition to the monthly surveys and a satisfaction index score, CWW designed and added customer focus groups and stakeholder interviews to obtain "up close and personal” perspectives and opinions. The utility also acquired information on customers' perceived value of products and services from residential, business, and regulatory perspectives. The results were reassuring, revealing, and rewarding with several specific strategic opportunities emerging.

This presentation will explore the specific approaches, results, and benefits of customer feedback that could be invaluable to other water and wastewater utilities. Discussion will focus on making the practice of surveys, focus groups and stakeholder interviews part of the utility's ongoing regimen and explore how these approaches affect and support the development and/or improvement of an overall customer service philosophy.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864706783789743

Publication date: January 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access.
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites



Share Content

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more