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Perceived customer value and willingness to pay: strategies for improving and sustaining water service quality

Abdullah Murrar (Eberly College of Business and Information Technology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA) (Faculty of Graduate Studies, Arab American University Palestine, Jenin, Palestine)
Veronica Paz (Eberly College of Business and Information Technology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA)
Madan Batra (Eberly College of Business and Information Technology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA)
David Yerger (Eberly College of Business and Information Technology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 29 February 2024

191

Abstract

Purpose

Several studies have examined the relationship between service quality and willingness to pay in many industries. However, this relationship has not been explored through the lens of customer perceived value and their willingness to pay for improving and sustaining water service. This study aims to examine the impact of technical and functional service quality dimensions on customer perceived value and assess the influence of customer perceived value and socio-economic factors on customers' willingness to pay for improving and sustaining the water service.

Design/methodology/approach

Technical service quality includes core water service such as water delivery and maintenance, while functional service quality refers to the appearance of facilities, employees’ dress, and communication. SERVQUAL questionnaire responses were collected from 333 Palestinian household customers. Cronbach’s alpha was conducted to measure internal consistency and convergent validity. Path analysis was utilized to evaluate a causal diagram by examining the relationships among the constructs.

Findings

The results showed that technical and functional service quality and relative price explain 52% of the customer perceived value variation. Additionally, the results revealed that customer perceived value, technical service quality, and relative price significantly impact the customer’s willingness to pay for improving and sustaining service. In contrast, the functional service quality and socio-economic factors have insignificant effects. These predictors explain 60% of the customer’s willingness to pay for improving and sustaining service.

Practical implications

The study suggests that water providers should prioritize improving and sustaining technical service quality to increase customer willingness to pay. Furthermore, they should be aware that other factors, such as employee appearance and politeness, are less influential in driving customers’ willingness to pay.

Originality/value

The study presents a water service improvement model that utilizes data from a developing country to assess the influence of perceived customer value, along with its dimensions, on the willingness to pay for improving and sustaining water service quality.

Keywords

Citation

Murrar, A., Paz, V., Batra, M. and Yerger, D. (2024), "Perceived customer value and willingness to pay: strategies for improving and sustaining water service quality", The TQM Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/TQM-07-2023-0218

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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