Users are satisfied with their latrine buying experience
iDE Global WASH
Overall satisfaction with sanitation marketing bodes well for continued successful intervention.
Building a sustainable sanitation market requires that consumers enjoy the buying experience and are satisfied with their purchase. Positive word-of-mouth from satisfied customers encourages late adopters and laggards to make the purchase decision and makes it easier to sell related products and services, such as fecal sludge management solutions or clean water and hygiene products.
iDE regularly surveys customers regarding their satisfaction with both the latrine product and the service provided by the latrine business owner who installed it. We found that customers are relatively satisfied with both their latrine product and service provision. In our 2018 survey, 81% of customers were somewhat or very satisfied with their latrine product, though only 12% of those customers report being very satisfied.
We also looked to see if there were any provincial variations in overall satisfaction with the latrine product or service provision. Overall satisfaction means customers who either reported being somewhat satisfied or very satisfied. We see that Banteay Meanchey had satisfaction levels far below the other provinces, with only 56% of customers reporting satisfaction with the product and only 44% reporting satisfaction with the service provision.
It is worth noting that the low satisfaction levels in Banteay Meanchey are not due to dissatisfaction, but rather neutral response (neither satisfied nor dissatisfied). Some theories for the tepid customer satisfaction in Banteay Meanchey include:
- Poor collaboration with local authorities led to a long series of delivery delays. iDE was asked to stop sanitation marketing in certain communes that had been reserved as designated territories for Asian Development Bank (ADB) subsidies channeled through the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Department of Rural Development, the provincial government agency charged with improving rural sanitation coverage.
- The standard pit diameter promoted by iDE is 80cm, while the expectation in the province is 100cm, often due to expectations from ADB subsidy standards, leading to disappointments at delivery. iDE has since opted for the 100cm ring in Banteay Meanchey, but this has also increased the price of the product.
To better understand what could be leading to dissatisfaction, customers were asked about the primary issues they had with their latrines. We found that a large majority (88%) reported having zero problems. The most commonly reported issue faced by customers is a latrine that is clogged or doesn’t flush, which was only reported in 8% or responses. Even with the low levels of satisfaction in Banteay Meanchey, we don’t see any higher reporting of latrine challenges faced in this province.
Finally, although only 1% of customers currently report the issue of a full pit, 16% of customers say they don’t know what to do once their pit gets full and 2% said they will just stop using it altogether. In order to deal with an inevitable increase in demand for pit waste management services, iDE has already begun designing and promoting a solution for safely managed fecal sludge (see How to deal with full latrine pits).