Social media, service quality and user satisfaction : an exploration of UMEME social media engagement with clients
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This study examined the relationship between, social media use, clientele's perception of service quality, and customer satisfaction of Umeme services. There were three specific objectives, namely; to examine the relationship between Umeme’s social media use and User satisfaction, to examine the relationship between social media use and clientele's perception of the Service quality of Umeme's products and services, and; to examine the effect of social media use to communicate service quality on perceived user satisfaction by Umeme Uganda Limited. A cross-sectional survey design was adopted in which quantitative data was collected and analysed. The data presented, analysed, and interpreted was collected from a total of 242 factory workers, 28 employees in the digital department of Umeme as well as 30 social media experts. The study established that the social media platforms used by Umeme are user friendly and therefore, the users are satisfied with its ease of use and that the users are satisfied with the way Umeme organises information on its social media pages. This study was anchored on the Uses and Gratification (U&G) theory which is part of the media effects research (McQuail, 1994). The Uses and Gratification theory examined the use of social media in the process of communicating service quality on perceived User satisfaction by Umeme Uganda limited. The results of this study reflect how Umeme’s use of social media generates significant rewards to its customers that significantly impact use of their social media platforms in search for information, alerts and feedback on their inquiries. The data also revealed an impact on the satisfaction and perception of Umeme customers regarding Umeme’s social media use in the communication of service quality. It was established that Umeme's social media use influences user satisfaction. Findings revealed that Umeme does not provide quality services to its clients and that Umeme’s responsiveness to clients’ issues is poor, making their communication unreliable. Further findings revealed that Umeme does not always promptly inform clients of important information using social media and that the Umeme’s communication through social media was unreliable and failed to communicate pertinent information for its clients. It was also established that Umeme's social media use, responsiveness and reliability influences user satisfaction. Conclusively, the study established that the gratification received by users through social media use impacts their perception regarding service quality as well as communicating service quality on perceived User satisfaction by Umeme. Umeme should consider service quality as their priority in impacting user satisfaction because most of the clients agitate for quality services through timely resolution of issues and timely communication of the power outages and that it should also sensitise manufacturing firms on how to utilise social media effectively and efficiently so that it can have a significant effect on user satisfaction.