The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) commissioned statewide customer satisfaction assessments in years 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, and 2006. The surveys identified SDDOT's key products and services and assessed perceptions of their importance and quality of delivery. The surveys raised SDDOT's awareness of customers' concerns and provided valuable insights into their degree of satisfaction. Findings also influenced SDDOT's strategic plans and allowed SDDOT to gage progress in addressing customers' priorities. Some of the assessments included comparisons with public perceptions from other states in the region.
SDDOT's assessments have addressed recurring questions, such as:
* Have perceptions of SDDOT's performance changed significantly? If so, how?
* How has SDDOT responded to issues identified in prior surveys? Have the responses been effective? Are more proactive or effective responses possible?
* Do state legislators and key customer segments perceive SDDOT's services and performance differently from the population at large? Do perceptions vary by region or between urban and rural populations? If so, how should SDDOT respond?
In addition to these important questions, specific topics have gained attention since SDDOT's most recent assessment. For example:
* In light of increasing costs and constrained funding, have customers' perceptions changed regarding the need for and relative priority of capital improvements, maintenance, operations, and other delivered services?
* How have other factors, such as demographic changes, rural and urban development, and large-scale flooding, affected customers' perceptions of the need for and relative priority of SDDOT's services?
* Have customers' needs and preferences for receiving information from and providing information to SDDOT changed?
* How effectively does SDDOT conduct business with key business partners, such as the contracting industry and local governments?
Research is needed to reassess perceptions of SDDOT's performance and to identify how SDDOT can effectively respond to them.