A STUDY ON PASSENGER SATISFACTION TOWARDS RAILWAY SERVICES WITH REFERENCE TO WARDHA CITY
Volumn 2

A STUDY ON PASSENGER SATISFACTION TOWARDS RAILWAY SERVICES WITH REFERENCE TO WARDHA CITY

 Mr. Amol V Narayane[1]       

1Assistant Professor, MBA Department DMIETR Wardha.         

1amolnarayane@gmail.com

Piyush Gupta[2]

2 Student MBA 4th Semester-DMIETR, Wardha.

 2piyushgupta007@hotmail.com

Abstract—

This study aims to investigate the factors/facilities for the satisfaction of railway passengers, to assess if facilities provided are adequate and effective and to know the priority areas to maximize the customer satisfaction, hence the study is taken.

A well-structured objective questionnaire was prepared by the researcher for the data collection. The sample size of 100 respondents was taken because of time limitations & random sampling method is used. This research is conducted in Wardha city only. After data collection process the analysis part was undergone with the help of simple percentage analysis and statistical tools were used to test the hypothesis. The factors were selected on the dimensions of service quality such as Cleanliness, Punctuality, Responsiveness, Handling of complaints, Behaviour of the employees, tangibility, etc. It is seen that the services provided are not adequate and there is high need to improve the service quality. Customer satisfaction depends on these factors and it should be enhanced to improve satisfaction of the passengers.

Keywords— Service quality, Indian Railway, Customer Satisfaction.

1. Introduction:

Customer satisfaction is a critical issue in the success of any business system, traditional or online (Ho & Wu 1999). In a turbulent commerce environment, in order to sustain the growth and market share, companies need to understand how to satisfy customers, since customer satisfaction is critical for establishing long-term client relationships (Patterson et al. 1997). It is evidenced by the fact that over the last five years, customer satisfaction surveys have become common in many financial institutions. Thus, a fundamental understanding of factors impacting customer satisfaction is of great importance to commerce. Furthermore, the need for research in customer satisfaction has been accentuated by the increasing demand for the long-term profitability of dotcom companies and traditional companies (Pather,Erwin & Remenyi, 2002). Customer satisfaction is a marketing term that measures how products or services supplied by a company meet or surpass a customer’s expectation.Customer satisfaction is important because it provides marketers and business owners with a metric that they can use to manage and improve their businesses.

2. Literature Review:

The information available in the literature helped in selection of parameters and main areas to be assessed for the study. Following literature has been reviewed to gain more insight of the study.

Geetika and Shefali Nandan. [1], under the title of Determinants of customer Satisfaction on Service Quality: A Study of Railway Platforms in India. The researchers have proposed the determinants and areas to be improved to increase customer (passenger) satisfaction and provide the direction for Railway Administration to enhance the customer satisfaction, specifically related to railway platforms.

V.Rajeswari and K.Santakumari.[2],under the title Satisfaction and Service Quality in Indian Railways- A Study on Passenger Perspective, the researchers gives some insights to develop and improve the quality of services to satisfy the passengers. They performed the study by selecting the eight factors of customer satisfaction as Assurance, Responsiveness, Safety, Tangibility, Empathy, Food Plazas, Information, and Timeliness.

Dr. Kalpana Dube.[3], under the title of Passenger Satisfaction Survey Report And Benchmarking of Performance Standards, the researcher has made an survey report on the priority areas and has come with the findings as top efficiencies and top deficiencies in the services provided by the railways. The research was conducted by taking the responses from the passengers and the railway officials on the determinants of the service quality.

Abadi Dwi Saputra . [4], under the title of Analysis of Train Passenger Responses on Provided Service Case study: PT. Kereta Api, Indonesia and Statens Jarnvagar (SJ) AB, Sweden, the researcher has made the comparative study between the services provided by the Railway System in both the countries and tried to fill the gaps in the services provided by the Indonesian Rail System to improve the customer Satisfaction.

3. Objective:

i) To identify the factors for the satisfaction of Passengers.

ii) To assess if facilities provided are adequate and effective.

iii) To know the priority areas to maximize the customer satisfaction.

4. Hypothesis:

H0: There is no association between the customer satisfaction and the service provided by Railway System.

H1: Ticketing and Facilities at the Counter will have impact on passenger satisfaction.

H2: Facilities at Platform and Stations will have impact on passenger satisfaction.

H3: Facilities in Trains will have impact on passenger satisfaction.

H4: Handling of Complaints will have impact on passenger satisfaction.

H5: Behaviour of Employees will have impact on passenger satisfaction.

H6: Punctuality of Trains will have impact on passenger satisfaction.

5. Findings and Recommendations

Findings:

  • The passengers availing the services daily/weekly generally use the Passenger trains and they avail the services for the study/employment purpose. Passengers who travel occasionally/rarely are the user of Express trains and travels in sleeper class and the purpose of their journey is touring.
  • Most of the passengers avail the rail services because of the comforts and low ticket fare compare to other mode of transport. It is also seen that the convenience of availing the train services is much more improved in last five years.
  • About Fare and other charges, we found that the fare of A/C class is very high comparing to Ordinary ticket and Express ticket fare. The charges such as Tatkal charges and Cancellation charges are very high.
  • About Ticketing and Facilities at the counter, most customers book their ticket from Jan sadharan agents, ticket counter. The connectivity problem and the automatic cancellation of waitlisted ticket is the most common problem faced by the customers while booking e-tickets.
  • About the facilities at platforms and stations, the Basic amenities such as Retiring/cloak rooms; seating, fans and lighting facilities; pay and use toilet facilities are very poor.
  • About facilities in train, the basic amenities such as Catering facility and Availability of ladies coaches is very poor. The modern amenities such as mobile charging facility, facility for physically disabled are poor.
  • About Handling of complaints, it is the major area to handle the complaints of customers for the maximum satisfaction but from the study it is seen that merely in 5% of the cases corrective actions are taken.
  • About Behavior of employees, it is seen that the customers are moderately satisfied with the behavior of the railway employees.
  • About Punctuality of trains, the study shows that the trains are tardy especially the Passenger trains and Express trains.
  • Recommendations:
  • The e-ticketing facility should be improved as it is widely used by the customers nowadays. The introduction of automatic ticket vending machines should be done for the convenience of customers.
  • More number of fans and lighting should be introduced and proper maintenance of pay and use toilets should be done at the platforms.
  • Introduction of ladies coaches or the special berth for ladies should be provided.
  • Catering services should be improved and good quality food should be provided at concessional rates in trains.
  • Complaint handling mechanism should be improved as the numbers of complaints are increasing day by day.
  • Proper measures should be taken so that the trains will run on scheduled timings.

6. Conclusion

Overall findings of this study are evident that passenger perceive that rail transport system, the main public sector transport, is not providing good quality of services that can meet their expectations. It is also evident that visible efforts by Indian Railways should be in place to improve or upgrade the rail transport system. In summary service quality of rail transport is regarded as critical indicator that would enhance its customer’s satisfaction.

The Railway system should improve the basic amenities provided to the customers as the basic needs have the impact for the better customer satisfaction. The facilities such as Catering, Handling of complaints and Punctuality of trains are the some important areas where the Indian railways should mainly focus. The world is moving toward the modernization so it’s the peak time for the Indian railways to take the one step forward towards the modernization.

Being the fourth largest country in the world in railway network and first in the movement of passengers in the world, Indian railways should try to improve it its services. Customer satisfaction is important for the service providers as it provides the metric that they can use to manage and improve the business and by satisfying the passengers the Indian railways will surely make much more profits in the future.

References:

  1. Geetika and Shefali Nandan, 2010. Determinants of Customer Satisfaction on Service Quality: A Study of Railway Platforms in India. Journal of Public Transportation, Vol. 13,No. 1, 2010.
  2. V.Rajeshwari and K.Santakumari, Satisfaction and Service Quality in Indian Railways- A Study on Passenger Perspective, Journal of Economic and Finance,Vol. 4, Issue 1(May-Jun 2014) .
  3. Dr. Kalpana Dube, Kishor Mehta and Ankit Tandon, Passenger Satisfaction Survey Report and Benchmarking of Performance Standards,Indian Railways Institute of Transport Management, July 2012.
  4. Abadi Dwi Saputra.2010, Analysis of Train Passenger Responses on Provided Service. Service Science Program Karlstad University, 2010.

Books:

  1. Philip Kotler, Marketing for Hospitality and Tourism.
  2. Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller, Marketing Management

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