The importance of service quality towards customer service satisfaction when commuting in Klang Valley, Malaysia - Part 2

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Chapter 2. Literature review

Public transport is one of the most important services in our modern period. Many people use these services as these public transports help them with their every day living. Specifically, the train service could be one of the most patronized modes of transportation in many countries. Since many commuters are using this form of transportation, the potential of facing different issues are high. These issues could be regarding quality service that they provide such as safety, reliability, ticketing, punctuality, and many more. On the other hand, there are various models that were created so as to measure the performance and service qualities of train services. It is also important to know the essence of train service quality, so that there could be changes that would improve the overall travel experience of many commuters.

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2.1 The concept of service satisfaction in public transport

One of the factors that affect the overall service quality when it comes to public transport is the commuters’ convenience. Richard Anderson et al. (2013) claim that the term convenience if often being linked to public transport. Commuters would normally prefer to choose a convenient travel, as it will be desirable and therefore could increase the transportation’s demand. Increasing demand would lead other commuters to turn away from the alternatives, which will generate new travels. The literature expresses that providing a good service to commuters has a big impact on the mode of transportation’s profit. The research method that was used in this literature encompasses a qualitative method as it covers three continents. Respondents were asked based on their perception of service quality in public transport and concluded its importance based on the research results that they have generated. Both research and results could help in the improvement of train service quality in Klang Valley Malaysia.

The service quality in public transport, especially the train service could affect the passengers’ satisfaction (Rahaman & Rahaman, 2009). Many passengers are using the train service as major cities have them as one of the most convenient and comfortable modes of transportation. In some other countries, the train service is popular, because of the costing in terms of fares and enjoyable travel. Based on this literature, in order to achieve the service quality that they are aiming for, challenges must be addressed initially. These challenges are the identifiers of satisfaction situation when it comes to the service quality.

Based on the research outcomes in Bangladesh, railway transportation is the second most preferred medium of the people and making the service quality a vey important aspect of their train transportation. Looking at the percentage of the total commuters in this country, providing a poor quality service in train service would mean a great dissatisfaction. Also in this study, the passengers’ satisfaction and the train service quality attributes are both based on the commuters’ perception (Rahaman & Rahaman, 2009). A quantitative research was used as a method of gathering the results. Respondents that comprise of few commuters were asked about their perception over the service quality of their railway transport.

The study of service quality of train as one of the transportation methods was based on the statistical analysis of satisfaction situation of train service in Bangladesh. The overall literature portrays the challenges that their railway service is facing. Thus, the manifestation of the passengers’ perception of the service quality can be used by Klang Valley train service as guidelines about how they could provide a satisfactory experience to their commuters. The Malaysian train service operators must have the basis of importance of service quality in public transport, so that they will be able to eye on their own drawbacks and turn them into advantages.

Service quality in railway transport is important qualities that some other transport mediums have. In order for train services to provide a quality transport service, they must know its characteristics first. Thus, the train service quality is based upon the subjectivity of train commuters (Haglund, 2010). The literature states that service quality could be more difficult to evaluate than the goods or products themselves. Also, the customers or passengers of the train do not evaluate the train service quality just by looking at the outcome, but passengers also consider the process of service delivery, on the train service aspect it could be the process from ticketing until they get off the train. IN short, their overall experience.

On the aspect of train service, the totalities of such quality, which are important to public commuters, are: The train’s availability in which the service coverage, scheduling, capacity, and information are its sub-concept. The comfort and convenience are in addition to these concepts as well as the customer complaint behavior of the service provider. Ensuring that these services, including the addressing of customer complaints are not that easy. Therefore, the service quality of public transport must be ensured, so customers complaints will not be lessen, if not avoided. Practically, providing a quality service to train passengers is not just an obligation, but also more of responsibility of train service providers.

In this literature, service quality in public transport is part of the research in which the behavioral aspect of the commuters were considered as well as the transportation company’s perspective towards customer complaints. Two results were combined in order to achieve results regarding the service quality in public transport. It is obvious that Klang Valley train service provider must address the factors affecting the satisfaction and dissatisfaction of train commuters in order to exercise the appropriate quality service to achieve customer satisfaction.

2.2 Train service quality in Malaysia

Similar to other countries, train service is one of the most common mediums of transportation in Malaysia. There were several surveys conducted in order to get the passengers’ feedback regarding the quality of train service in Malaysia. One of the surveys involved a total of one hundred respondents. The participants were waiting on the train station when the survey as conducted simultaneously. The purpose of the research was to determine the commuters’ perception about the train service’s punctuality. The research was done for seven days in which the respondents rated the train service’s punctuality based from very poor, poor, moderate, good, and excellent.

After the research process and compilation of results, it revealed that only 1% or just one person out of one hundred respondents said the train’s punctuality is excellent. On the other hand, 17% responded to the survey as very poor, 11% for moderate, and 24 % respondents said that the punctuality is moderate. However, the remaining 47% or the majority of the respondents said that the train’s punctuality is poor. Looking at the satisfaction rate of the train commuters, it shows that most of the passengers were not satisfied with the train’s service. The survey regarding the punctuality may not be the total reflection of service quality of the train service. However, this could be one of the most crucial parts of their operation. Keeping the train on time is a good reflection of the train service providers’ efforts in providing a quality service. Relatively, there are other factors that could determine the train service quality in Malaysia aside from the quantitative method of their research. This research, on the other hand, can be used as feedback from various commuters so as to improve the punctuality of the train’s arrival as well as departure in Klang Valley Malaysia.

Malaysia is one of the developing countries in Asia where its industry, population, commercial product, and transportation are in the process of development. Public transportation is very important in Malaysia as it is being used for transporting goods, raw materials, and most especially the people. The train service in this country helps people in many ways. However, there are some challenges and issues that the train service in Malaysia is facing.

In their article, Amsori Das, Mohd Ladin, Amiruddin Ismail, and Rizaatiq Rahmat (2013) say that somehow, the general public is quite satisfied with the train service in Kuala Lumpur. However, there are some opportunities for improvements that the manager may consider addressing. These are the service waiting area and adding some escalators. Also, there is a need in some additional quality seats as well as putting more coaches. These opportunities may provide a big improvement on train service quality in Kuala Lumpur. Further, the literature states that the service will be better if more routes will be added, so that people would have an easy access to different places. Additionally, Das et al. (2013) suggest that improvement on parking spaces to the surroundings is considerable. Another opportunity is the comfort inside the train that needs to be improved especially in busy hours.

Based on the quantitative research that was done, recommendations were written in the literature so as to provide some course of action, which the management may consider. The provided data such as the passengers’ characteristics were used to come up with a good recommendation. The Klang Valley train service may be different from the Kuala Lumpur’s. However, challenges for the overall improvement may have been encountered by both transport services. These are the essential analysis that can be considered by the management as they could be added to the overall train service quality in Malaysia.

The train service quality in Malaysia may have been the topic of various researchers for the purpose of quality improvement and development. For example, many train commuters are relying on the train service so that they can reach their destination on time. Most of these groups of people are the students and employees. However, there are times that the train arrives or departs late than the usual time. This could be another reflection of train service quality in Malaysia. Based on the literature, the ongoing problems and issues are about the delayed time arrival of the train (Zakaria et al., 2010). The Malaysian Prime Minister himself witnessed an evident occurrence of this delay, when he used the service. As a result, he was not satisfied with the overall service of this public transport. The reason behind this issue is the insufficient space for the commuters in which congestion inside the coach normally happens.

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Generally, physical facilities of the train service are not sufficient. In this study, researchers were hoping to reveal from this study the service quality issues that must be identified and solved through focusing to the dimensions of the service quality in public transports including the train service. The researchers also suggest that the train service in Malaysia can be improved just like the other country’s train service such as Japan where tangible services cater to the passengers’ need including portable ramps with train assistants who are ready to help persons with disability.

The results of this study were based on the hypothesis developed during the research. The researchers used a random data collection from 300 respondents. This type of research could be adopted by Klang Valley train service so as to find more ideas on how to start the improvement. They could also use similar research to continue their development plans if there are any. This will be useful in turning the people’s perception towards their train service quality.

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