The importance of service quality towards customer service satisfaction when commuting in Klang Valley, Malaysia - Part 6


Chapter 4. Findings

QOS or the quality of service can impact the user choices particularly in terms of satisfaction. For that reason, improving the ridership and to attract new users, service quality is regarded as one of the measures for continuous development. User satisfaction is referred to a measure for the services quality based on the customer’s perspective. The customers or in this case the commuters of KTM train service express their opinion about the services provided by train company through judgments and perceptions on some service aspects using a sample survey. The objective of this study is primarily to provide measures of the overall transit service quality with consideration to the rider’s perception about the different aspects of the service.

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The services aspect focuses mainly on service reliability, characteristics, and comfort of ridership, fare, cleanliness, safety, information, and security. As a whole, there supposed to be sixteen attributes with average satisfaction of 3.45 based on a scale of 1 to 5, one being the lowest and 5 being the highest. According to the rating scale from 1 to 5, the important attributes demonstrating the highest satisfaction score encompasses high satisfaction rate, which includes, convenience of ticket purchase. Overall satisfaction level showing a mean score of 4.16 or higher is considered as a high probability of service satisfaction. The less satisfaction is identified with mean lower than 2.36. Determining the overall value of satisfaction is 3.00 out of 5. By means of converting the aforementioned scores into percentage, the results of the analysis shows that the services provided by KTM is about 58% successful in delivering commuter satisfaction. However, before the determination of the overall satisfaction, commuter demographics and frequencies of activity was first measured.

Table 1 Ticket purchase preference

Code value frequency percentage
1 ticket counter 43 21.5
2 vending machine 113 56.5
3 Touch N Go Card 44 22
total 200 100

Based on the results of the survey commuters prefer to purchase their ticket using the vending machine, which accounts to 56.5% or 113 out of 200 out of the 200 total responses from the participants. This means that participants appreciate having more vending machines in place in every station instead of standing in long lines at the ticket booth. The graph (Figure 3) shows the large in terms of preference on ticket purchase method. Customer satisfaction, in this regard shows that a significant percentage of commuters are still purchasing their tickets through ticket counters or with the use of Touch N Go Card buy their way into the train platform. In addition, the satisfaction rate is compromised by the fact that there are limited vending machines in the stations to accommodate purchases because 21.5% of the commuters are still getting their tickets from the ticket counter.

Figure 3 Ticket purchase preference

In terms of reason to travel by train, the majority of the participants show that the train service is being as means of transport to go to work with 37.5% of the participants stipulating the said reason. On the other hand, education appears to come next after travel to work as the second most popular reason for commuters in riding the train at 27.5%

Table 2 Reason for using the train service

code value frequency percentage
1 travel to work 75 37.5
2 education 55 27.5
3 shopping 25 12.5
4 recreation 23 11.5
5 social and family visits 17 8.5
6 medical appointments 0 0
7 personal 5 2.5
total 200 100

The graph below shows the difference in reasons to travel via the railway with an indication that rail transit is not a preferred mode of transportation for most Klang valley residents in terms of personal and social and family visits. Klang Valley has multiple train agencies operating to provide mass transport for the people particularly to those that in need of connecting transit.

Figure 4 Reason to travel

The data below suggests the method of transportation that the people in Klang Valley is using to get to the KTM station. The most popular mode of transport in getting to the train station is trough anther train service, which encompasses a 33.5 percentage out of the 200 samples participants.

Table 3 Mode of transport to KTM stations

code value frequency percentage
1 own vehicle 48 24
2 walk 36 18
3 bus 49 24.5
4 another train 67 33.5
total 200 100

People with their own vehicles use the train service to get to their destination due to reasons specified in Table 3. However, the majority of commuters riding KTM trains are mostly those who came from another train.

Figure 5 Mode of transport to KTM stations

Since it was mentioned that commuters use the train service for transport is to go to either work or to school, the frequency of travel was also determined to point out how often people ride the train on a regular basis. The data shows that 70% of the participants are using the train service at least four times a week at 70% while the rest of the commuters travel by KTM trains at least once to three days a week at 29%.

Table 4 Frequency of travel

code value frequency percentage
1 4 or more days a week 140 70
2 1 to 3 days a week 58 29
3 at least once a month 2 1
total 200 100

Figure 6 Frequency of travel by train

The commuter satisfaction rate reflects the ratio in terms of gender wherein 62% of commuters are mostly females. Whereas, the male passengers only accounts to more that half of the percentage of female commuters.

Table 5 Commuter by gender

code value frequency percentage
1 male 76 38
2 female 124 62
total 200 100

Figure 7 Commuter by gender

On the other hand, the majority of commuters by age are mostly individuals between the age of 19 to 24 tears old, which makes up 29.5% of the total number of surveyed participants. People at the age of 16 to 18 years comes next as the frequent users of the train service, which are mostly students.

Table 6 Commuters by age group

code value frequency percentage
1 below 16 18 9
2 16 to 18 52 26
3 19 to 24 59 29.5
4 25 to 30 34 17
5 31 to 40 10 5
6 41 to 50 15 7.5
7 51 to 54 9 4.5
8 55 and above 3 1.5
total 200 100

In terms of employment, 34% of the participants are full-time employees, which justifies the high percentage of user as workers. Part-time employees on the other hand are also using the train service, but there is a 9% gap betwee n the two types of employees that frequents the railway stations of KTM.

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Table 7 Employment type

code value frequency percentage
1 employed full time 68 34
2 employed part time 46 23
3 full time student 38 19
4 part time student 22 11
5 household duties 3 1.5
6 unemployed 20 10
7 retired 3 1.5
total 200 100

The third part of the survey enquires about the satisfaction level that commuters have in using the train services. Most of the surveyed individuals appears to be satisfied about the service in terms of accessibility. However, the variance between the satisfied and unsatisfied commuters is only at 10%. In addition, analyzing the combined dissatisfied and very dissatisfied commuters appears to supersede the percentage of combined satisfied and very satisfied commuters by a margin of 4%. This means that there is a mixed perception of commuter satisfaction between the satisfied and unsatisfied given that the total percentage of combined satisfaction percentage is at 42% as opposed 24% of the combined dissatisfied commuters in terms of accessibility.

Table 8 Accessibility

code value frequency percentage
1 very dissatisfied 38 19
2 dissatisfied 54 27
3 neither 24 12
4 satisfied 74 37
5 very satisfied 10 5
total 200 100

The same gap between the satisfied and dissatisfied commuters can be observed in terms of timeliness. Timeliness refers to the ability of the train service to follow a certain schedule of arrival and departure from the stations. This problem is attributed to the speed and sufficiency of operating trains at a given period of time. In the survey results, 45% of commuters expressed dissatisfaction towards timeliness as compared to 34% of satisfied commuters. This suggests a significant gap between satisfied and dissatisfied commuters at 11%.

Table 9 Timeliness

code value frequency percentage
1 very dissatisfied 35 17.5
2 dissatisfied 57 28.5
3 neither 40 20
4 satisfied 60 30
5 very satisfied 8 4
total 200 100

When it comes to cleanliness, the survey suggests that 62% of the participants are generally satisfied about the cleanliness of the trains. Whereas, the total percentage of dissatisfied participants are accounted to 23% of total sampled population. This encompasses a positive perception about the quality of service that KTM demonstrates in terms of keeping their facilities clean.

Table 10 Cleanliness

code value frequency percentage
1 very dissatisfied 23 11.5
2 dissatisfied 25 12.5
3 neither 24 12
4 satisfied 84 42
5 very satisfied 44 22
total 200 100

Information dissemination is also an important part of the train operation’s commitment to service quality. Interruptions in service or delays are usually communicated to the commuters to inform them of the anticipated inconveniences. However, KTM showed an alarming rate of dissatisfaction expressed by the participants in terms of communicating information to the commuters. The data below reveals that 56.9% of the participants are not satisfied about the efforts of KTM in effectively initiating information updates. A large between the satisfied and dissatisfied commuters can be observed from the data as only 28.5% of the participants showed satisfaction. Furthermore, the data shows that the satisfied commuters are only half of the dissatisfied commuters, which encompasses an alarming situation for KTM.

Table 11 Information updates

code value frequency percentage
1 very dissatisfied 73 36.5
2 dissatisfied 48 24
3 neither 22 11
4 satisfied 37 18.5
5 very satisfied 20 10
total 200 100

In terms of comfort, 43.2% of the participants are comfortable enough when commuting while only 21.9% showed dissatisfaction about the comfort aspect of service when commuting in KTM trains.

Table 12 Comfort

code value frequency percentage
1 very dissatisfied 28 14
2 dissatisfied 15 7.5
3 neither 40 20
4 satisfied 83 41.5
5 very satisfied 34 17
total 200 100

Ticketing preference was already measured in Table 1, but it is still important to determine how satisfied are the commuters in terms of purchasing their tickets. The survey shows a positive response towards this aspect of service wherein 58% of the participants expressed overall satisfaction toward the ease of ticketing. This can be attributed to the convenience that commuters are experiencing in buying their tickets through the vending machine, which encompasses the highest preferences between the three ticketing options. However, there are still 28% of commuters that are not satisfied about the ease of ticket purchase. This percentage can be attributed to the number of individuals that uses the other two ticketing options namely through ticket counters and Touch N Go Cards.

Table 13 Ease of ticketing

code value frequency percentage
1 very dissatisfied 26 13
2 dissatisfied 28 14
3 neither 30 15
4 satisfied 73 36.5
5 very satisfied 43 21.5
total 200 100

A similar positive response was obtained from the participants with regards to train safety. This includes the perception of safe travel to and from the train station and when inside the train. An impressive 67% of the participants felt safe riding the KTM trains as opposed to 28.5% of the participants that do not feel safe commuting via train. Only 5.5% of the participants showed neutrality in this aspect of service quality. Safety concerns are among the most critical aspect of service quality delivery in the mass transportation section particularly in the railway sector due to the possible hazards that commuters might be encounter while commuting. The statistical test of train safety reveals a mean score of 42.25, which demonstrates a favorable output on the part of KTM. However, percentage of unsatisfied commuters may not be ignored considering its variance from satisfaction perception of only 22%.

Table 14 Safety

code value frequency percentage
1 very dissatisfied 31 15.5
2 dissatisfied 26 13
3 neither 11 5.5
4 satisfied 59 29.5
5 very satisfied 73 36.5
total 200 100

Similarly, the convenience aspect of service entailed in relation to commuters’ response is at 58.5% satisfaction rate as compared to 24% of dissatisfaction rate expressed by the participants in terms of convenience. Although, the commuters are generally satisfied about the convenience aspect, the percentage of unsatisfied commuters is likely to affect the overall perception of satisfaction by the commuters. The mean value from the statistical test performed on this area of service quality scores at 42.5 given variance of 34.5% between satisfied and unsatisfied commuters.

Table 15 Convenience

code value frequency percentage
1 very dissatisfied 30 15
2 dissatisfied 18 9
3 neither 35 17.5
4 satisfied 78 39
5 very satisfied 39 19.5
total 200 100

very dissatisfied dissatisfied neither satisfied very satisfied
Q11. Information updates 73 48 22 37 20
Q12. Comfort 28 15 40 83 34
Q13. Ticketing 26 28 30 73 43
Q14. Safety 31 26 11 59 73
Q15. Convenience 30 18 35 78 39
Mean 37.6 27 27.6 66 41.8
Percentage 18.80% 13.50% 13.80% 33.00% 20.90%

Overall KTM showed a satisfactory rate of 53.90% given all the five areas of service quality. Although, the commuters appears to be satisfied about the quality of service they are getting KTM when commuting, it is still not impressive enough on the grounds that there is a 46.10% of commuters are still dissatisfaction about the service. The gap between satisfied and dissatisfied commuters is very marginal at only 7.8%. There is still a huge probability that the gap can be overcome by the percentage of customer dissatisfaction provided that KTM did not address the weak areas of its service quality.

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