Passenger Satisfaction Survey
Knowledge centre was setup at IRITM in 2008. IRITM has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IIM Lucknow, for writing Research Papers, Case Studies and assimilating research findings into comprehensive periodic reports to be used for improving training inputs. This is the 4th publication of the Centre. The earlier 3 publications :1. Ideas on PPP, Dr. Kalpana Dube, Sr. Prof. (Fin. & PPP), IRITM & Ashish Shukla 2. A Handbook on Project Finance & PPP Terminology, Dr. Kalpana Dube, Sr. Prof. (Fin. & PPP), IRITM & Ankit Tandon 3.
Studying the Efficacy of an Airport Modernization Concession Agreement, Dr. Kalpana Dube, Sr. Prof. (Fin. & PPP), IRITM The above publications have been well received not only by the Railways but even outside in the Government, Private Sector and Educational Institutions. Indian Railways is the life line of the nation. It has been instrumental in bringing about a social, cultural and economic revolution in our society and has been a strong uniting and integrating force. Despite being a monopoly in passenger services which are highly subsidized, can it afford to have a dissatisfied customer?
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To keep the nation moving and the customers happy, our net social service obligations in 2010-11 constituted 17. 57% of total expenditure. Analysis of profitability of Coaching Services showed a loss of 21,324 crores to which net suburban losses in Chennai, Kolkatta and Mumbai contributed Rs. 2364 crores. Other factors have also accelerated the situation which include low second class ordinary fares non suburban commuters and concession in fare extended to various categories. No other transport sector today is offering rates which could compete with the Railways.
Despite so much of effort if we are still unable to keep our Customer satisfied there certainly seems to be some communication gap between us and the Customer. In order to asses that gap IRITM conducted a “Passenger Satisfaction Survey” on the Northern, North Central and North Eastern Railway, the result of which are summarized in the publication. We hope the results would allow us the Railway personnel to introspect about our “Customer Demand” and initiate us to give a better service and be more vocal in showing our concern for keeping our Customer Happy. Ashima Singh Director IRITM Lucknow July 2012
FOREWORD Passenger Amenities and provision of certain essential as well as desirable features on Railway stations as well as on-board train services continually engage the attention of policy makers in the Railway Board as well as the Field Officers in the Zones and Divisions. The ground level scenario at major stations in the country differs in terms of scope as well as its perceived usefulness by the Railway Passengers. The present survey was designed to get a comprehensive feedback on 37 different service parameters related to passenger conveniences and station facilities.
While the objective assessment fields were readily responded to by most passengers the open ended questions did not elicit detailed replies and were perfunctory. The perception gap between Passenger responses and Railway Officers’ responses also highlighted some interesting differences. Illumination at Stations, Signage and Clarity of Train Announcements and Booking Counter experience have got very favorable responses. The deficiency areas which were most reported on were cleanliness on platforms and train toilets, late running of trains as well as unauthorized people in compartments.
What must be emphasized here is that none of these areas actually require capital expenditure or investments or repeated policy directives. They just require vigilantism, active supervision and better coordination among the service providers within the various departments. A standard protocol of maintenance, cleanliness and supervision functions needs to be worked upon just like the various service related parameters put in operation at the newly developed and modernized airports. (Please refer Annexure). This is a standard checklist of service parameters insisted upon by Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL).
A similar drill would go a long way in ensuring better services on our premium stations especially A1, and A categories. The booklet has been designed in such a manner that passenger responses can be very easily understood through use of colorful graphics and simple data presentation, however the larger question which needs to be addressed is that can we provide station and on board housekeeping services which are game changers and path breaking at the same time? Which reflect a paradigm shift in the way Passenger Services are traditionally being offered by Indian Railways.
Perhaps the new Station Development Corporation announced recently may introduce sweeping changes to radically alter the present system of addressing Passenger Amenities and general conveniences to be made available to the public. The Station Development Corporation has been conceived with the primary objective of augmenting and improving passenger related amenities at stations. All the issues highlighted in the current survey would perhaps get addressed if fast tracking the activities of the Station Development agency can show visible early results.
The areas of action being well designed concourses, high end waiting spaces, easy access with disabled friendly options for station premises, congestion free platforms, modern catering facilities etc. The Report has been made more useful by adding edited versions of the comprehensive, pan-India Passenger Service Surveys and Station Cleanliness Surveys conducted by the CAG (Railways) in the last few years. In addition, some additional literature and visuals of world class stations have been added to give a feel of what the future may look like in the days to come for Passenger Amenities and Services in Modernized Railway Stations.
The Report has also been substantiated with identifying certain important performance benchmarks, using examples from the Aviation Sector. Performance benchmarking and improving customer perception are important milestones in improving station premises and passenger services beyond the conventional targets to the next level. A level which is path breaking and futuristic in its vision and implementation. If the checklist of the 37 parameters used in this study as well as the findings contained in the Audit Reports are read and comprehended by the Railway officers responsible for these functions, the purpose of the survey would be fulfilled.
However, it may be useful to reiterate that station maintenance procedures must follow the KISNE principle i. e. Keep It Smart Neat and Efficient. Also while we cannot promise the moon to our customers we must ensure that what we do promise we deliver at all times with 100% efficiency and Zero Failures. These are achievable because we have a long experience of managing stations and procedures are well laid out. What is perhaps needed is a well established drill of adhering to a standard protocol of Station and Train Maintenance Practices and not allow the drill to falter even for a day.
A well thought strategy, precision in execution and applying Six Sigma principles for not deviating from the Standard Maintenance and Supervision Protocol would go a long way establishing a New Order which is easy to replicate and easy to follow. Dr. Kalpana Dube Senior Professor IRITM Lucknow July 2012 The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing. —
Objectives of the Passenger Survey Criteria and Methodology Sample Size/Target Respondents Passenger Survey Findings Response by Railway Officers Suggestions for Proactive Action Comparison of General Public & Railway Officers’ Response Perception Gap – Between the General Public as Rail Users and Railway Officers as Rail Users Graphical Representation of the Findings Strategy For Promoting Indian Railways Image And Train Travel Experience – Some Suggestions Benchmarking & Performance Assessment Measures Sub Report One: Sample Service Quality Specifications For Delhi International Airport Ltd. DIAL) Conceptual Background for Railway Stations as Profit & Investment Centers Sub Report Two: CAG Recommendations on Passenger Services in Indian Railways 2008-09 Sub Report Three: CAG Recommendations on Cleanliness and Sanitation on Indian Railways 2007-08 Annexure 1: Citizen Charter on Passenger Services of Indian Railways Annexure 2: Questionnaire Used for the Passenger Satisfaction Survey for IR Performance & Service Standards Page No
Passenger Satisfaction Survey Report and Benchmarking of Performance Standards Objectives of the Passenger Survey • • To review the facilities provided to the passengers right from ticket booking to the on-board travel experience in the trains To asses if facilities provided in trains were adequate and effectively maintained or not, from the point of Passenger Satisfaction in Station Maintenance Practices. To know the priority areas so that these can be strengthened to optimize passenger satisfaction.
To asses the overall travel experience of the passengers in the Indian Railways and their perception of the organization. • • Criteria and Methodology An open ended questionnaire with about 37 parameters was prepared and survey was conducted with the help of three field executives provided by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow. The survey was conducted over a period of ten days through direct contact and filling up of the questionnaire by on-board passengers of all the Travel Classes (AC, 2nd Sleeper).
The routes identified for the survey were mainly on the Northern part of the country Lucknow – New Delhi – Lucknow, Lucknow – Gorakhpur – Lucknow, Lucknow – Varanasi – Lucknow, Lucknow – Allahabad – Lucknow, Lucknow – Kanpur – Lucknow, Lucknow – Moradabad – Lucknow, Lucknow – Firozpur – Lucknow. All the Stations surveyed belonged to A-1 and A category. 1 Passenger Satisfaction Survey Report and Benchmarking of Performance Standards Sample Size/Target Respondents The sample size of the survey was around 700 passengers which included 100 Railway Officers as well.
The general passengers age profile was from 15 years to 65 years with maximum response coming in from the young adults/youth i. e. 26-35 years of age. About 28% were female respondents and balance were males. Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it. ——–Peter F. Drucker 2 Passenger Satisfaction Survey Report and Benchmarking of Performance Standards Passenger Survey Findings Top Efficiencies 1. Illumination & Signages 2. Availability of Porters (Coolies) at the Station 2.
Booking Clerk Competency & Behaviour 3. Clarity of Announcement at Stations Top Deficiencies 1. Cleanliness of Toilets 2. Unauthorized Vendors & Passengers 2. Cleanliness of Platforms 3. Late Running of Trains Top Three Concerns/Priority Areas 1. Punctuality 2. Quality of services 3. Safety Satisfactory Services (Rated as Good) 1. Ambience of Waiting Rooms/Rest Rooms 2. Seating, Water, Trolley facilities at the Platform 3. Pricing of Food 4. Linen/Bedroll Cleanliness 5. Fans and Lights in the Trains 3 Passenger Satisfaction Survey Report and Benchmarking of Performance Standards
Other Findings of the Survey • More than 60% of the people have used IT Enabled services such as Internet Ticketing, Enquiry Kiosks, Touch Screens, etc. 64% of the passengers surveyed confirmed that they have seen service improvements in the Railways in the last five years. 31 % of the passengers surveyed are satisfied with the Railway Amenities/ facilities. 35 % of the passengers surveyed think that Railways are giving Value for Money for the services provided. 47 % of the passengers surveyed rated Overall Services provided by the Railways as Good • • • Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. ——Bill Gates 4 Passenger Satisfaction Survey Report and Benchmarking of Performance Standards Response by Railway Officers Top Efficiencies 1. Booking Clerk Competency & Behaviour 2. Quality & Quantity of Food made available 3. Clarity of Announcement at Stations Top Deficiencies 1. Coach/Toilets occupied by Unauthorized Passenger & Vendors 2. Handling of Theft Cases 3. Cleanliness of Toilets/Coaches Top three Concerns/Priority Areas 1. Quality of Service 2. Punctuality 3. Cleanliness
Satisfactory Services (Rated as Good) 1. Water in the Coaches 2. Seating, Water, Trolley facilities at the Platform 3. Cleanliness of Platform 4. Ambience of Waiting Rooms/Rest Rooms 5. Illumination & Signages 5 Passenger Satisfaction Survey Report and Benchmarking of Performance Standards Other Findings of the Survey • More than 70% of the Railway Officers have used IT Enabled services such as internet ticketing, enquiry kiosks, touch screens, etc. 94% of the Railway Officers surveyed confirmed that they have seen service improvements in the Railways in the last five years. 7 % of the Railway Officers surveyed are satisfied with the Railway Amenities/ Facilities. 86 % of the Railway Officers surveyed think that Railways giving Value for Money for the services provided. 85 % of the Railway Officers surveyed rated Overall Services provided by the Railways as Good. • • • • 6 This handbook on Passenger Satisfaction Survey and Benchmarking of Performance Standards has been compiled using the results obtained in a 15 day extensive Passenger Survey launched by IRITM PPP Knowledge Centre in association with IIM Lucknow.
The survey was in the northern part of the country covering A-1 and A category stations. 700 responses were obtained on 37 different passenger service parameters under nine categories ranging from Point of Sale to On-board Facilities to IT based Passenger Transactions. These have been compiled in easy to read, colourful graphics in this Report. The Report has been made more useful by adding edited versions of the comprehensive, pan-India Passenger Service Surveys and Station Cleanliness Surveys conducted by the CAG (Railways) in the last few years.
In addition, some additional literature and visuals of world class stations have been added to give a feel of what the future may look like in the days to come for Passenger Amenities and Services in Modernized Railway Stations. This handbook would be of use not only to IRTS Probationers but also to all frontline Managers and Staff in Indian Railways responsible for Station Maintenance, Sanitation and Passenger Amenities. The handbook can also be accessed on the IRITM website www. iritm. indianrailways. gov. in.