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Despite adding even more kilometers to railway network, tourist must use one transport in travel journey. It is Railway; it provides a convenient and fastest connection to destination for traveler. As one of Hong Kong’s major mass public transport systems, MTR network comprise nine railway lines includes Urban Area line, Airport Express, and Intercity Passenger Service. These lines are providing a high speed rail link services between Hong Kong to Hong Kong International Airport and the Mainland China.
MTR Corporation is one of the important transportations in Hong Kong, while it is regarded as one of the world’s leading railways. It provides service for around 3.7 million passengers in average every day, and they provide an airport express route between Hong Kong International Airport and Central Hong Kong for tourist. In Hong Kong and Kowloon station, they provide a facility which is In-town Check-in desk and Airport Express Shuttle Bus services for tourist. MTR Corporation is led by Chairman and managed day to day by Executive Directorate which comprises the Chief Executive Officer and six Directors. The Corporation is playing a role that enhances customer’s quality of life and actively engages in communities they serve. Therefore, the vision is to be a globally recognized leader.
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The aim of this report is to discuss why MTR Corporation is a famous transportation company in Hong Kong. Moreover, it analyzes the level of customer service by comparing the reliability, customer satisfaction and quality of service.
Secondary research will be using to collect information about customer service and care that MTR Corporation performs in this report.
The secondary research is based on the text books and official website of MTR Corporation to discuss whether the service and care, performance and facilities in the stations are reliable or not. In addition, MTR Corporation’s annual report will be also used to analyze the customer service standard and as an information to compare with the other transportations. Finally, several theoretical construct, Gap Theory, consumer behavior, SERVQUAL and customer satisfaction, as a support will be applied to explain the lifestyle characteristics and customers’ behavior and expectation.
Observation on customers’ own preference in choosing MTR Service
One company need to considering the consumer decision-making, because the consumer is defined as” any person who uses, consumes or experiences the product or service, regardless of who actually makes the purchase”(Jones&merricks,1994,p.19) It direct effect consumer use the MTR service or not.
Define of Consumer Behavior
It used 4 stages a basic model of consumer decision-making (Figure1.1). First, it is motivation and recognition of need. This is such as a commencement of the decision process, it involve individual differences, environmental influences and information stored in the memory. Then, the information search is about consumer through media, friends, relations or other significant influences with external messages to get a message. Third, the alternative evaluation is evaluating the competitor information such as general beliefs, attitudes and intentions from the passenger. Final, passenger having evaluated the outcomes, the passenger chooses the transportation and as the result is either satisfied or not.
MTR Corporation always to research for understands what is customers’ needs and provide superior standard of service. Within once a year, MTR survey team is survey about 30,000 customer behavior of transportation and reasons in station intercept interviews. Also, they have observation and enumeration the feeder bus once a year. Furthermore, they are evaluating on such as cross harbor bus survey, competitors status and benchmarking (Appendix A).
1.2 Explain of Customer Focus
A customer focus is one crucial to the future of a company. A benefit of one company involves enhances differentiation and competitive advantage, build up branding, enhances customer satisfaction and retention, improves staff motivation and morale to reduce staff turnover. Therefore, it can increases company profits (Figure 1.2).
MTR Corporation focuses on the 5 basic needs of the passengers. When scheduling their train services and regularly reviews their schedules to ensure that their service can provide passengers with the greatest convenience. Passengers only pay a lower fare can enjoy the high quality and customer care services. Also, they are take care a persons with disabilities status, elder and child. Also, the customer focused enhances staff efficiency and morale (Appendix B).
Customer Satisfaction of MTR Corporation
“The totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy a stated or implied need” (British Standard 4778, 1987, cited in Lockwood, in Lockwood, Baker & Ghillyer (Eds), 1996, p. 4). The perception of the service which customers receive is dependent upon their expectations. If the treatment which is customer get a better than his or her expectations, this is excellent service. MTR Corporation is used SERVQUAL. The service quality measuring instrument designed to cover all services with one set of questions. It measures customers expectations of what firms should provide in the industry. The five-factor structure included tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy (Figure 2.1).
2.1 High Quality of Customer Service in SERVQUAL
All of MTR stations, they possesses one of customer service centre to handling accident, feel unwell and provide a wide range of information. All of employees possess good behavior, excellent communication skill and experience, they pleasure answers to customers exactly when services will be performed or help. In the Hong Kong and Kowloon Station, they provide an in-town check-in services for business man, tourist. It decreases their travelling time on train and check-in in the airport. Moreover, they have friendly porters who will assist passenger and baggage at those stations.
Facilities of MTR Station and Train
Then, MTR station are provide bank services(ATM), lost property office, photo booth, shops, ticket issuing machine, a station location map with tour attract points, an adequate number of escalators and passenger lifts to link all levels of the station. In addition, they provide a complimentary service for airport express passengers such as free shuttle bus service to hotels, free MTR train connections. They recognize the importance of providing a clean and pleasant environment for travelling and they understand their passenger need for cool and comfortable in station or train. Moreover, they provide a warm reminder and welcome announcement for passengers.
Reliability of MTR Service
As a good quality service, MTR was won the Best Branding Award, Hong Kong Services Award in the Public Transportation Award from newspapers. Moreover, In MTR Pledge for Service 2010, they provide high service performance train service delivery, on time, reliable train services are vital for the passengers to enjoy a smooth and timely journey. They promise at least up to 99% passengers will reach their destinations within five minutes of their scheduled arrival times (Appendix C).
Through the upper points, MTR Corporation provides a good quality service and word-of-mouth customer services in Hong Kong Transportation.
Communication with Customers
“Enables you to understand your customers and how they think about you’re your products, your service, your people, your systems, your competitors, etc” (Daffy, 2001, p. 113) Today’s customers know their rights and are more likely to make their opinions known if they feel that these have been violated. It related to company services, staff attitude and feedback.
3.1 Service Recovery and Empowerment
All hospitality organizations should have skills for handling customer complaints effectively. It should include zero defects strategy, how to improve service quality, farness and all complaints can improve the sources of service failure. Then, in customer service empowerment, it important part in service recovery and many companies are used to devolving responsibility and decision-making powers to front line staff that who are take responsible for handling with customer complaints. Empowerment allows customer service providers to decide on their own whether or not customers request should be granted. Using empowerment in complaint can give company a chance to put a right thing for the customer and increase customer loyalty.
3.2 Problem Solving
Sometimes, customer service provider often have a solving complains. Problem solving is an active resolution to a challenging situation. Also, the problems solving need interacting with customer is the speed with which decisions must be made. Therefore, customer offering them the opportunity to share their ideas, as the same time is offer a improving a situation or system for the company. There are four points for make decisions and solve problems; it includes learning problem-solving strategies, developing negotiation skills, how to control the conflict and how to follow up (Figure3.2). MTR strive to ensure that all of complain to make an analysis the problems and response to sender and follow up.
3.3 Listening Customer Feedback
Also, one of good customer feedback procedure needs to be continually gathered using a variety of sources and channels. There are five feedback methods, feedback on side, via e-mail and telephone, through a third party and in person. First, MTR Corporation likes to take care of their needs or suggestions for improvements. They like open communication with passengers, they provide an opinion zone held at different MTR stations each month and on board MTR trains twice a year. It is most effective channel, because they can direct to get a passenger informative to interpret body language. Also, passengers can call their hotline to an operator present their opinion, if can not connect or after office hours, passengers may leave a voice message which return next business day. In addition, they may also write letter to MTR Headquarters, they promise at least 99% of the enquiries will be reply to within six days. Furthermore, all of MTR station provides a comment card for passengers leave an opinion to improve the service or complaint. After write down the comment card, they can forward to MTR stations collect box (Appendix D). The aim is keep the passenger responds for improvement and loyalty.
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