Voice of the customer as a tool for service quality analysis in public transport

Paula Jach, Jiju Antony*, Scott Paul Thomson, Beth Cudney, Sandra Furterer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the voice of the customer (VOC) of public transport (PT) users and non-users and to identify the role VOC plays in PT service quality analysis and improvement practices.

Design/methodology/approach: This research is based on quantitative and qualitative data collection. Quantitative data were collected through two questionnaires; the first is based on ranking data: 192 responses and the second on the Kano model: 46 responses. The qualitative data was obtained through 10 semi-structured interviews with senior management from seven bus companies in the UK.

Findings: Findings indicate that VOC differs between PT users and non-users and compared with the perspectives of PT Providers. The research also revealed that VOC plays a crucial role in PT service quality improvement (QI).

Practical implications: The findings can be used by PT service providers to better understand the VOC of PT users and non-users, which will assist in strategic and QI decision-making. Furthermore, an in-depth study of VOC in PT is provided, which progresses the academic field on this topic and advances research in this area.

Originality/value: This research brings new insight into the most important quality attributes for PT users and non-users. Moreover, the paper fundamentally contributes to the literature, which until now had severely limited input pertaining to the role of VOC in PT and little knowledge of service QI tools and practices in this sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-475
Number of pages28
JournalTQM Journal
Issue number3
Early online date6 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2022


  • Kano model
  • Public transport
  • Quality improvement
  • Service quality improvement
  • Voice of the customers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Business and International Management
  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management


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