• International Journal of Technology (IJTech)
  • Vol 12, No 5 (2021)

Ride-Hailing Applications in Bangkok: Determining Service Quality, Passenger Satisfaction, and Loyalty

Ride-Hailing Applications in Bangkok: Determining Service Quality, Passenger Satisfaction, and Loyalty

Title: Ride-Hailing Applications in Bangkok: Determining Service Quality, Passenger Satisfaction, and Loyalty
Phathinan Thaithatkul, Ornicha Anuchitchanchai, Punyaanek Srisurin, Patanapong Sanghatawatana, Saksith Chalermpong

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Cite this article as:
Thaithatkul, P., Anuchitchanchai, O., Srisurin, P., Sanghatawatana, P., Chalermpong, S., 2021. Ride-Hailing Applications in Bangkok: Determining Service Quality, Passenger Satisfaction, and Loyalty. International Journal of Technology. Volume 12(5), pp. 903-913

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Phathinan Thaithatkul Transportation Institute, Chulalongkorn University, 254 Phayathai Rd, Wang Mai, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Ornicha Anuchitchanchai Transportation Institute, Chulalongkorn University, 254 Phayathai Rd, Wang Mai, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Punyaanek Srisurin Transportation Institute, Chulalongkorn University, 254 Phayathai Rd, Wang Mai, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Patanapong Sanghatawatana Transportation Institute, Chulalongkorn University, 254 Phayathai Rd, Wang Mai, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Saksith Chalermpong 1. Transportation Institute, Chulalongkorn University 2. Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University
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Abstract
Ride-Hailing Applications in Bangkok: Determining Service Quality, Passenger Satisfaction, and Loyalty

The objective of this study is to investigate the main factors influencing the loyalty and satisfaction of ride-hailing application (RHA) users using the service quality model and structural equation model (SEM). The loyalty and satisfaction of experienced RHA users were examined with a set of explanatory variables, such as platform responsiveness and attitudes toward an RHA. Online survey data were collected from 310 respondents in Bangkok and analyzed. The findings showed that user perceptions of an RHA’s high competence and empathy and users’ positive attitudes toward an RHA significantly influenced their satisfaction. The results also indicated that only structural assurance and empathy affected customer loyalty. Our findings suggest that training RHA riders for competence and empathy to improve customers’ offline service can also improve customer satisfaction. In addition to offline service, RHA providers should focus on the structural assurance of the platform.

Customer satisfaction; Loyalty; Ride-hailing services; SERVQUAL; Structural equation model

Introduction

The advancement of information technology, especially the mobile internet, has recently become a main driver in changing the way people live. Ride-hailing applications (RHAs) have burgeoned in many regions around the world, including Southeast Asia (Brail, 2020), disrupting urban transportation systems. Similar to taxi services, travelers can hail vehicles from anywhere at any time via applications on their mobile phones. Since the first introduction of an RHA by UberCab in the United States in 2009, the market value of RHAs has risen exponentially to over 113 billion US dollars in 2020 (Mordor Intelligence, 2021). RHAs tend to not only improve the mobility of passengers in terms of convenience, accessibility, and reliability but also offer cheaper costs of transportation (Clewlow and Mishra, 2017). As a result, RHAs have become one of the main transportation modes of travel, especially in urban areas (Tirachini, 2019).

Bangkok is the sprawling capital city of Thailand, located in the middle region of the country. Typically, the main public transportation modes in the city are fixed bus routes and and mass rapid transit (the sky train and subway). However, present service routes do not cover the entire area of Bangkok (Amrapala and Choocharukul, 2019). Therefore, RHAs in Bangkok have the capacity to offer residents greater mobility for commuting and non-commuting trips (e.g., shopping, leisure, business trips, etc.) (Laosinwattana et al., 2021). The number of RHA users has continuously increased as new major RHA companies, such as Grab and Line Taxi, have been introduced (Conc, 2019). Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, conventional taxi drivers in Bangkok were notorious for frequently rejecting passengers on the street (Peungnumsai et al., 2017). For this reason, RHAs offer a useful alternative for many customers to secure rides. The reliability of RHAs is one of its key advantages in gaining a large market share of Bangkok transit modes and steadily gaining customer loyalty and satisfaction.

The aim of this research is to investigate the main factors that influence customer loyalty and satisfaction by applying the service quality model (SERVQUAL) framework (Parasuraman et al., 1988; Cheng et al., 2018). The loyalty and satisfaction of experienced RHA users were examined with a set of explanatory variables, such as platform responsiveness and attitudes toward RHAs. Ultimately, these factors are of interest to both policy makers and service providers who aim to improve RHAs’ service quality and maintain customers’ loyalty.

Acknowledgement

    This research is a collaboration between Thailand’s National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) and Chulalongkorn University. The authors are grateful for financial support from the NSTDA. We thank Perawit Charoenwut, Saharath Nimmansophon, Nattakarn Surangsrirout, Weerachai Sotananan, and Sarin Pirabul for their research assistance. We also thank Jamison Liang for help with editing the manuscript.

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