Passenger Focus
#21
(27/03/2014, 17:18)eezypeazy Wrote: No, it's not a 'pitiful response'... it's a representative sample... please look at the Sampling article I linked to earlier.

If you have issues with the sampling, then take it up with Passenger Focus!

It still doesn't improve the number of actual responses received, does it? As I've said before, sampling techniques and PowerPoint presentations may impress a couple of suits, but it's a million miles away from the real world.

Companies need to do more to reach out to their customers, if they really value their opinions. What is your opinion on the methods I mentioned above? Or is it much more comfortable for execs to hide behind a surveying technique...
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#22
(27/03/2014, 17:37)aureolin Wrote: It still doesn't improve the number of actual responses received, does it? As I've said before, sampling techniques and PowerPoint presentations may impress a couple of suits, but it's a million miles away from the real world.

Companies need to do more to reach out to their customers, if they really value their opinions. What is your opinion on the methods I mentioned above? Or is it much more comfortable for execs to hide behind a surveying technique...

That's a bit harsh, isn't it, considering the lengths that we all know GNE goes to... customer services manned seven days a week; all complaints properly investigated; customer consultations ahead of changes; facebook, twitter, etc to communicate with customers... and then, to top it all an independent body comes along and independently surveys a representative sample of fare paying and non-fare paying passengers; it uses the same technique across the UK, and hey, Tyne and Wear's got the best bus services of any of the Metropolitan areas, as perceived by the people that matter, ie., the customers!
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#23
(27/03/2014, 17:59)eezypeazy Wrote: That's a bit harsh, isn't it, considering the lengths that we all know GNE goes to... customer services manned seven days a week; all complaints properly investigated; customer consultations ahead of changes; facebook, twitter, etc to communicate with customers... and then, to top it all an independent body comes along and independently surveys a representative sample of fare paying and non-fare paying passengers; it uses the same technique across the UK, and hey, Tyne and Wear's got the best bus services of any of the Metropolitan areas, as perceived by the people that matter, ie., the customers!

No idea how to do it, but I wonder if the mods on here can set up a poll, with several similar questions - just to see what we all think of GNE.
Obviously the responses will be based on a sample of paying/conc pass holders, but at least they will all be people who have never been asked by Passenger Focus.

I wonder if GNE could do the same, but with a bigger representation?

I bet if a bigger majority of passengers were asked, rather than .35% of the passengers who travel, the final outcome would be a lot different.
Judging by a quick google of newspaper articles or people using social media (and a representative sample), those passengers aren't of the same opinion as the .35% nor will the answers of the people not using the company (by choice or otherwise), who have used it in the past.
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#24
(27/03/2014, 17:59)eezypeazy Wrote: That's a bit harsh, isn't it, considering the lengths that we all know GNE goes to... customer services manned seven days a week; all complaints properly investigated; customer consultations ahead of changes; facebook, twitter, etc to communicate with customers... and then, to top it all an independent body comes along and independently surveys a representative sample of fare paying and non-fare paying passengers; it uses the same technique across the UK, and hey, Tyne and Wear's got the best bus services of any of the Metropolitan areas, as perceived by the people that matter, ie., the customers!

I've already said earlier in this thread that this isn't aimed at one particular operator? Why have you turned it into an attack on GNE? That's certainly not where my points are aimed...

Customer service has not been a 9-5 operation for a long time now, and it's a welcome move to see GNE move outside of that model.

Complaints may be properly investigated, and that may be visible internally, but why do so many people make negative reference to 'standard responses'? I've myself received an identical response whenever I've had to make a complaint.

Last few customer consultations have been limited in scope? The online version has been removed. I would agree that this is something GNE do well, if only they brought back the online version.

Not arguing the point, but if Tyne and Wear have the best bus services of the Metropolitan areas, why is it the first trying to drive QCS in to regulate the market? People wouldnt complain to councillors and MPs about 'the best', so they'd have no case to push the ITA in the first place? Unless were saying that even the best we've got is not good enough...
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#25
(27/03/2014, 18:32)Andreos Constantopolous Wrote: No idea how to do it, but I wonder if the mods on here can set up a poll, with several similar questions - just to see what we all think of GNE.
Obviously the responses will be based on a sample of paying/conc pass holders, but at least they will all be people who have never been asked by Passenger Focus.

Passenger Focus is not limited to Go North East, and aureolin has said that the discussion wasn't aimed at one particular operator - surely we'd have to do it for all three main bus operators in the North East and not just one of them..?

Indeed, even bus operators outside of the North East are celebrating the results. See an example from Lothian Buses here.

Regarding the sample size used, is this number/percentage based on what Passenger Focus deem appropriate or what the operators themselves deem appropriate? I've always thought that they were quite a respectable body.
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#26
(27/03/2014, 19:27)Dan Wrote: Passenger Focus is not limited to Go North East, and aureolin has said that the discussion wasn't aimed at one particular operator - surely we'd have to do it for all three main bus operators in the North East and not just one of them..?

Of course. Totally agree.
The reason I had mentioned GNE, was solely because eezypeazy (and everyone else bar aureolin), had been discussing the companies results.
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#27
To play devil's advocate, it would be interesting to see the reaction of bus operators if the result for 'Overall Satisfaction' hovered around the 20-30% mark instead of 80-90%.

Would the same survey be dismissed as irrelevant and unrepresentative through the sampling techniques used? Would the folks at Passenger Focus be branded as operating under a particular agenda?
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#28
(27/03/2014, 19:27)Dan Wrote: Passenger Focus is not limited to Go North East, and aureolin has said that the discussion wasn't aimed at one particular operator - surely we'd have to do it for all three main bus operators in the North East and not just one of them..?

Indeed, even bus operators outside of the North East are celebrating the results. See an example from Lothian Buses here.

Regarding the sample size used, is this number/percentage based on what Passenger Focus deem appropriate or what the operators themselves deem appropriate? I've always thought that they were quite a respectable body.

Comes down to these sampling techniques that eezypeazy keeps referring back to. Boils down to them handing out surveys based on age, gender, race, or what have you. In GNEs case, out of a total of 693 responses;

* Fare Paying 323 (46.6%)
* Free Pass - 364 (52.5%)

* Age 16-34 - 137 (19.7%)
* Age 35-59 - 206 (29.7%)
* Age 60+ - 336 (48.4%)

* Commuting - 191 (27.5%)
* Not-commuting - 467 (67.3%)

* Has a disability - 194 (27.9%)

So if every single customer was given a survey, they'd expect the responses to come from the same proportions per grouping. I just don't think it paints a true picture at all. Why no scholars for example? Only 27.9% of commuters? ...
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#29
(27/03/2014, 19:37)AdamY Wrote: To play devil's advocate, it would be interesting to see the reaction of bus operators if the result for 'Overall Satisfaction' hovered around the 20-30% mark instead of 80-90%.

Would the same survey be dismissed as irrelevant and unrepresentative through the sampling techniques used? Would the folks at Passenger Focus be branded as operating under a particular agenda?

I wonder why none of the big three operators use a independent body to independently survey their own workplaces? Great Place to Work for example. Quick search reveals that neither Stagecoach, Arriva or the Go Ahead Group have achieved this status... what works for the customer works for their own surely?
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#30
(27/03/2014, 20:05)aureolin Wrote: Comes down to these sampling techniques that eezypeazy keeps referring back to. Boils down to them handing out surveys based on age, gender, race, or what have you. In GNEs case, out of a total of 693 responses;

* Fare Paying 323 (46.6%)
* Free Pass - 364 (52.5%)

* Age 16-34 - 137 (19.7%)
* Age 35-59 - 206 (29.7%)
* Age 60+ - 336 (48.4%)

* Commuting - 191 (27.5%)
* Not-commuting - 467 (67.3%)

* Has a disability - 194 (27.9%)

So if every single customer was given a survey, they'd expect the responses to come from the same proportions per grouping. I just don't think it paints a true picture at all. Why no scholars for example? Only 27.9% of commuters? ...

Would be difficult to survey the scholars, I guess. I'm sure you've been on a morning bus which has a school on route with scholars packed against the windows.

Even still, would they care? I know most of the lads on my bus wouldn't appreciate being questioned on their travel arrangements.
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#31
(27/03/2014, 20:10)aureolin Wrote: I wonder why none of the big three operators use a independent body to independently survey their own workplaces? Great Place to Work for example. Quick search reveals that neither Stagecoach, Arriva or the Go Ahead Group have achieved this status... what works for the customer works for their own surely?

GNE do I am afraid....we have just recently had a survey for all staff from cleaners through to Senior Managers. The results have just been published to the main Go Ahead board as well as GNE Directors.

I think the company was called ORC.
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#32
(27/03/2014, 20:11)Dan Wrote: Would be difficult to survey the scholars, I guess. I'm sure you've been on a morning bus which has a school on route with scholars packed against the windows.

Even still, would they care? I know most of the lads on my bus wouldn't appreciate being questioned on their travel arrangements.

I can see exactly where you are coming from, but who are the future of bus travel?
Add to that, the abc1's, who make the company money - then look at their sample size compared to the people who don't bring money into the company.

If you were the MD an organisation, looking to grow, looking to develop and need to make money - who would you want to be consulted?
Which passengers do you want to be happy, comfortable and satisfied using your services into the future?
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#33
(27/03/2014, 20:22)citaro5284 Wrote: GNE do I am afraid....we have just recently had a survey for all staff from cleaners through to Senior Managers. The results have just been published to the main Go Ahead board as well as GNE Directors.

That's good to know. Why don't they shout about it like they do with Passenger Focus?

Do they give everyone the opportunity, or do they say take 7 drivers, 1 cleaner, 1 mechanic, and 1 back office member of staff and look at that as a true sample? I've went through a similar process with every company I've worked for (usually annually) and they encouraged everyone to participate. As a result, the response rate always ended up in the 80% range.
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#34
(27/03/2014, 20:25)aureolin Wrote: I've went through a similar process with every comopany I've worked for (usually annually) and they encouraged everyone to participate. As a result, the response rate always ended up in the 80% range.

The company I work for do their own annual in-house survey. Even though it's supposed to be voluntary, management constantly hound workers to participate. Every year, the same issues are raised and nothing ever seems to be done. Most people I talk to seem to think it's a waste of time. The response rate, although high, seems to decline year-on-year. The quality of responses probably deteriorates too. Once upon a time, I used to give accurate and full answers - now, I just make stuff up. Last year, I put myself down as a 88 year-old Transgendered person of Cambodian decent - apparently, I wasn't the only one!
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#35
(27/03/2014, 20:25)Andreos Constantopolous Wrote: I can see exactly where you are coming from, but who are the future of bus travel?
Add to that, the abc1's, who make the company money - then look at their sample size compared to the people who don't bring money into the company.

If you were the MD an organisation, looking to grow, looking to develop and need to make money - who would you want to be consulted?
Which passengers do you want to be happy, comfortable and satisfied using your services into the future?

This is true, and I also see Dan's point, but there's always ways and means. It doesn't represent a true proportion to completely exclude them from such survey. When I was in school, we used to do research surveys for different universities from time to time. If Passenger Focus got the LEA's buy in they could get a representation from the 11-15 age group.
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#36
(27/03/2014, 20:58)aureolin Wrote: This is true, and I also see Dan's point, but there's always ways and means. It doesn't represent a true proportion to completely exclude them from such survey. When I was in school, we used to do research surveys for different universities from time to time. If Passenger Focus got the LEA's buy in they could get a representation from the 11-15 age group.

Cant remember doing any when I was there, but in a controlled environment, the feedback from that age group can help shape things going forward.
Their thoughts on the peak/off peak tickets would be interesting.

Just to add to the abc1 commuter points, Mark Denten from the BBC has coincidently tweeted some ONS info.
No idea on the sample used, but commuters in the North East, have on average the second longest commute to work in the UK.

I will stick a decent sized bet on in Fozzes Bookies, that a big percentage of those questioned, commute by bus.
Makes the paltry percentage questioned in the bus survey even more laughable and makes their views/opinions about the bus company, even more important.
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#37
(27/03/2014, 21:28)Andreos Constantopolous Wrote: ...
Makes the paltry percentage questioned in the bus survey even more laughable...
You're still not able to understand sampling, are you? And how samples are representative? And how the same technique has been rigourously applied across the country?
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#38
(27/03/2014, 21:41)eezypeazy Wrote: You're still not able to understand sampling, are you? And how samples are representative? And how the same technique has been rigourously applied across the country?

Apparently not...

Although Leslie Kish does.
According to a book of his, which I happen to have close to hand (why would I have that, if I fail to understand sampling?), there are four basic problems when undertaking a sampling frame.
How many occurred in this survey?

1. Missing elements: Some members of the population are not included in the frame.

2. Foreign elements: The non-members of the population are included in the frame.

3. Duplicate entries: A member of the population is surveyed more than once.

4. Groups or clusters: The frame lists clusters instead of individuals.

We all appreciate how much you know about sampling, but there are at least two, possibly three, maybe even four of those issues within the survey you linked to in the original post.

Because you know so much, I wont bore you with details from a book written by Louis Rea and Richard Parker, where they outline a perfect example of cluster sampling carried out on bus passengers in the USA or how those passengers could have been utilised better under a stratified plan instead...

But going back to your original comments/questions - I hope that isn't you making those wild, generalised, ill thought out comments you often accuse me of there eezypeazy?
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#39
(27/03/2014, 21:41)eezypeazy Wrote: You're still not able to understand sampling, are you? And how samples are representative? And how the same technique has been rigourously applied across the country?

Doesn't make it right. Does no one under the age of 16 use a bus?
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#40
(27/03/2014, 21:59)aureolin Wrote: Doesn't make it right. Does no one under the age of 16 use a bus?

Indeed.
By missing out people who fall into this category, you instantly encounter the first problem listed above.
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