Improving customer satisfaction in transportation decision making
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Transportation decision makers are tasked with doing more improvements with less funding, which requires effective tools to assess and predict the outcomes of their choices. The objectives of this research are to explore customer satisfaction in various contexts, assess its application in transportation contexts and develop quantitative, empirically-based tools that improve customer satisfaction in transportation decision making. This research conducted a survey of targeted customer satisfaction practitioners and their planning products and tested the implicit assumption. The findings are significant and contrary to current theory and practice. The results support the hypothesis that the impact of negative performance is different than the impact of positive performance on customer satisfaction in a transportation context. These findings suggest that the relationship is asymmetrical and nonlinear contrary to implicit assumptions of current decision support tools like the Importance-Performance Analysis (IPA) matrix. The results also identify that transportation agencies identify quality of life and customer satisfaction as an important goal and measure for their regions. These results suggest that customer satisfaction is a tool in decision making and there is an empirical methodology to accurately assess the relationship of performance to satisfaction that can impact resource decisions in transportation. The results also suggest that customer satisfaction can be used to address issues of social equity and the broader goals of transportation plans.