The Indian Railways has decided to target ISO certification to effectively redress complaints of poor quality service on its premium trains.
As a pilot, Delhi-Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Delhi-August Kranti Rajdhanis will work towards achieving the ISO 22000 certificate granted by the Geneva-based International Organisation for Standards for ensuring food, cleanliness and customer service quality.
A gap analysis for the Ahmedabad Rajdhani — actual performance versus potential — will be completed by December 15 and that for the other trains will follow.
ISO 22000 sets quantifiable standard-linked objectives in terms of food safety, service and customer satisfaction. Leading hotels and restaurants in India and abroad adhere to these norms.
“We are in the process of procuring testing kits that will immediately reveal the quality of food served on trains,” said Amitabh Nigam, Group General Manager, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation.
The quality of on-train service has been a major concern for the railways. Considering that the definition of good and bad service can differ from person to person, the idea is to measure performance against a universally recognised benchmark.
In third-party audits of on-board customer satisfaction last year, the Rajdhanis and Durontos scored upwards of 80 per cent but it is being felt that without a set standard the performance is not measurable.