Automated service provides a good opportunity for organizations to provide new models for service design strategies and news service development (Henderson et al; 2003). A review of the current conceptualization of automated service reveals that general automated service definitions include specific reference to the internet but they negated the inclusion of other important automated service dimensions such as telephone service and automated service delivery outlets.
For example, Ruyter et al (2001, p186) defined automated service as interactive, content – centered and internet-based customer service, driven by the customer and integrated with related organizational customer support process and technologies with the goal of strengthening the customer- service provider relationship? Moreover, Surjadaja et al; (2003) identify automated service as web-based service delivered through the internet whereby the customer’s interaction or contact with the organization is limited to the information and communication technology (ICT) Itself.
            The most recent study that has been done by parasuraman et al; (2005) is similar to these previous definitions. They refer to automated service as a web sites-based customer service.
            A more holistic definition adopted for the purpose of this research, is that which is proposed by Buckley (2003) who defines automated service as the electronic provision of a service to customers. This definition is identified as far more holistic as it allows for the inclusion and examination of other service delivery channels beyond services through the internet.

Service quality, within the personal interaction environment, has well established definitions in the literature, but it is only recently that it has been applied to the e-commerce environment (Santos 2003). To date, the automated service quality research has been limited to relationship management rather than metrics of service quality (Buckely 2003).
            Currently, there exists a lack of comprehensive definition of automated service quality within the literature. For example, parasuraman et al; (2005) only discus automated service quality within the services that are delivered through web sites. Zeithaml (2002, p135) limits the definition of automated service quality with specific reference to the internet defining it as, the extent to which a web site facilitates efficient and effective shopping, purchasing and delivery. For the purposes of this research, a definition proposed by Santos (2003) has been adopted as it is recognized as not only providing a more general definition of automated service quality but one that extends beyond internet based dimensions.
            Automated service quality is defined by Santos (2003, p235) as “the consumers’ overall evaluation and judgment of the excellence and quality of e- service offerings in the virtual marketplace”. This definition seems to be the most appropriate fit for this research, as the internet banking channel is not the only automated service delivery channel that can be identified in the banking sector. In addition to internet banking service quality, telephone banking and ATM service quality need to be addressed within this particular service environment.
            Research on automated service is still in its infancy stage and there are no generally accepted theoretical conceptualizations of automated services quality (Riel et al; 2001, Long & Mcmellon 2004). Two predominant conceptualization approaches towards service quality have been identified in the literature.
            The first is based on disconfirmation while the second is based on Cronin and Taylor’s (1994) SERVPERF (Performance only) model. EXPECTATIONS seem to be of lesser importance as a comparison standard in e-commerce and customers appear to use experience-based norms Santos 2003). Yang and Jun’s (2002) study revealed that the majority of consumers tended not to have a clear conception of what expectations they help for online services. Consequently, this paper focuses on a performance-only approach to measuring automated service quality.

            Two main approaches to developing measurement models of automated service quality have been identified in the literature (Riel et al 2001, Santos 2003). The first approach utilizes the existing service quality theory as a basis for developing a generally accepted model to measure automated service quality. Supporters of this approach argue that past conceptualizations of service quality need not be completely discarded but may instead be used as a base to develop a theoretical description of automated service (Yang & Jun 2002 Zeithaml 2002, long & Mcmellon 2004). The second approach focuses on the technological interfaces and the quality of new categories of self- service technology (Santos 2003). This approach has generated new categories and measurement models of automated service (Riel et al; 2001). Advocates of this approach argue that the general conceptualization of service quality, focused mainly on capturing the interpersonal nature of service encounters, may not be enough to capture the specific nature of customer interaction which electronic delivery channels (Joseph et al; 1999, Menter et al; 2000, Joseph & Stone 2003).
            In the first approach, most of the dimensions and items generated to measure automated service quality are derived from traditional service quality literature. Riel et al; (2001) argue that the antecedents of traditional service quality should be modified before they can be useful an automated service context. Furthermore, advocates of this approach referred to web-sites in order to conceptualize automated service quality (Yang & Jun 2002, Zeithaml 2002, Long & Mcmellon 2004). The internet is not the only automated banking delivery channel. Other electronic channels are widely used by banks in delivering services to consumers such as personal computers, the telephone, and ATM (Hway-Boon & Yu 2003). This paper has adopted a broader definition of automated service because of the increasing use of various automated channels in banks (it way – Bonn & Yu 2003).
            Therefore, it is not possible to rely completely on current online- quality models to conceptualise automated service quality.
         Mols (2000) argued that customer acceptance of the new automated channels of service delivery in banks may bring a dramatic change in the way that  retail banks build and maintain a close relationship with their customers.
            The introduction of new automated channels of service delivery has made customer participation more widely possible (Dabholkar 1994) and therefore, researchers need to adopt new ways to conceptualize automated service quality, taking into consideration the attributes of all electronic delivery channels (Dabholkar 1996, meuter et al; 2000, Szymaski & Hise 2000). Advocates for the second approach have begun to study different quality aspects of all automated service channels (Joseph et al; 1999, Joseph & stone 2003, Meuter et al; 2000) and recommended that amove is made away from looking at online service quality. While the second approach takes into account more service delivery channels than the first approach, it is recognized that the second approach only provides models where all the channels are aggregated and the context is evaluated as a single composite channel (Meuter et al; 2000, Szymaski & Hise 2000, Joseph & Stone 2003). Every automated service delivery channel has its own attributes (Dabholkar 1996) and consequently the main shortcoming of this method is its failure to separate the particular attributes of every delivery channel or other compounding factors that may affect customer perception of automated service quality. Nevertheless, these two approaches agree about the role of certain factors in shaping consumer perception of the automated delivery channels quality. The two approaches have the following common factors; reliability, ease of use, personalization, accessibility, accuracy, security, and efficiency (Joseph et al; 1999, Meuter et al; 2000, Yang & Jun 2002, Zeithaml 2002, Joseph & Stone 2003, Long & Mcmellon 2004). As such, some of these factors are incorporated, where appropriate, into the measurement models proposed for each of the automated delivery channels highlighted in this research. This will provide a more consistent picture of customer perceptions of bank automated service quality.
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