Today, many service providers use technological service innovations through the technologies that support the operations business models, especially self-service technologies (SSTs) that \"allow customers to produce and consume service electronically without direct contact form firm employees\" (Meuter, M.L., Ostrom, A.L., Bitner, M.J. and Roundtree, R., 2003). Pick up any respected journals and research on management or marketing on these days that we likely loved on those things will likely stumble upon at least one article for Customer Relationship Management (CRM). One of the growing trends in CRM is the use of self-service. Technology is a new thing that can increased the role of self service in all sector. There can be advantages on both sides of the self-service technology coin.
Self-service technologies (SSTs) are increasingly introduced in banking sector. A self-service technology (SST) can be defined as “a technological interface that enables customers to produce a service independent of direct service employee involvement” (Meuter, M.L., Ostrom, A.L., Roundtree, R.I. and Bitner, M.J., 2000). Examples of these self-service technologies include “on-site” options such as touch screens in department stores, automated teller machines (ATMs) and ticket machines and “off-site” options such as telephone and online banking and shopping, getting travel information on the internet (Dabholkar and Bagozzi, 2002).
Since these new technologies are introduced, the service innovations will increasingly be a critical component of customer service interactions. In this study we look at how the use of self-service technologies in banking sector is evaluated by customers. A positive or negative evaluation on these self-service technologies has an effect on the total quality perception of the banking service and on the attitude towards the service provider. A self-service technology in banking sector however is growing fast from day to day. As we can see banking activities are using ATMs, online banking, or mobile banking without using the person in branch.
Consumers are able to do more banking on themselves with more convenience and confident. These technologies automatically reduces the cost of transaction and increased the banking profitability and at the same time they would able to offer the consumers the easier way to bank like online 24/7, free of restrictive banking hours. Many of the industry pundits predict a transformation in banking channel use with the adoption of new video, mobile, and ATM technologies. As consumers take advantage of the new era of technologies, consumers have a lot of choices like when, how, when and where they could use these enhanced technologies.in banking sector, it is important for those to listen to voice of customer, especially those who are engage with them more than average and multiple channels. Customers always want the bank to recognize their communications and transactions as quickly as possible and enable them to optimize the convenience of multiple channels with seamless integration— the “omnichannel” experience.
Bank List in Malaysia
1. Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)
Bank of Commerce
1. Affin Bank Berhad
2. Alliance Bank Berhad
3. AmBank (M) Berhad
4. CIMB Bank Berhad
5. Citibank Berhad
6. HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad
7. Malayan Banking Berhad
8. OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad
9. Public Bank Berhad
10. RHB Bank Berhad
11. Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad
12. BNP Pribas Malaysia Berhad
13. Bangkok Bank Berhad
14. Bank of America Malaysia Berhad
15. Bank of China (Malaysia) Berhad
16. United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Berhad
17. Hong Leong Bank Berhad
1. Affin Bank Berhad
2. Alliance Bank Berhad
3. Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corporation (Malaysia) Berhad
4. AmIslamic Bank Berhad
5. Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad
6. Bank Muamalat Malaysia Berhad
7. CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad
8. EONCAP Islamic Bank Berhad
9. Hong Leong Islamic Bank Berhad
10. HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad
11. Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) Berhad
12. Maybank Islamic Berhad
13. OCBC Al-Amin Bank Berhad
14. Public Islamic Bank Berhad
15. RHB Islamic Bank Berhad
16. Standard Chartered Saadiq Berhad
1. Alliance Merchant Bank Berhad
2. Amanah-Chase Merchant Bank Bhd.
3. AmMerchant Bank Bhd.
4. D&C Nomura Merchant Bankers Bhd.
5. Malaysian International Merchant Bankers Bhd
6. RHB Sakura Merchant Bankers Berhad
7. Rakyat First Merchant Bankers Bhd
1. Bank Simpanan Malaysia
2. Bank Pembangunan dan Infrastruktur
3. Bank Pertanian Malaysia
Previous research already showed that these self-service attributes of SSTs played an important role of the technologies. However, in this study we are looking the importance of different attribute of the service. We also look at the effect on customers evaluations of the service when they are forced to use these new service technologies. This aspect is an increasingly relevant issue for research on self-service technologies, especially as companies that are trying to stimulate the use of self-service technologies by making traditional service encounters increasingly unattractive, for example, by charging extra fees. Company has the potential to serve more customers with fewer resources, and thus reduce costs, and the customer has the ability to customize a product or service for her-self and also choose a time when it is most convenient for her to partake of it. ATM\'s and pay-at-the pump gas stations are required these days if banks and gas stations want to stay competitive. It\'s hard for many of us to remember a day without those first SST\'s.\"Have it your way.\" \"Help yourself.\" These are the battle cries from the front lines of today\'s customer service campaigns. As we know exactly what customers want, it is important to fulfil their needs and wants. Predicting what will appeal to customers can be so dramatic for them. So, to make it easy for themselves, they will get the service that they want, in just the way that suits their needs. (Fickel, 2000 and Pujari 2004). Well, that\'s how it\'s supposed to work.
But in many instances firms jump onto the self-service bandwagon without much forethought. Sure, self-service is one way to reduce costs, but poorly implemented self-service technologies (SST) can also increase costs and alienate customers. It isn\'t just about operational efficiencies, it\'s about adding customer value. The SST you choose should be an extension of your firms existing company philosophy. \"Self-service Technology empowers authorized human users (as well as computer applications) to obtain or update information and perform qualified transactions from enterprise databases, on their own using natural language, via communications channels such as email, web, network and voice anytime without depending upon human actions.
2. Theoretical background
2.1 As pioneered by Heider (1958), Jones and Davis (1965), and Kelly (1972), attribution theory explains how people make causal explanations about events, as well as the behavioural outcomes or consequences of those explanations. The link from attributions to specific behavioural outcomes is well accepted (Yen, H.J.R., Gwinner, K.P. and Su, W., 2004), especially in co-produced service settings (Bendapudi and Lone, 2003). Customers\' attributions can appear spontaneously and on the basis of observable cues (Kramer, T., Irmak, C., Block, L.G., and Ilyuk, V., 2012), as consequence of their perceptions of a firm\'s effort to serve its customers (Morales, 2005), and following either satisfying or dissatisfying events (Weiner, 2000). Prior studies investigate the causes to which customers attribute high levels of satisfaction and dissatisfaction (Meuter et al., 2000, 2003), as well as how SST failures might be attributed to different referents (Yen et al., 2004).
Most studies use simple meaning of attribution, building on Weiner\'s (1980) locus of control concept (Meuter et al., 2000 and Yen et al., 2004), in which the explanations of positive and negative experience might be assigned to service management, technology, customer, or some mix of sources. Customers generally blame SST failures on external sources, such as the technology, rather than on themselves, but they consider their personal efforts more important drivers of positive SST outcomes, according to their serf-serving bias. However, customers who exhibit a high level of participation in service delivery are more likely than their low-participation counterparts to attribute blame to the organization (Bendapudi and Leone, 2003; Yen et al., 2004).
2.2 Benefit and cost attributions
Prior literature on SST identifies cost reduction and improved service as two main motives for firms to introduce these technologies (Bitner M.J., Ostrom, A.L. and Meuter, M.L., 2002; Kimes and Collier, 2015; Weijters B., Rangarajan, D., Falk, T. and Schillewaert, N., 2007). Cost cutting is often associated with job elimination (Cadwallader. S., Jarvis, C.B., Bitner, M.J. and Ostrom, A.L., 2010), increased efficiency, or firm productivity (Spohrer and Maglio, 2008; Weijters et al., 2007), which may be accompanied by an opportunistic shift in tasks and burdens to the customer. Customers who feel forced into having a service the provider's way, rather than the customer's way, generally will assume that the service provider is aiming to increase its profits at their expense (Klein, 1982).
However, SST introduction also can enhance a firm's service provision, such as by shortening transaction times and increasing customer convenience (Elliott, K.M., Hall, M.C. and Meng, J., 2013 and Meuter et al., 2000). Accordingly, customers could infer that the launch of an innovation is due to the provider's inherent desire to enhance their customer service experience by allowing their active participation. Consistently, research shows that an enhanced service experience and a customer benefit motive is the primary positive association that customers express in response to SST implementation (Dabholkar, 1996; Kimes and Collier, 2015; Meuter, M.L., Bitner, M.J., Ostrom, A.L. and Brown, S.W., 2005).
The cost reduction motive generally has negative associations, but the customer benefit motive has positive associations. That is, according to attribution theory, customers generally make negative dispositional attributions when they infer cost reduction motives but positive dispositional attributions if they infer improved service motives. We refer to these processes as cost and benefit attributions, respectively, though we also caution that cost and benefit attributions are not two ends of a continuum. Some customers perceive both motives at the same time; others might not infer any clear or consistent motive for SST introduction. With the recognition that many innovations involve both positive and negative perceptions (Gourville, 2006), and in line with MIM insights (Reeder, G.D., Kumar, S., Hesson-McInnes, M.S. and Trafimow, D., 2002 and Reeder, G.D., Vonk, R., Ronk, M.J., Ham, J. and Lawrence, M., 2004, and Verlegh, P.W.J., Ryu, G., Tuk, M.A. and Feick, L., 2013), we account for cost and benefit attributions and their joint influences.
Additional support for distinguishing cost and benefit attributions comes from work on the Technology Readiness Index (Parasuraman, 2000; Parasuraman and Colby, 2015). The technology readiness refers to people's propensity to embrace new technologies to accomplish goals in their home life or at work. The overall state of mind then results from a gestalt of mental enablers and inhibitors that collectively determine a person's predisposition to use new technologies. Following Mick and Fournier (1998), Parasuraman (2000) describes technologies as having pros and cons, such that “consumers simultaneously harbour favourable and unfavourable views about technology based products and services,” and there are various “technology paradoxes with which consumers have to cope: control/chaos, freedom/enslavement, new/obsolete, competence/incompetence, efficiency/inefficiency, fulfils/creates needs, assimilation/ isolation, and engaging/disengaging.” Accordingly, customers who interpret the underlying motives that led providers to introduce SST likely include both positive and negative attributions (Elliott et al., 2013, Lin and Hsieh, 2012 and White A., Breazeale, M. and Collier, J.E., 2012).
There are four questions for this research which are:
1. Is there a relationship between SST performances with relational value?
2. Is there a relationship between service provider benevolence with relational value?
3. Is there a relationship between benefit attributions with relational value?
4. Is there a relationship between cost attributions with relational value?
3. Model and hypotheses development
To construct our conceptual framework, we build on MIM and a commonly used model from relationship marketing literature. Specifically, De Wulf, K., Odekerken-Schroder, G. and Lacobucci, D. (2001) and Sirdeshmukh, D., Singh, J. and Sabol, B. (2002) propose a model in which relationship investments by a provider enhance relationship quality or value. Sirdeshmukh et al. (2002) describe the resulting relational value as “the superordinate consumer goal in relational exchanges” and a pivotal, mediating variable for loyalty. In our study, loyalty is less applicable though, because we investigate relationships in a banking context, most of which reflect convenience considerations. Consumers generally patronize the bank that is nearest or most convenient (e.g. en route from work to home). Technology introduction therefore is more likely to contribute to relational value but less likely to affect banks switching intentions.
Figure 1 below depicts our modified and proposed model, in which SST is a type of relational investment or disinvestment, and perceptions of firm benevolence. For the former, we focus on the relationship between customer used the SST and relational value. Service provider benevolence reflects an individual's enduring perceptions that a service provider places the consumer's interest ahead of self-interest (Morales, 2005; Sirdeshmukh et al., 2002). Such evaluations help customers reach a coherent impression of the provider's underlying motives (Kramer et al., 2012 and Weiner, 2000).
Attribution theory posits that people use knowledge of performance as a cue to infer the characteristics of the actor (Staw, 1975). For example, operational competence of banks and its employees should shape customers' trust and value perceptions (Sirdeshmukh et al., 2002). Because it induces a shift from a traditional human-to-human interaction to a human-to-machine interaction, the introduction of SST dramatically alters these service encounters (Cunningham L.F., Young, C.E. and Gerlach, J. 2009). Customers become co-producers of the service, and the service encounter thereby increases in salience. In turn, users tend to be very sensitive to the changes in service exchanges that result from SST introductions (Meuter et al., 2000, 2005).
Figure 1: Model of customer inference about service provider motives for SST introduction
Prior literature on SST adoption and trial confirms that satisfactory SST performance leads customers to form more favourable impressions of the invention (Dabholkar and Bagozzi, 2002; Meuter et al., 2005). They regard SST performance as a good indicator of the firm's level of investment in service excellence and believe the provider has developed an invention that matches their needs, which in turn reduces the likelihood that they suspect a negative motive for introducing the SST. In contrast, following a bad experience with an SST – whether due to poor interface design, a lack of operational clarity, or limited functionality – customers perceive added burdens and behavioural costs. Therefore, they may anticipate opportunistic motives and reduce their attributions to the provider's willingness to improve the service experience. This effect could occur even after a single negative experience with the SST, considering the power of first impressions in service settings, especially in technology-supported services (Knutsen, 2005).
H0. There is a relationship between SST performance with relational value
H1.There is no relationship between SST performances with relational value
A provider's benevolence is a particularly powerful signal (Sirdeshmukh et al., 2002) that likely enters customers' attribution processes, and stable with the MIM, provides a point of reference for them to infer the probability of various motives underlying behaviour. A provider's benevolence offers “diagnostic evidence of provider trust because by going beyond the terms of the clear ‘contract,' the service provider indicates pro consumer motives, restraint of self-serving opportunism, and a willingness to assume fiduciary responsibility” (Sirdeshmukh et al., 2002). Thus a customer can subjectively rule out the chances of undesirable behaviours by the provider and reduce their own risk, fear, and (social) complexity perceptions (Gefen, D., Karahanna, E. and Straub, D.W., 2003). In addition, if firms dedicate extra effort to reaching high product and service quality, customers likely reward them, according to the “norm of reciprocity” (Morales, 2005). That is, a highly benevolent service provider likely provokes customers to return the positive benefits, such as by assuming more positive and less negative motives. Smith and Barclay (1997) accordingly report a positive relationship between relational investments and benevolent motives at a firm level, at the individual level, we hypothesize:
HO. There is a relationship between service provider benevolence with
H2. There is no relationship between service provider benevolence with
Unlike the value that flows directly from product or service usage episodes, relational value has “a deeper understanding, a deeper meaning – a meaning which does not relate only to episodes, but to the expectations of the customer and the responsibility of the company to meet these expectations in a long-term relationship” (Ravald and Gronroos, 1996). Because relational value is a non-overall judgment of how the benefits and costs balance in the relationship, relational (dis)investments by the provider affect the relational value perceived by the customer. In particular, if the customer believes the provider's choice to implement SST was motivated by an aim to increase customer benefits, and then SST appears like a relational investment that the customer wants to reciprocate, prompting a positive effect on the customer's overall relational values judgment (Albaeta, 1997). If instead the customer believes that cost reduction and profit maximization were the main motives for implementing the SST, he or she likely considers the elimination of frontline staff and shift of tasks a burden and a relational disinvestment from the provider (Curran, J.M., Meuter, M.L. and Surprenant, C.F., 2003). Formally then:
HO. There is a relationship between benefit attributions with relational value.
H3. There is no relationship between benefit attributions with relational value
Finally, customers make cost and benefit attributions concurrently. For example, measures to improve efficiency and cut costs can increase profits, but they also might free up resources for different investments, such as price discounts, which benefit customers (Rust, R.T., Moorman, C. and Dickson, P.R., 2002). Research into attitude ambivalence (Olsen, S.O., Wilcox, J. and Olsson, U., 2005 and Otnes., C., Lowrey, T.M. and Shrum, L.J. 1997) confirms that customers can have positive and negative considerations and emotions at the same time. In the case of a new merchandise or technology introduction, customers making swaps, balancing the benefits against the drawbacks (Claudy, M.C., Garcia, R. and O'Driscoll, A. 2015 and Gourville, 2006). When they notice both positive and negative attributions, customers also try to assimilate them, such that cost attributions likely offset the positive effect of benefit attributions. We rely on technology adoption literature, which indicates that customers who only consider the benefits of an innovation (perceived usefulness, image; see Venkatesh V., Morris, M.G., Davis, G.B. and Davis, F.D., 2003) usually have positive attitudes and perceptions of an SST, whereas those who can visualize the undesirable aspects at the same time have a more realistic picture, with attenuated positive effects (Im, I., Kim, Y. and Han, H.J. 2008). In our model, we also account for the direct effects of SST performance, and service provider benevolence on relational value, as have been established by previous studies (Beatson, A., Coote, L.V. and Rudd, J.M. 2006; Makarem and Mudambi, 2009 and Sirdeshmukh et al., 2002).
HO. There is a relationship between cost attributions with relational value.
H4. There is no relationship between cost attributions with relational value.
For more clear information, we included the research objective, research question and the research hypotheses in the table 1 below.
Table 1 Research objective, research questions and research hypotheses
Research Objectives Research Questions Research Hypotheses Scale
RO1-To identify the relationship between SST performance and relational value RQ1- What is the relationship between SST performance with relational value? H0. There is a relationship between SST performance with relational value
H1.There is no relationship between SST performance with relational value Multiple Regression
Pearson Correlation Coefficient
RO2- To identify the relationship between service provider benevolence with relational value.
RQ2- What is the of relationship between a service provider benevolence with relational value? HO. There is a relationship between a service provider benevolence with relational value
H2. There is no relationship between a service provider benevolence with relational value Multiple Regression
Pearson Correlation Coefficient
RO3- To identify the relationship between benefit attributions with relational value. RQ3- What is the relationship between benefit attributions with relational value? HO. There is a relationship between cost attributions with relational value
H3. There is no relationship between cost attributions with relational value Multiple Regression
Pearson Correlation Coefficient
RO4- To identify the relationship between cost attributions with relational value RQ4- What is the relationship between cost attributions with relational value? HO. There is a relationship between benefit attributions with relational value
H4. There is no relationship between benefit attributions with relational value. Multiple Regression
Pearson Correlation Coefficient
4. Research methodology
To test our model, we were collected survey data using Google forms and the respondent must have been experiences using banking services. The survey was sent by emails, Facebook groups, WhatsApp groups etc. The respondents were answered the survey using Google forms and must have an internet to connect with the Google forms. The respondents must have experience using the technology at any banks in the Malaysia.
The study was performance from 5th December 2016 until 19th December 2016. After two weeks, we are managed to get 106 correspondents. After collected the data, we have finalize the final data that only reliable is 105 of respondent and the balance is not reliable to use as a study. There are six sections in the survey which are section A, B, C, D, E and F. Section A refers to a demographic background which contains items such as gender, age, salary, educational background and number of household. Section B refer to SST performance, section C refer to service provider benevolence, section D refer to benefit attribution, section E refer to cost attribution and section F refer to relational value. For the section B and F, the survey was using 5-points semantic differential scale. A semantic differential has been used to measure opinions, attitudes and values on a psychometrically controlled scale and for section C, D, and E was using Likert scale ranking from 1 -5 were 1=strongly disagree, 2=disagree, 3=neutral, 4=agree, and 5=strongly agree as per shows in the table 2 below.
Table 2 Section in Questionnaire
Section A Demogrpahic Background 5 questions Close-ended questions
Section B SST Performance 4 questions 5-points semantic differential scale
Section C Service Provider Benevolence 3 questions 5-points Likert scale
Section D Benefit Attribution 5 Questions 5-points Likert scale
Section E Cost Attribution 5 Questions 5-points Likert scale
Section F Relational Value 4 Questions 5-points semantic differential scale
All survey measures were based on previously validated scales. For SST performance, we used measures from Weijters, B., Rangarajan, D., Falk, T. and Schillewaert, N. (2007) and Sirdeshmukh, D., Singh, J. and Sabol, B. (2002) and we are using five-point semantic differential scale. For service provider benevolence measures also was based on Sirdeshmukh, D., Singh, J. and Sabol, B. (2002) and using five-point Likert scale. For cost and benefit attributions were develop from Klein (1982) and Barksdale and Darden (1971) and the items measures by five-point Likert scale for both cost and benefit attribution. For relational value came from Sirdeshmukh, D., Singh, J. and Sabol, B. (2002) and rely on five-point semantic differential scale. The items were selected referred to the bank policies that indicate attention to customer interests and needs and respects for the customer and all information stated in table 3 below.
Table 3 Survey measures
Survey measures/items Authors
SST Performance 1. Weijters, B., Rangarajan, D., Falk, T. and Schillewaert, N. (2007)
2. Sirdeshmukh, D., Singh, J. and Sabol, B. (2002)
Service provider benevolence 1. Sirdeshmukh, D., Singh, J. and Sabol, B. (2002)
Cost and benefit attributions 1. Klein (1982)
2. Barksdale and Darden (1971)
Relational value 1. Sirdeshmukh, D., Singh, J. and Sabol, B. (2002)
6.1 Limitations and further research
Several limitations of this study have been recognized during conduct the research. First, we only focused on users who were familiar with the SST technology and respondents must at least 18 years old and above and must responded to the whole survey questions.
Second, this study only focuses in banking industry in Malaysia. As per stated by (Xin, Rohit and Zafar, 2007) these kind of studies has low involvement as conducted by most of the previous studies in banking and retails outlets for trial of SSTs. The author has been suggesting that high involvement service should be more considerate for future studies.
Third, this questionnaire only distributed by Google form (online) to social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, and Whats App applications) and also via Emails and limited time in two weeks only has been provided to the respondent to answer the question. Respondent may feel very unpleasant when the researcher request the feedback of the questionnaire. Therefore, longitudinal studies also would be useful to examine how customers update their inferences over time, following the introduction of an SST. Understanding such variations and their effects on the interchange relationship could help explain how relationships develop following service process innovations.
Fourth, this study only focuses in the relationship between the independent variables and dependent variables. Further researcher should investigate what is the mediator or mediation that involve between these two variables so that the management and also the customer can have more understanding regarding the SST implementation.
For future research, the researcher might extend this study into other SST types of contexts such as airlines industry and telecommunication industry. These two industries are increasing and upgrading their self-service technology and widely spread to the customers around the world. Might be the results can be more explored and different result might happened at different setting of industry.
6.2 Managerial Implications
This review additionally gives suggestion to managers. By understanding what situational factors have an impact on a customer's choice, better systems can be produced to oversee and facilitate the numerous service delivery options. The results regarding waiting time suggest that in order to keep a balance between the ATM, internet banking and regular transaction, managers can change the queue by opening or closing more ATM or front line counters.
For example, to promote the initial trial of the ATM / internet banking, managers can purposely close a few front line counters. A long queue at the front line counter will sometimes lead customers to use the ATM / internet banking even if they do not like it. Finally, since young customers' usage of the SST is strongly influenced by their companions' opinions, the SST service provider can highlight the “cool” and “fun” feature when promoting to this customer segment.
Adopting SST might be striking to organizations pursuing to do more with less, but it may decrease customer perceived value and upsurge organizational costs. SST effectively interchanges service production from the organization to the customer, raising the customer co-production role. Thus the action resource moves from the organization employees to their customers.
While employees may appear an expensive than customer's resource, the customers are much harder to train and manage, and they can become ad hoc advisers to other customers. As fractional employees, customers are unable to have same level of expertise and implicit knowledge that employees do when constructing the service. In any event, customers are not all likewise willing or able to take on tasks previously performed by service employees. Meanwhile, employees must take on new service roles to train and support customers especially when the technology fails.
Our findings regarding past SST experiences suggest that although managers can be a little released by customers' tolerance of a not-so-good first-time experience, a positive first-time experience is still vital in that if a customer still feels confused about using an SST after the first time, it is likely that the problem will come up repeatedly later. Therefore, in order to prevent common failures, service staff should let customers know what is the service foundations and how problem can be prevented rather than just fixing it for the customers.
Either success or failure of SST in service, all employees must been given the correct, latest information about the self-service technology. The managers in banking and also at others industry must provide a good training so that their employees can see as all-inclusive view why the organization are more concern adopting the self-service technology so that they have knowledge and received the correct information so that they can deliver the messages to other customers who might unwilling to use the self-service technology and also motivate the customers to continues the technology.
...(download the rest of the essay above)