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Effect of Service Content Quality sample essay


The growth of Internet Mediated Environment (IME) based services has changed the manner in which firms and consumers interact. This paper aims to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the role service quality dimensions play in developing service enjoyment and loyalty in IMEs. We are in the era of service-based economies. The services sector has grown to dominate economic activity in today’s advanced industrial economies. Interestingly, within the growing service-dominated economies, increased innovation in Information Technology (IT) has dramatically altered services conceptualization, development, delivery and consumption.

By extending the definition of an electronic service, we define IME services as being mediated via information technology (IT) where the consumer interacts with an appropriate user interface such as web site, mobile phone, iPhone, PDA, iPad, virtual world environment, tablets, etc., in order to gain a consumption experience and pursue desired benefits for another entity or the entity itself (self-service). Innovations related to IT and novel Internet-based service delivery in IMEs and consumption are fueling extraordinary growth in demand for existing as well as new services.

Problem Statement:

The study is to investigate the some of the dimensions of online service content quality and service delivery quality such as navigation, visual appeal, timeliness, access, content customization and reliability leading to enjoyment and loyalty.

Significance of the research:

Both Information Systems (IS) and Marketing scholars have recognized this paradigmatic shift from the exchange of goods toward a service-centered model of exchange in which the consumer plays a pivotal role, specifically in the case of online services. In this context, there is an increasing emphasis on service quality rather than manufacturing quality regardless of the industry. A customer’s willingness to maintain a relationship with a firm is contingent on his or her perception of the benefits of high-quality service that provides a continuous flow of value.


Review of Literature:
Service Content quality:

Service content quality is defined as the extent to which complete, accurate, and timely content is provided to online consumers during the interaction process with the user interface in the IME. The user interface is a critical component in the IME service experience. In the context of the online environment, the store layout and design particularly influences the consumer’s service consumption experience. To capture service content quality we have identified the following three antecedents based on the literature: visual appearance, navigation, and preview. These dimensions have been found to be important in the context of online services in past IS studies.

Visual Appearance:

A consumer’s perception of the visual appeal projected by the service is driven by the design, physical attractiveness, and beauty inherent to the service interface. Visual appearance in IMEs can be defined as an overall output of image or personality generated from website components such as text, style, graphics, colors, logos, themes and slogans. Websites with a more visually acceptable interface often result in greater service quality and can influence a consumer’s IME experience and ultimately his or her long-term service provider relationship. Consequently, the interface appearance is one of the most important aspects of the IME experience.


Consumers want and demand websites that are simply designed and easy to use. Ease of navigation has surfaced as a critical element, since the IME lacks most of the interactional human elements so vital in offline service delivery. Navigation challenges, such as getting lost is often associated with a consumer’s confusion, frustration, and anger, and thus negative experiences. To negate this danger, IME navigation features have been developed to prevent consumers from becoming lost. A considerable amount of freely available information, if it is well organized and easily accessed, is frequently mentioned by consumers as an important reason to interact with an IME. The ease of navigation in the IME is expected to enhance service content quality.

Customized Preview:

Customized preview is the ability to tailor products, services and the environment to individual customers. Preview is expected to influence loyalty towards the service by creating the perception of an increased choice set by enabling quick focus, signaling high quality and lead to a better match of what the customer actually wants.

Service Delivery Quality:

Service delivery quality is defined as the manner in which IME functionalities are made accessible to consumers via the service provider’s website as a delivery channel. IME service providers have realized that consumers are concerned with the service delivery process and outcome. The following dimensions of service delivery quality: accessibility, reliability, and timeliness are taken.


Accessibility is related to the actions taken by the service provider to ensure no service interruption. More and more customers now look for company access and support via IMEs. Potential service failures impact future business because they weaken the customer-company bonds and perceptions of service quality. In this research, accessibility is defined as the level of efforts taken to minimize service disruptions.


In offline contexts, reliability is defined as the “ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately”. Similarly, IME reliability is concerned with the delivery of the service in good condition, on time, and exactly as it was displayed. A study of online failures stated that consumers noted delivery issues as the most frequently stated problem. Consumers place significant emphasis on service outcome and service quality, which will suffer if a service provider fails to deliver as expected. Such failures can result in significant costs to the firm, such as lost customers and negative word of mouth. Consequently, service failure is a driving factor explaining customer switching behavior.


One of the significant IME benefits is the near-time or immediate service delivery. IMEs lack most of the interactional human elements so vital to the traditional service experience which typically lead to service delivery lag times. In terms of online versus offline purchasing, online purchasers’ benefit in the fact that they receive timely information directly from the website without having to seek a salesperson. Access speed and performance appear as critical to the assessment of quality in IMEs.

Service Enjoyment:

Just as shopping enjoyment is important in offline environments, it can be equally important in IMEs. Hirschman and Holbrook introduced the Hedonic Consumption concept which designates “those facets of consumer behavior that relate to the multisensory, fantasy and emotive aspects of one’s experience with products” to explain enjoyment’s role in the consumer experience. IS research has suggested that intrinsic enjoyment associated with website usage can positively impact a consumer’s web usage over time. Koufaris applied the model of flow and found that the emotional reaction to a website (intrinsic enjoyment) influenced the intention to return. Thus, service enjoyment is suggested to influence the IME consumer experience.

Service Content Quality and Enjoyment:

Service content quality is a critical component in the IME experience. In the context of the online environment, the store layout and design influences the consumer’s online activity and service consumption. In IMEs, the spatial layout and functionality are especially important since availability of direct human employee assistance is minimal. Mathwick, Malhotra, and Rigdon suggest that in online environments, the use of color, graphic layout and photographic quality combine to influence a desirable consumption experience. Éthier, Hadaya, Talbot, and Cadieux demonstrates that web site content quality has a significant positive impact on the cognitive appraisal including liking, joy, pride, dislike, and frustration. Van der Heijden found that perceived enjoyment affected intended and actual use of the website.

Service Delivery Quality and Enjoyment:

IME delivered services have increased convenience in terms of time, place and use. For example, consumers can now pay their bills online, setup automatic mortgage payments or track packages at any time of day. Therefore, service delivery quality pertains to the consumer-website interaction during the process when the consumer is looking for information, selecting from available options or carrying out a transaction. According to Luong, “Service delivery seems to imply service encounters that entail more intense and deliberate use of emotions.”


Loyalty is yielded through the process of repeated interaction between consumers and the online service. Achieving customer loyalty is critical for IME service provider economic success. The fear in the online environment is that the inherent low switching costs enable competing online firms to be just a click away. Loyalty can be defined both behaviorally and attitudinally. Behaviorally, loyalty consists of repeated purchases of a brand, whereas attitudinally loyalty includes a degree of dispositional commitment in terms of some unique value associated with the brand. Perceived service quality has been suggested to be positively related to loyalty. According to Garbarino and Johnson, consumer perceived service enjoyment and commitment are believed to summarize consumer knowledge and guide subsequent loyalty actions.


Title: A study on the effect of service content quality and service delivery quality, leading to loyalty in online banking system.
Main Objective: To study the effect of antecedents of service quality leading to loyalty in online banking system pertaining to South Indian Bank Specific Objectives:
* To study antecedents such as visual appeal, navigation and customized preview effect on online service content quality * To study antecedents such as accessibility, reliability and timeliness effect on online service delivery quality * To study service content quality and service delivery qualities effect on consumer’s perception of service enjoyment * To study service content quality and service delivery quality mediated by service enjoyment effect on consumer loyalty in banking websites.

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