Data Snapshot: Who Prefers Service Over Price?

We just published a new piece of research, Who Prefers Service Over Price?

This report uses a new format for Temkin Group that we call a “Data Snapshot.” While many of our reports have a lot of data, these reports will be even more data intense and can serve as reference materials for looking up data points. Since this is the first report in the new format, we decided to make it available for free.

Here’s the executive summary:

We asked 5,000 U.S. consumers whether they would prefer low prices or good service when doing business with 14 types of companies. It turns out that consumers prefer low prices in every industry except for banks and computers. Our analysis looked at differences across age, income, ethnic, and educational levels of consumers. Some of our findings: life insurance is the most age-dependent, low income leads to price preference, blacks have the most preference for good service, and higher education leads to a preference for service.

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This Data Snapshot has five graphics that look at the following data (which is the first figure in the snapshot) across age, income, ethnic, and educational demographics.

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The bottom line: Low prices are important, but many people prefer good service

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about these topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

5 Responses to Data Snapshot: Who Prefers Service Over Price?

  1. Ginger Conlon says:

    This is especially interesting considering how many people complain about the service in the very industries they say price is far more important (e.g., airlines). Perhaps they need to remember the adage, “You get what you pay for.”

  2. Thanks for making this report widely available. We would all benefit from understanding your data collection process and your margin-of-error in these statistics especially since many of the results are “too close to call” – is this something you could share? I would also like to caution your readers about “over-generalizing” this research. For example, B2B markets are significantly different than B2C (“consumers”) in how customers purchase products and services. We’ve published on this topic in a few areas, including at

  3. The price / service tradeoff is less impactful in commodity businesses. What do the results show in highly differentiated markets?

  4. Bruce – very interesting findings, especially in the Financial Services sector. Because ‘service’ and ‘price’ have a direct relationship in service businesses, it stands to reason that those who want superior service have the option of paying for it; yet the findings appear to suggest that consumers prefer better service (presumably at higher prices) regardless of age, income levels, demographics, and educational levels.

    The findings are surprising and it would be very interesting to see the phrasing of the questions that were used during the survey.

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