In a recently published research report called “Customer Service Trumps Price,” we asked nearly 4,600 US consumers how they choose the companies they do business with across 12 industries: airlines, banks, cell phone service providers, credit card providers, hotels, insurance firms, Internet service providers, investment firms, medical insurance companies, PC manufacturers, retailers, and TV service providers.
In particular, we asked consumers to rate the importance of two criteria: good customer service and low prices. Here’s some of what we found when we analyzed the data across five generations of consumers:
- Across all 12 industries (and every generation of consumers), good customer service was selected more frequently than low prices as being important.
- Good customer service was most important for banks and insurers, where it was selected by 89% and 87% of the respondents respectively.
- Low prices was most important for retailers, credit card providers and airlines, where it was selected by 78%, 75%, and 75% of the respondents respectively.
- When it comes to the gap between good customer service and low prices, seven industries have double-digit spreads, led by banks (31%), investment firms (26%), and health insurance plans (18%).
- Across all 12 industries, Younger Boomers (43 to 52 year-olds) were the group that most frequently viewed low prices as being important.
- Across all 12 industries, Gen Yers (18 to 28 year-olds) were the group that least frequently viewed good customer service as being important.
The bottom line: Good customer service is a critical component of customer experience.