As I read surveys that we complete for our clients, it becomes apparent that high prices are a frequent point of dissatisfaction for many customers. However, is the price the only thing that matters to customers? I dug a bit deeper into the data and discovered an unusual pattern.

Price does not have to be the primary driver of dissatisfaction IF excellent service is part of the equation. Let me explain.

On all of our surveys, when we ask the likelihood to recommend question, we also probe for reasons why a customer responded in the way they did. The probing questions are designed depending on the score:

Detractors: what did you not like about the service?
Passives: what should they improve?
Promoters: what did they do particularly well?

Reviewing one year’s worth of data from this perspective, uncovered some interesting correlations between prices and service quality.  Pricing becomes much less of a factor as the quality of the service improves.

For Detractors, 33% of the mentions dealt with pricing and 24% referenced service quality (negatively) as a reason for their score.
For Promoters, the results were far different; 59% mentioned service quality (what they liked) as a cause while only 2% said the price.

Many of the mentions of price were in a positive context (i.e., price was fair, received good value). The table below shows the percentage of responses broken down by Reason Code and into the NPS categories.

Reason Detractors Passives Promoters
Customer Prefers Not to Give a Higher Score 1% 8% 0%
Friendliness of Staff 1% 1% 10%
Knowledge and Professionalism 4% 2% 12%
No Reason Given 0% 37% 2%
Other 22% 16% 7%
Pricing 33% 18% 2%
Quality –  Service 24% 11% 59%
Quality – Provider Communication 15% 7% 7%

It is also worth noting the high percentage of Passive customers who did not give a reason. In short, there was nothing that stood out about the service to like or dislike.


Price isn’t always the only obvious problem with some customers. Our research clearly indicates that providing your customers with a high-quality service experence helps them focus less on your prices.

When customers really like the service, price becomes much less important to them.

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