Price Increases and Their Effect on Customer Retention in a Services Context: The Moderating Role of Customer Tenure and Relationship Breadth
Journal of Service Research, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 232-245, 2009
44 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2012
Date Written: February, 28 2012
This study examines the impact of actual price increases on customer retention in a services context, and how the effect of a price increase is moderated by both tenure and breadth of the customer’s relationship. The study finds that tenure is associated with lowered customer sensitivity to price increases, as well as having a favourable direct effect on customer retention rates. The study also finds that relationship breadth could exacerbate the adverse effect of price increases on customer retention. Finally, relationship breadth is found to have a favourable direct effect on retention rates only among newer customers. The managerial implication is that marketers must pay extra attention to short-tenure and broad-breadth customers when implementing price increases. The study represents a unique contribution to the services marketing literature, which to date reports little research examining the effect of actual price changes on consumer behaviour.
Keywords: price increases, retention, loyalty, relationship, tenure
JEL Classification: M31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation