When we discuss this framework, people are typically very intrigued with the “trapped” category. It seems to be an element often missed in customer satisfaction ratings, Net Promoter Scores, and other measurements. The trapped customer is indeed unique.
In some ways trapped customers are appealing because they are giving every indication they are going to continue doing business with you. And that’s good!
However, this can be a short-term approach to building customer relationships and companies should be careful with it. We’ve found time and time again there are important differences between a loyal customer and a trapped customer.
Remember, trapped customers show positive behavior (plan to keep doing business with you) and negative attitude (not real happy about it). So it is no surprise that trapped customers tend not to refer you – a valuable element when you are attempting secure new business. What’s more, trapped customers tend not to increase their spending with you and may not be very open when you propose new products and solutions. Finally, when a new competitive offering comes along, trapped customers are much more likely to check it out.
In contrast, loyal customers will refer you, increase their spending at a much greater rate, and will resist other offers when they come their way.
While retaining customers is certainly important, it can be short term. Building loyal relationships is a long-term approach to more rapid growth and higher profitability.