Refresh And Renew.
Seth Godin posted about Levy Flights the other day. This was not a reference to an obscure dancehall performer, but a discussion of the similarly obscure statistical distribution pattern that I first came across in Kristakis and Fowler's Connected.
A Levy flight basically illustrates that behaviour focuses in a small area for a period of time and then when that area becomes uninteresting, there is a flight/leap to another area quite some distance away where another period of grazing follows.
Seth's post sounded a little fatalistic to me, but Connected highlighted two interesting features of actual network behaviour. Firstly, when people make the larger leaps, the size of that average leapp is much greater than was expected under a random walk; but, secondly, those transitions actually occur more slowly than a Levy flight would predict.
That seems to me to suggest that customer ennui is not inevitable and that there might be more hope for retaining customers if you both make their experience continually excellent and refresh it regularly.