A friend of mine’s wife filed for divorce from my friend. When I asked him why his wife had left him, he said, “Well, she told me it was because I wouldn’t take out the trash!” A few months later I saw her briefly in the shopping mall. “Sorry to hear about you and Tom,” were the words that started our conversation. “I know,” she said sadly, “It had been brewing for a long time. The split could have been completely avoided. I finally got sick and tired of everything being ‘all about Tom.'”

Why do customer’s leave? While most organizations know why their customers opened the exit door, they devote little effort to understanding why customers opted to consider the exit door in the first place. A tipping point study is as erroneous as accepting that garbage duty would cause a divorce. It might be evidence of “the last straw,” but unless a single act is extremely egregious, the impetus to leave started long before the slamming door. The customer had already left in their mind before the actual departure. Understanding why a customer enters the “zone of indifference” can be far more enlightening than what is learned in an exit interview or survey. That knowledge can inform effective methods to prevent customer churn.