Customer inflection points
Long term customer relationships are bound to hit "fluctuation points". These are the times where a customer could end up becoming a customer for life, or feel betrayed by a brand.
On a recent podcast, Seth Godin described this as the 'quantum state' of a customer. These arise at stressful points where the customer has a fixable problem, the brand has an opportunity to help, and the result will be enduring with ripple effects.
In the podcast, Godin discusses an experience with an oven manufacturer whereby an expensive, vital item broke and the company had the opportunity to make it right. If they do so, Godin would be a customer for life and presumably even recommend the brand because of the exceptional support.
The other option is to feel let down by both the product and the support. At that point, the brand is remembered for failing on two points and never recommended to others.
Customer inflection points provide a rare opportunity to create a lifelong fan. These points are often viewed as problems to be dealt with rather than the opportunities they are.