MIT Sloan Management Review Article on The Neuroscience of Customer Experience

  • 10m
  • Paul J. Zak
  • MIT Sloan Management Review
  • 2022

Thanks to brands like Sephora, Disney, Bass Pro Shops, and American Girl, consumers have come to expect extraordinary experiences — and companies are under increasing pressure to create them.1 Even the pros continue to up their game. Take Starbucks, where it has long been understood that a cafe is much more than a place to get coffee. Starbucks Reserve locations elevate the cafe experience to a new level. Patrons watch green coffee beans being roasted and then brewed onsite, while “mixologists” host coffee tastings and prepare unique cocktails. People can shop for local artwork and gifts with drinks in hand. They can also take tours, eat dinner, and attend classes.

Of course, extraordinary customer experiences are not always upmarket. For instance, low-cost airline Avelo flies only to and from small airports that are easy to navigate. It encourages passengers to check their bags in order to speed up boarding and deplaning, and it has eliminated flight-change fees. Avelo’s focus makes affordable travel easy and comfortable — major upgrades when you consider the treatment that budget-conscious passengers usually get.

About the Author

Paul J. Zak (@pauljzak) is a professor of economic sciences, psychology, and management at Claremont Graduate University. He also founded the neuroscience-as-a-service platform company Immersion Neuroscience. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Immersion: The Science of the Extraordinary and the Source of Happiness (Lioncrest, 2022).

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  • MIT Sloan Management Review Article on The Neuroscience of Customer Experience