5. Customers: Healing vs. Hucksterism

We do not lack for ideas on how to keep customers coming back: Delight your customers. Exceed their expectations. Listen to what they say. Give them what they want. In the end, keeping customers coming back again and again boils down to the “wow” index of their experiences. How they feel usually has more binding power than how they think. Customer loyalty is like love: It grows not from reason but from the heart.

Heart is not a word that is often heard in business schools. But heart—a symbol of empathy, love, nurturing, caring, giving—has recently made a quantum leap and landed smack dab in the middle of mainstream business consciousness. It’s okay now to talk about love in the office—in a Platonic sense, ...

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