The futurist: DNA and customer experience

The futurist: DNA and customer experience

For those of you who have read our book “Customer Experience: Future trends and Insights” will know that I spend a bit of time thinking about the coming future of neurologically modulated customer experience which I refer to generally as Neuroexperience”. In the book I define Neuroexperience as “the experience the customer has at the neuro-anatomical, -physical, -chemical and -physiological levels. This experience often occurs subconsciously and is the result of an interaction/s between an organisation and a customer.” Neuroexperience is still a way off from becoming practical for most businesses but it is indeed the future.

So it piqued my interest when I saw report of a study on how junk DNA shapes social behaviour. The basic idea is that if you think of your DNA as a long chain of info, a large portion of that chain is like filler (ie, non functional). Scientists actually refer to it as junk DNA. Of course, it really means that we do not yet know the purpose of it. It turns out that researchers at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia found that prairie voles which were bred to have the longer version of junk DNA had a particular brain structure known to produce more social and parental behaviour than those with the shorter version.

Also consider that the mapping of our DNA is becoming economical to do. Partial mapping is possible now and only costs a couple of hundred pounds or dollars. I recently had my own DNA mapped just for my own knowledge. My point is that more and more people will begin to do this and that means the info will be stored in databases somewhere. Of course there will be lots of debate about privacy ethics and all that but one thing is for sure as society progresses, our notion of privacy changes right along with it. By the time DNA testing and mapping are second nature, we will have accepted that there are DNA databases just as we have accepted that Facebook, Google and Amazon and almost every big B2C business holds tons of behavioural data on us.

So what does this have to do with the price of tea in China? Well, when you pair a deeper understanding of our individual DNA and its potential to predict behaviour with lots of people (customers) having that info captured and stored, you have a potential goldmine.

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