Center for Sales Excellence & Customer Delight

Customer delight is defined as surprising a customer by exceeding his or her expectations, thus creating a positive emotional reaction. This emotional reaction leads to word-of-mouth communication. In this way, customer delight directly affects the sales and profitability of a company, as it helps to distinguish the company and its products and services from the competition.

Leading Scholar

Photo of Dr. Donald Barnes


Dr. Barnes is actively involved with our Sales Center Partners and was recently awarded the first Hendrick Faculty Fellow in Marketing in support of the Center for Sales Excellence & Customer Delight.


Dr. Barnes currently has the highest number of publications in the academic literature on the topic. His research has included studying the causes and consequences of customer delight from the perspective of the firm, the employee and the customer and has been published in some of the leading marketing journals, including:

  • Journal of Service Research
  • Journal of Business Research
  • Journal of Service Management
  • Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice
  • Cornell Hospitality Quarterly
  • Journal of Services Marketing
  • Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice

Link to Research