The Satisfaction Formula: P – E = S

The Satisfaction Formula is here!

If you were with us last week, we teased you a little by sharing The Satisfaction Formula:  P – E = S.  But, we didn’t tell you what each of the letters represent. When you purchase and read our book, you will gain a keen understanding of the makeup of The Satisfaction Formula.  In the meantime, in order to provide context for future posts, we are now compelled to break it down for you.

First, we need to define the letter “E” – because it is the foundation for everything. So, the E represents the customer’s EXPECTATION. What does the customer expect to have happen when they interact with us? And, when you’re the customer, what do you expect to have happen? Everything we will discuss revolves around meeting and exceeding expectations – and the price we pay when we don’t.

Now, what do you think the “P” in the above equation stands for? Well, if we are trying to satisfy customers (or even other people like our family, friends, or anyone we are trying to take care of), it doesn’t matter what we think. Rather, it matters what they think about what we do. With that thought in mind, we then move to “P,” which stands for PERCEPTION. We must assess the customer’s PERCEPTION of what he or she is experiencing, and then compare that to his or her EXPECTATION.

Finally, you can probably guess that the “S” here represents SATISFACTION (hence The Satisfaction Formula). So, putting this all together, you measure the customer’s PERCEPTION (of his or her experience) minus the customer’s EXPECTATION (of what he or she believes will or should happen), and we are able to determine and quantify his or her level of SATISFACTION.

We like to put things on a scale from 1-10. When a customer visits your place of business and, based on previous experiences or trusted referrals, expects a 7 experience, you better hope that’s how they perceive their experience. But, what if they perceive that their experience only rated a 5? Plug those numbers into the formula: 5 – 7 = -2. Anytime the perception is less than expectation, the customer would be dissatisfied. On the flip side, if they perceive their experience to be a 9, and we plug that into the formula, it looks like this: 9 – 7 = +2. That customer is not only satisfied, but delighted – and engaged.   And that’s what embracing The Satisfaction Formula (and the content of our book) will help you achieve every single time.

Check back with us next week and we’ll tell you about the concept of “+1”.

About the Authors

Dave Sweet, President of Phoenix, AZ-based automätik is an alumnus of THE Ohio State University.  Dave began his professional career with Caterpillar and Ford Motor Co., and in 1990, he linked up with J.D. Power & Associates to serve as a consultant, facilitator, and instructional designer. His experience led him to start automätik, a company Dave and his wife Kathy have grown from a two-person consultancy into a full-service Tier One international training and events firm with a mission to eradicate boring training from the face of the Earth. For nearly three decades, automätik has helped some of the most prestigious consumer brands in the world elevate their internal training and corporate events, including Toyota, Jaguar Land Rover, BMW/MINI, Sub-Zero and Wolf, and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
As the daughter of Dave and Kathy, Jayna Sweet has been around customer service her entire life. An actress and writer with experience as a barista, dog walker, call center representative, and communications designer, Jayna lives smack-in-the-middle of the two biggest generations – Millennial and Gen Z – and provides a truly unique perspective on customer service.

Learn More

Interested in learning more and purchasing the book? Check out The Satisfaction Formula’s website and come back next week to learn the importance of SMILING!