The Satisfaction Formula – Think Things Through

In this post, authors Dave Sweet and Jayna Sweet explore the importance of THINKING THINGS THROUGH when it comes to the customer service experience.

When was the last time you stepped away from the noise of daily operations and got really quiet? When was the last time you had the chance to think through the complete journey your customers have with you and your business?

Chances are, it’s been a hot second. Silence is a powerful tool. Often we can pause, rest in silence, and tap into silence (think meditation), that’s when true clarity comes. While we aren’t strictly talking about meditation here, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, found that only 14.2% of American adults said they had meditated within the past year—and that’s actually a huge leap from what it was a few years ago.

In America, we tend to be obsessed with busyness. In fact, a Harvard Business Review study from 2016 found that we associate extreme busyness with status and success—as opposed to Italian participants who seemed to associate leisure with status and success. So, it’s not surprising that we struggle to take the time to get quiet, relax, and clear our minds.

Perhaps there is a misconception that clearing your mind is a waste of time; that in doing so, you may let go of important deadlines, meetings, and relationships—or that the time it takes to get to that “zen” head space could be used more productively. The logic makes sense. The phrase clear your mind could sound a bit like forget. And, with our increasingly connected, busy, multi-tasked lives, it can feel overwhelming to take time away from accomplishing tasks to just sit.

But that logic may be a bit backwards.

How can we expect to solve problems, pay close attention to detail and serve our customers when our minds are full of noise and chatter? Clearing your mind is really a productive use of time. If we can get quiet, stop checking email, minimize screen time, and listen, we’re going to be happier—and, yes, more productive in the long run.

As you probably guessed from the title of this section, we think it’s vital to thoroughly think things through. That means to look at things from every angle with “big-picture” glasses on, and considering every step that needs to happen. In order to do that, you have to get your brain quiet enough to stay out of your own way.

Now, let’s talk about what this “think things through” concept is about.

It seems pretty self-explanatory, right? That as a leader, service worker, or business owner—you should always think things through? However, so many of us don’t really own that. You must look at the two sides of your business. Employees and customers. You must think things through from both of those perspectives. On the employee side, ask yourself, “What’s going to keep them inspired, motivated, and customer-centric?” On the client side, ask yourself, “What’s going to get them in, what’s going to keep them coming back, and what’s going to lead them to send others to you? How can you create a culture to foster and embody these things?”  Some of us only think things through from one of those perspectives (typically the customer side), and many of us don’t think about either of these perspectives.

It’s vital to think about everything that goes on inside your business and customer experience. A great illustration is—as oft referred to in conversations about customer service—Disney. Every Cast Member there is prepared (dare-we-say trained) to answer one specific question: “Where’s the bathroom?” That’s the number one question asked of Disney Cast Members. It would be easy for them to not think about this. They likely have other important things to think about—like security for the characters, bringing children and families joy, and parades—so why would they care about the bathrooms? Why would every Disney Cast Member know exactly where the nearest restrooms are at any given time? Why would that be a priority? Because things were thoroughly thought through. They know how large their parks are. They thought about the different things that patrons may be thinking, wondering, or needing during the course of their stay. And, naturally, what’s something everyone is going to need to know at some point during their visit? Where the bathroom is.
They thought (and think) things through.


Angelica LaVito, “More Americans are meditating than ever before, as mindfulness goes mainstream,” November 8, 2018.

Sylvia Bellezza, Neeru Paharia, and Anat Keinan, Harvard Business Review, “Research: Why Americans Are Impressed by Busyness,” December 15, 2016.

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!