The First Law of Service
The first of these is what I have come to call “The First Law of Science is simple, but powerful, and can be stated as a straightforward formula:
S = P – E.
In this formulation, ‘S’ stands for satisfaction, ‘P’ for perception and ‘E’ for expectation. If you expect a certain level of service, and perceive the service reviewed to be higher, you are a satisfied client. If you perceive the same level as before, but expected higher, you are disappointed and, consequently, a dissatisfied client.
The point, of course, is that both the perception and the expectation are psychological phenomena. They are not the reality. In a benevolent world, both the perception and the expectation will have some connection to reality, but they are not reality. Accordingly, all service managers must pay attention to three things: what was actually done to or for the client, what was perceived by the client, and what the client expected. Fortunately, all three can be managed.