(originally published August 3rd, 2005)

Last Friday night, my wife and I went to dinner with a good friend of mine from college. The waitress we had on this night was outstanding. Every time someone’s glass was close to empty, there was suddenly a full glass whatever sitting right next to it. He seemed to be reading our minds throughout the night, bringing more bread, butter, knowing when we wanted something extra, or knowing when you might need her for anything. At the end of our meal, I picked up the check saw with the amount was, and gave her a $20 tip; don’t tell my wife. She was surprised, and I told her that she was one of the best waitresses I had ever had.

Sometimes it’s hard for us to define just what it is we believe good customer service is. In a sense, good customer service is being willing to go that extra step, that extra mile, in hopes of earning a $20 tip, so to speak. That $20 may manifest itself in many different ways, such as praise, repeat business, promotions, a raise, or many other things. Nobody he is anyone anything for free; in some way, we all earn whatever it is that we get.

So, when was the last time you or your company earned a $20 tip?