Sometimes when I go out to eat, I will keep score on the waiter’s or waitress’s performance. They start out with a baseline of 10% and can earn or lose 1% at a time for extra good or poor service.

Today the waitress finished with 6%. Nothing remarkable happened that might have earned her extra percentage points. And she did four things to lose points:

  1. Lunch menu entrees can come with bread, soup or salad. I ordered a salad, and she didn’t tell me that the entree that I ordered already included a salad. So I ended up with two salads (if I had known, I would have ordered something different). 1% off.
  2. We finished out drinks and I asked her: “Can we please have some water”. So she brought on cup of water for me, and none for my wife. 1% off.
  3. After we finished eating and she cleared off our plates, didn’t ask if we wanted anything else. We said that we were done, but she waited at least six minutes to bring us the check (and there wasn’t much going on at the time). 1% off.
  4. The restaurant has these tiny little tasty candies that they give out to patrons when they are leaving. She didn’t bring us any (I took on my own). 1% off.

No matter what type of service you are trying to provide to your client, it is often the very small details that can end up creating a positive or negative impression (and can often end up costing you).