Ride-hailing has traditionally been a tipping industry. When you took a ride in a taxi you were expected to tip your driver. Then, Uber stepped into the game and put an end to this expectation. From the very beginning, Uber promoted itself for offering a cashless experience to riders. All payments could be completed through the app, yet the app failed to include a way for riders to tip their driver. The company claimed that tips were already calculated and added to the driver’s fare (although most drivers would argue that this was not the case).
At first, this helped Uber gain traction over cabs. Riders liked that cash tipping was not part of the equation. Even though riders were pleased, quite the opposite was true for Uber drivers. Especially when rivals such as Lyft released an in-app tipping feature, which started to win over frustrated Uber drivers. In order to stay on top of the game, Uber announced that they would finally be adding a tipping feature to their app.
According to The Verge, the Uber tipping feature will debut in three cities (Seattle, Minneapolis, and Houston) and will be extended to the rest of Uber’s American service areas by the end of July. The Uber tipping feature gives passengers the opportunity to tip their driver after a ride with either a pre-determined amount of $1, $3, or $5, or they can choose to enter a custom amount.
Since Uber has trained customers for almost a decade that tipping is optional and maybe not even necessary, what can you do to start bringing in those tips and increasing your earnings? The new Uber tipping feature opens up the door for all rideshare drivers to start thinking about ways to increase tip earnings. To get you started, we have gathered some of the secrets we’ve learned from drivers and experts on how you can start increasing your tip earnings regardless of which TNC you drive for.
1. Change your mindset
By clicking on this post, we know that you’re interested in how to increase your tip earnings so that you can maximize your income as a rideshare driver. A simple way to accomplish this is by changing your mindset, meaning instead of thinking about driving as a job start thinking about it as a business.
HyreCar suggests that the question to ask yourself should not be “How do I make more money,” it should be “How do I run a better business?” By changing your mindset, you’ll start considering and planning for how you can make money come in longer, more often, and in bigger numbers. The ideas below will go further into detail on how you can start running a better business and how you can set yourself apart from your competitors.
2. Anticipate your passenger’s needs
Whether your passengers are tipping through an app or handing you cash, you may notice that you’re often only receiving a few bucks, if that. According to Psychology Today, customers only tip the minimum because they feel obligated by social norms. However, customers will tip more if they like the people who serve them.
It goes without saying that your passengers will be more inclined to like you (and tip you) if you always remain friendly and courteous. Smile, introduce yourself by name, and exchange the typical pleasantries when your passenger enters the car. However, be sure to look for cues that might suggest he or she may need some quiet time during the ride. On the other hand, if your conversation begins to flow easily, stay engaged in conversation with your passenger. Understanding the level of interaction that your passenger needs is important so that you don’t offend or bother them, which could deter them from leaving a tip.
Another way you can anticipate your passenger’s needs is by creating a comfortable environment. In fact, Psychology Today says that “the key to receiving higher tips is to create an environment that predisposes customers to be more generous.” A comfortable environment starts with keeping your vehicle clean and organized. Offer water bottles and snacks. Plus, you can almost guarantee that an airport passenger who has just spent the whole day travelling is going to love you if they find an extra phone charger in your car. It’s the small details that encourage your customers’ delight and increase your tip earnings.
3. Add a sign
Even with the new Uber tipping feature and other in-app tipping features, adding a sign asking for tips can help to increase your tip earnings. The Rideshare Guy explained that many drivers are a little bit shy about using a tip sign because they fear that it will affect their ratings. However, many experienced drivers that have added tip signs say that it has not negatively impacted their rating. Of course, you should always make sure your sign politely solicits tips. Remind customers that tips are not required, but they are always appreciated.
Keep in mind, though, that if you’re going to ask for tips, you should provide a level of service or amenities that other drivers aren’t. As mentioned above, this improves your likeability and will help you stand out from the pack.
4. Don’t act entitled
Even though the new Uber tipping feature gives riders the opportunity to tip their driver, it doesn’t mean that tips are required. If your passenger starts talking to you about tips, The Rideshare Guy reminds drivers that it’s important not to seemed entitled to receiving a tip. Once again, if your goal is to increase your tip earnings, you have to offer value to your passengers. Going above and beyond your passenger’s expectation of just getting from point A to point B will increase your likelihood of receiving a nice tip.
With the announcement of the Uber tipping feature on everyone’s mind, it’s more important than ever for drivers to implement new ways to start bringing in tips. As always, our goal at Gridwise is to help increase your performance on the road by providing recommendations like these as well as all of the resources and features in our app. Download the app now to see everything it can offer you as a rideshare driver!