We all know that Uber and Lyft are doing everything possible to pay drivers as little as possible. We are no longer paid based on time and distance.
We are now in the time of black box algorithm upfront pricing and are no longer offered multiplier surge. Instead, we have penny surge, which in my market of Sacramento rarely gets over $5 a ride.
One thing that we still have under our control is tips, luckily, drivers get 100% of tips.
In this article, I will share an experiment I conducted recently to increase the percentage of tips I earned, and it worked!
Besides bonuses, the biggest determinant of your revenue is tips. Can a reminder sign impact tips, positively?
I made two signs, the first sign I designed to entertain my passengers, the second reminds them that I appreciate tips.
I used Photoshop to create the signs, and the first sign does not even mention tips. Instead, I thought offering my passengers a chuckle would be nice.
The second sign goes for the jugular. I wanted to let my passengers know that I love tips, I appreciate tips, I never expect tips, and I have a daughter in medical school who gets all the proceeds from tips.
I put the files on a thumb drive to bring to a print shop. I went to a Fed-Ex store and printed the signs. Next, I laminated the signs and added a few hole punches. I used a little bit of green gardening wire to affix the signs to the back of my car’s headrests.
Fear of The Unknown
I put the tip sign with my daughter’s image on the right side of the car since that is where most passengers sit.
As I installed the signs, I questioned whether this was a good idea. Would my passenger think I was being too forward? Could these sign work against me and turn passengers off?
Ultimately, I decided to give it a weekend, if it did not work, then I could remove the signs. I walked into this experiment hesitantly.
How Much I Made in Tips
Weekend with No Tip Signs
The prior weekend, I generated $105 in tips. I also generated $245 in promotions and bonuses. I will use my revenue, less tips, and less bonuses to determine my tip percentage.
Weekend with Tip Signs
This week I generated $149 in tips and $208 in bonuses. The question is, did the signs work?
As I crunched the numbers, I was excited to see the results:
- Weekend with No Tip Signs: Last weekend I generated tips at 15% of net revenue (revenue less tips and bonus/promotions).
- Weekend with Tip Signs: This weekend, I increased my tips to 18% of net revenue. 🎉
The thing I did not expect was how these signs would be conversation starters.
I talked to one passenger about how I often take people to dialysis, then we started to talk about kidneys, then he said that people pay a lot of money for a kidney.
That lead to him saying,
“You know, Jay, you could sell one of your kidneys and use the money for Paulina’s medical school.”
I laughed out loud. 😂
A few other passengers confirmed that Paulina was my daughter. A few passengers mentioned medical school, which led to longer conversations about how difficult it is to become a doctor.
Unfortunately, not one passenger mentioned the Far Side cartoon, and it is my favorite!
Overall, I was very pleased with the results of my little experiment. More than the increase in tips, I enjoyed the additional conversations due to the signs.
I will definitely keep the signs up for next weekend. More money and stimulating conversations are a wonderful combination of benefits.
It did not take much work on my end. A little ingenuity and, voila, a nice little payoff.
Be safe out there.