One of the best feelings you can have as a rideshare driver is opening up your driver summary and seeing those big tips. A lot of people have their own methods to scoring the big tips but I wanted to share what I do.
1. Don’t Ask for It
Every passenger that gets into your car knows how tipping works. For drivers, no matter what you do or how nice you are, there are always going to be people that won’t tip. Forget about those guys, you want to focus on the people who do tip. The one thing that turns me off most as a passenger is when drivers ask for five star ratings or remind me to give them a tip if they liked the service. Dude I know I’m supposed to tip, you don’t have to tell me!
2. Make it Easy to Accept Tips
One of the big problems with the Lyft app is the tipping feature, nobody can figure it out! I’ve had people ask me how to tip and I’ve even had one guy show me that he tipped me but then I never got the tip. I think he forgot to confirm the tip or something like that. As drivers, we can’t do much about the functionality of the app but we can do everything in our power to help riders figure out how to tip.
Once in a while you’ll get a rider who wants to tip in cash and personally, I have no problem with that. Until Lyft figures out a better way to give tips, I’ll take cash and say thanks. I’ll pretty much accept anything, I’ve even had a passenger buy me a beer once we got to our destination.
3. Be Yourself
If you’re out driving for tips, you’re probably going to be sorely disappointed at the end of the night. Don’t try to be someone you’re not in order to impress a passenger or make them like you more. Just be yourself and when you make a connection, you’re a lot more likely to be rewarded.
4. Go Out of Your Way
The big reason why I started taking Lyft and Uber was because the drivers were a lot nicer than most taxi drivers. I rarely took a taxi before because the drivers were rude, didn’t accept credit cards and just went out of their way to make things miserable for you. That’s not a good business model for an industry that is all about customer service. It’s also probably why they are floundering at the way side while Uber, Lyft and Sidecar are taking off.
So with that in mind, treat your passengers like they are one of your own children. If they need a few minutes to get ready, tell them to take their time. If you hear them talking about making a pit stop to pick up a six pack, offer to drive them to the store and wait for them. Little things like that may cost you a few bucks in the short term but over the long term that passenger will remember an experience like that. If in doubt, just give them the pickle!
5. Don’t Be in a Hurry
Passengers aren’t stupid. They can tell when drivers are irritated, flustered or hurried. Unless the passenger tells you they’re in a hurry, drive the speed limit, obey all traffic laws and focus on your passenger. Don’t worry about your next passenger, worry about your current one.
6. Provide Extras
If you want to get better tips than the average driver, you need to go above and beyond what the average driver does. I carry water, gum and mints in my car at all times but sometimes I’ll throw in little unique extras like mini bottles of Purell or holiday themed candy. Not only does this make for a more enjoyable ride but it also makes you stand out compared to your peers.
7. Be Unique
Along the lines of tip #6, I think being unique is one of the best ways to get bigger tips. A lot of drivers out there are nice and courteous but they don’t stand out. Some of the most fun rides I’ve had as a passenger were with unique drivers. I still remember a ride I took a year or two ago with a guy named Mohammed who called himself the party cab. He had lots of lights and music and it was one of the most fun rides I’ve ever taken. And I’m pretty sure I gave him a massive tip! I was kind of wasted though, so I don’t quite remember 🙂
You don’t have to go to that extreme but think about what other drivers are doing and do something different.
8. Show Interest in Your Passenger
I love having conversations with my passenger but it’s important to remember that the ride isn’t all about you. Instead of clamoring on about why you love driving for Lyft or Uber, ask the passenger what they do and get to know them a little bit.
9. Get Married
Ok this is something I’m still testing out but another Lyft driver told me that he always mentions to his passengers that he’s getting married so he needs the extra money haha! I think that’s pretty funny and since I’m getting married this summer I might have to try it out. You non-married folk might be thinking this sounds a little cheesy but weddings are damn expensive!
10. Just Show Them How to Tip
If you are really looking for bigger tips, then why beat around the bush? Ask them if they need any help with payment or tipping once the ride is over. I don’t use this strategy myself but I know there are many out there who do it. A less intrusive method could be a small index card taped to the back of the seat that has detailed instructions on how to add a tip.
So readers, what do you think about my top ten ways to get a bigger tip? Is there anything I missed on or that you would or wouldn’t do?
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