Increase Tips | Gamification Example

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Increase Tips

Tip Jar

People are more likely to give money when they don’t feel obliged to do so. But rather, are doing it just for fun. In this photo, they were able to engage customers to give tips by asking a harmless question. Would you rather ride a dragon or a phoenix? People will often give their opinion when compelled to do so.

It gets confusing at times, whether or not you should leave a tip for a waiter or barista – and the next logical question is: how much is the appropriate amount?

Let’s face it, for those in the hospitality industry — like servers, drivers and guides, more often than not, they are not paid enough to make ends meet.  And that little tip to show that you appreciated the service can go a long way.

The average tipping rate for server is 20%, for bartender it’s at 15%, for buffet it’s 10%, for take-out it’s at 5%, while the fast food crew usually gets none.

However, it is surprising to note that as a nation, Americans give tips amounting to over $16 billion dollars a year.

1 in every 8 customer would tip less than 10%, while 1 in 20 would give more than 20%.  But the most common one is a tip of about 15%.  So, on the average, American give tips of about 17.5%.

A lot of advice has been given in order to entice the customer to give higher tips.  Like a simple gesture as touching a customer’s shoulder during a meal or showing that you’re intently listening to what the he is saying when you take their orders.  Being at the customer’s beck and call is more likely to give a waiter a fairer chance at getting a higher tip as well.

But what if we infuse some humor, or maybe a little bit of a fun to encourage those customers to shell out some more?

Leaving out games or puzzles, even mind games and other activities – anything that will make a customer linger longer than usual in your shop with their coffee, is one sure-fire way to keep your customer engaged, and thus, wouldn’t mind leaving some token of appreciation in the form of a tip, especially since they had fun. If you can tie those games to tipping, even better!

Developing customer loyalty programs that enables the customer to reach different ranks whenever a number of purchases is made, and enabling them to get rewards or freebies will most likely keep them coming back for more.

Let’s take the case of Starbucks, one of the most successful companies when it comes to fostering customer loyalty.

Starbucks Loyalty card proves to be a hit for all its customers. Enrolment is free.  Customers can load any amount on the gift card and start collecting stars for every purchase that they make through the card.

The more stars they get, the bigger the rewards are.  Aside from that, since you use the card to make your purchase, it makes a customer feel that he’s not really shelling out money.

And lest we forget, every Christmas season, many coffee lovers get the Starbucks Christmas Traditions Promo card.  This can be availed without any purchase.  And this is where the fun part starts.

They need to accumulate a certain number of stickers by buying Starbucks beverages.  And the reward: a Limited Edition Starbucks planner that you can actually get for free.

Come to think of it, if we do the math, the cost of one planner can prove to be cheaper than having to consume all those coffee just to get all the required number of stamps.

But year in and year out, customers continue to do this Starbucks Christmas tradition just for the sake of having a planner that they can brag about. Gamification in its simplest form.

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