Psychology Tip to Help You Get More Tips

MichaelUncategorized1 Comment

Do you have a tip jar at work? Here’s one way to use a little psychology to increase the likelihood that customers will put a little money in there:

  • Set out not one but two tip jars
  • Label the jars with two competing themes

Okay, so what do I mean by “competing themes”? What you want to do is to motivate people to drop in a little (or a lot of course) money by tapping into their social identities. For example, if you know that there is a natural rivalry between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox (and especially if there is a game between them coming up), label one tip jar Yankees and the other Red Sox (or better yet, print out an image of their logos and tape them to the jars). People want their team to win. It makes us feel good. Here are some examples…

You could use other themes like “Star Wars vs. Star Trek”, “Pepsi vs. Coke”, “Paris vs. New York”, etc. Use whatever you think might get your paricular customers stirred up.

The other reason this approach works is that it taps into our natural tendency toward competition. This is one of the reasons we love games. Most of us like to compete (especially a little “harmless” competition) and we like to win. Make sure then to tell your customers which jar “won”.

So give it a try. This is certainly better than putting a sign like this above your jar (which I saw recently at a coffee shop): “TIPS = To Insure Proper Service”. That may be what TIPS stands for, but it sounds more like a vague threat or a ransom – i.e., your service is going stink if you don’t leave a tip.

Try a more fun and motivating way to coax a little money out of your patrons for your good service.

More info on the psychology of tipping can be found in episode 78: The Psychology of Tipping and related info can be found on my episode on fundraising: Episode 204: The Psychology of Fundraising.

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