Going digital? Here’s how to keep the tips coming

The age-long practice of tipping seems to be waning. A survey suggests that in 2023, fewer Americans will be willing to give tips than in the past. Of course, this reluctance can be adduced to several reasons, with the incursion of online and contactless payments among the top reasons.

The truth is, it is easier to give tips when you’re making cash payments.

But again, we all love to make an extra dollar through tips, so how do we approach the situation?

Asking for a tip can be a tricky thing to navigate, whether you're an independent professional, a freelancer, or a small business owner. It's important to approach the subject tactfully, ensuring that you don't come across as pushy or entitled.

In this article, Workee experts will share some practical tips on how to ask for a tip gracefully while keeping in mind the etiquette involved in the process.

Here’s how to keep the tips coming even with contactless payments

In today's digital era, contactless payments have become increasingly popular, offering convenience and speed for both customers and businesses alike. With the transition to contactless payments, tipping etiquette has also evolved. As a service provider, it's important to navigate this new landscape tactfully. Here’s how you can keep the tips coming.

  1. Provide stellar service

The foundation of earning a tip starts with delivering exceptional service. In fact, a study on tipping norms declared that excellent service is a major motivation for tipping. Clients who are satisfied are happy to give gifts.

Always remember that outstanding customer service often leads to higher gratuities. By going above and beyond to meet customers' needs and expectations, you create an environment where they feel more inclined to show appreciation through a tip.

1. Exude gratitude

Expressing gratitude is key to cultivating a positive rapport with customers. When presenting the contactless payment device, accompany it with a warm smile and a genuine "Thank you for choosing our service." This simple gesture acknowledges their support and encourages a reciprocal response. A little appreciation can go a long way in increasing the likelihood of receiving a tip.

2. Implement subtle signage 

Incorporating discreet signage near your payment area can serve as a gentle reminder to customers about tipping. For instance, you could place a small sign saying, "Tips are greatly appreciated." Ensure the signage is tastefully designed and unobtrusive so as not to make customers feel pressured or uncomfortable.

3. Set the right tone

When transitioning to contactless payments, it's crucial to set the right tone from the beginning. Greeting the customer with a warm smile and genuine enthusiasm can go a long way in establishing a positive rapport. Begin by thanking them for their patronage, making them feel valued and appreciated.

4. Highlight the option

Once the payment process begins, ensure that your contactless payment system clearly indicates the option to add a tip. Whether it's a point-of-sale terminal or a mobile payment app, ensure the tipping feature is easily visible and accessible to the customer. Using a simple icon or a brief message like "Add a Tip?" can subtly draw their attention to the option.

4. Timing is key

Timing is vital when asking for a tip during contactless payment transactions. Rather than presenting the tipping option too early in the process, it's advisable to wait until the transaction is nearly complete. Presenting the tip option prematurely might come across as pushy or inconsiderate. Instead, wait until the customer has reviewed the payment details before subtly introducing the possibility of adding a tip.

5. Ask for tips with discretion

While asking for a tip is part of the service industry's customary practices, it's important to remember that tipping remains discretionary. Reiterate to customers that tipping is optional, ensuring they don't feel obligated or pressured to leave a gratuity. Make it clear that their satisfaction as a customer is what matters most, regardless of whether they choose to add a tip.

How to ask for tips politely

Whether you’ve implemented contactless payment or you offer services online, or you have a walk-in office, the tips we’ll be sharing strategies on how to ask for tips without asking. Let’s roll

1. Be honest and grateful when asking for tips

It's important to be honest, and genuine. Let your customers know that tips are important to your income and that you appreciate their generosity. Use phrases like "If you enjoyed your experience today, a tip would be greatly appreciated" or "I really appreciate your business, and any extra support through tips helps me continue to provide great service."

2. Personalize the client experience

Even though you offer the same service, you must understand that not every two clients are the same. They may require the same service but a different approach. In essence, don’t treat every client as just “clients”; you should personalize their experience and relate with every client from n individual perspective. For example, call them by their first names, compliment them, and show some genuine care about their concerns. 

If you're able to connect with your customers on a personal level, you can increase your chances of receiving a tip. Just so you know, a Forrester study observed that 77% of clients would pay more and are more loyal to brands that offer personalized experiences.

3. Engage with humor

A little bit of humor can go a long way when asking for tips. You could try saying something like, "If you thought I was great, the tip jar thinks I'm even better," or "Tipping is like a high five, but with money." Just be sure to keep it light and fun - you don't want to come across as pushy or aggressive.

4. Be kind and resourceful

Sometimes going beyond your job description motivates people to give tips even without you asking. Surprise your customers with small acts of kindness that go beyond their expectations. It could be anything from providing an extra discount to offering a complimentary service. Such gestures often result in customers reciprocating with generous tips.

5. Create a fun display 

If you have a walk-in office or outlet, you could create a fun and visually appealing display for your tip jar. For example, you could decorate the jar with bright colors, add some catchy phrases or slogans, or even incorporate some sort of game or activity. This can help draw attention to your tip jar and encourage customers to leave a little extra.


Remember, asking for a tip should never be pushy or aggressive. Instead, focus on providing exceptional service, enhancing the client experience, and gently reminding your customers that tips are appreciated. With a bit of tact and finesse, you can increase your tip earnings without alienating your customers.

Ihor, CEO at Workee

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