Opinion: Do Technicians Need Tips?

Opinion: Do Technicians Need Tips?

Everyone likes to feel appreciated, but will a tip make your techs work any quicker or more precisely?

You have probably seen many more businesses and retailers asking for tips during checkout. It is the screen typically seen before you approve the charge. I started to think about what would happen if shops would try asking for tips when customers picked up their vehicle. 

Asking for tips would probably not have gone over too well with customers in the past or in today’s constantly shifting tipping culture. I think it is a question of how people think technicians are compensated. If you are paying 20% gratuity on a meal, it is understandable. But, technicians and shops provide more than a service, they provide expertise and tools that should be compensated through the number of hours billed, not a tip from the customer. 

I have had a customer slip me a $20 sometimes and it never sat right with me. Would they do that for their doctor or home inspector? It was my job to fix the vehicle right the first time; a tip would not make me work harder or faster.

According to a recent survey by CouponBirds, more than three-quarters of Americans believe tipping culture has gone too far as prompts for gratuities on credit card machines pester consumers in virtually every establishment.

The survey found that about two-thirds of people polled feel pressured to tack on a couple of extra bucks because of “guilt tipping.” Roughly 65% of those guilt tips are purely to avoid awkwardness with staffers who are typically standing right there awaiting a gratuity.

Shops already get some heat over shop supply fees, which can range from 3-5%. Many shops have gotten away from shop supply fees in favor of an accurate accounting of the supplies used during a repair. Asking for a tip would not go over well with the customer.

What if a customer wants to leave a tip? My best advice for them is homemade cookies and a thank you card. This has a greater value to the shop and technician. I can remember every single time a customer dropped off a plate of cookies, brownies or other treat. It really means a lot to the shop. The other tip a customer can leave is a positive review. In today’s digital world, a review can help to attract new customers and boost a shop’s online presence. The ultimate win is putting the plate of cookies on your social media feeds with the review!

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