I could hear the astonishment in her voice even over the phone. “I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a thank-you note from anyone after giving them a tip,” she said. “So I just had to call and let you know!”
Our crack team of movers had delivered some furniture to her home a few days earlier. Some of the pieces were pretty big. FCG’s guys had wrestled them into her small condo without scratching the furniture or nicking the trim of her door. To make room for the new stuff, they even moved a couple of other pieces upstairs for her.
Grateful, her husband tucked some money into an envelope and handed it to the movers. Because they were a hurry to make their next delivery, the guys hadn’t even peeked into the envelope. Later, when they did, they were surprised – and pretty darn happy – to find a generous tip. Unable to thank the couple in person, one of the movers decided to write a note.
That’s the kind of white-glove service that makes me proud of our team. They went above and beyond that day. We trust our movers to make these kinds of decisions. If they have time and the request is reasonable, they’ll try to accommodate the customer. That day, they earned that tip.
Sometimes, it seems to me that some other businesses have gotten confused about the point of tipping.
Last week, I bought some beer from my favorite craft brewery. A young man at the counter rang up the sale, flipping the tablet around for me to approve the charge. Before I could scribble my signature, I was confronted with a request on the screen. How much did I wanted to tip: 10%, 15%, 20%?
At the bottom of the screen, in letters so tiny you needed a jeweler’s loupe to see them, there was another option: no tip.
Are you kidding me? I hadn’t even gotten my beer yet. And a four-pack didn’t require any heavy lifting. What a dilemma! Would I be penalized for being a cheapskate? The guy at the counter seemed nonchalant, but what if he held a grudge? Would I get last week’s leftovers instead of the delicious fresh stuff reserved for the big spenders?
Of course, it’s no crime to ask for a tip. But, seriously, is it appropriate? I hit “no tip,” but I felt like a grinch for doing it.
I am a fan of rewarding superior service. And I’m proud of our guys who work hard to deliver your furniture with the greatest care in winter snow and summer heat. They may never ask, but they’re always grateful for your appreciation whether it’s a bottle of water or a few bucks in an envelope.