So far in Lyft's history, passengers have tipped their Lyft drivers over $100 million in tips. Pretty amazing considering drivers keep 100% of the tips they earn. This got us thinking: What do top drivers do to earn tips? To help us answer this question, we recently caught up with one of our top-tipped drivers, Sarah Buchanan from Nashville.
What do you enjoy most about driving with Lyft?
Every ride is different. I get to meet a lot of people and have funny conversations with them. Connecting and sharing a laugh with my passengers can turn a bad day into a good one.
How do you customize every ride to create a great experience for passengers?
I never assume all my passengers like the same thing. I make little adjustments to make sure every rider enjoys their time in my car.
- Let them play DJ. I ask passengers for their favorite radio station, and change it accordingly.
- Give them climate control. Since I get cold easily, I never take the thermostat for granted. I ask them to let me know if it’s too hot or too cold in the car, so I can adjust the thermostat to match their preference.
- Be their sounding board (or not). First, I read the passenger’s body language. If they’re texting on their phone or giving one-word responses, they might not want to talk. If they’re engaging, I try to get to know them. Generally speaking, people love to talk about themselves.
What advice would you give new drivers who don’t want to miss out on any tip opportunities?
It’s never just one thing you do, it’s a combination of everything you do from the minute you accept a passenger’s ride request until you drop them off.
- Treat every passenger like a big tipper. If you assume a passenger doesn’t tip, you won’t provide great service. And if the passenger feels you aren’t giving them your best, you likely won’t get a tip.
- Show passengers their safety is important to you. Passengers don’t feel safe if you’re holding your phone or it’s on your lap. Invest in a phone mount: Keep both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. Gain your passenger’s trust.
- Have fun. If you’re having a good time, they’re likely to have a good time, too.
What’s one thing drivers should try to avoid?
Try not to get upset if a passenger leaves you a negative comment. Instead, use it as constructive criticism and learn from it. Also keep in mind that requesting tips and ratings will likely make your passenger uncomfortable.
Remember: Passengers choose Lyft because of the experience you create, and every 5-star ride gives you an opportunity to earn a tip. Thanks to Sarah and all the Lyft drivers who go above and beyond every day to make sure our passengers enjoy each ride.
And if you’d like to share any additional dos and don’ts, please send them our way at firstname.lastname@example.org.