Archives for posts with tag: tips

You are? Thank goodness for that. But does your website need to say it?

Next time you have 5 minutes to spare, do what I do: play The Professionals. It’s a game entirely of my own devising and not related in any way to the bubble-permed TV show of the 1970s.

This is a game where you trawl the websites of lawyers, accountants, dentists, architects, engineers and anyone else who’s fearsomely qualified, and count the number of times they use the word ‘professional’.

Stating the obvious

Some things we can all just take as read. If you’re a member of the above professions, we know you’re a professional – and saying it doesn’t make it any more real. It’s not as if you’re competing against any amateur lawyers or dentists, is it?

Show not tell

I’m not suggesting we all stop extolling our credentials. It’s just that ‘professionalism’ is as intangible as ‘friendliness’. It’s for others to judge through their experience of knowing you or working with you. Saying “I am friendly” won’t convince anyone you are – although it might convince them to edge just a little bit further away.

It’s the same with professionalism. You show it. Online or in print, your professionalism is demonstrated by your portfolio, your testimonials, your qualifications and case studies. It’s a jigsaw of evidence that creates an image in the mind of the reader – and you can’t subvert that process by simply saying “I am/we are professional.”

So save the space. Banish that word, and let the evidence do the heavy lifting of convincing your clients that you are who you say you are.

After all, you can trust me. I’m a professional writer.

Happy Mike is a Happy – and happy – copywriter. He’s a member of the Professional Copywriters’ Network and the Society of Authors. He writes words that accompany Happy Creative’s smashing designs.

I recently spent a much anticipated day with my daughter with a planned afternoon in Cheshire Oaks. We hastily headed to Pizza Express for some much needed sustenance (having eaten a frugal breakfast) before heading on to the retail outlets. The question arose at the time of payment about whether we would leave a tip, with the waiter pointing out two different coloured buttons on the credit card machine which indicated yes or no. Whilst he hovered patiently at our side, I felt compelled to press the green button to include a tip but eventually pressed the yellow button for “no”. My reason for this was that though the meal had been enjoyable and tasty, we hadn’t received exclusive waiter service and had needed to request cutlery and then side plates for our starters. We eventually decided upon leaving a 15% cash gratuity of our own accord.  I think we left the tip because we felt it was expected and we didn’t want to feel mean, it certainly wasn’t for excellent customer service.

Interestingly, that evening,  I read an article about the renowned multi-millionaire rapper and music producer Jay-Z, who recently  left a $50,000 tip for waiters at the release party for his ‘Watch the Throne’ album at Miami’s Fontainebleau resort. My humble gratuity offered at “Pizza Express” really  pales in comparison to this display of ostentatiousness! Apparently, the ‘Otis’ rapper – who teamed up with Kanye West on the new record, spent a grand total of $250,000 on champagne alone at the party. Further reports indicate that at one point during the celebration, four muscle-bound men reportedly carried in a golden ice bucket holding 20 bottles of Armand de Brignac “Ace of Spades” champagne, a prestige champagne, rated the best in the world.

A witness to the celebrations is alleged to have exclaimed: “It takes two people to serve the champagne due to the size and weight of the bottle alone !”

Unfortunately, neither Jay-Z’s wife, Beyonce Knowles, nor Kanye, who collaborated on the album could appear at the party and therefore enjoy the lovely bubbly as the former was performing in New York and the latter was out of the country.

I don’t know if this is the highest tip ever left at a restaurant but other celebrities have similarly shown their gratitude in the form of a generous tip. Earlier this year, Johnny Depp thrilled staff at a British pub when he left $1,150 in tips, and in February actor Brendan Fraser left a $60 tip after getting a $16 pedicure!

Jessica Simpson is also known for her generosity, leaving a $300 tip for the $500 bill at New York Italian restaurant Lavo, accompanied by a note to her waitress, which read: “You were amazing and make this world a better place, Love Jess.” I wonder what the waitress thought when she was handed that at the end of her shift?

 A tip or gratuity (according to Wikipedia) is a voluntary extra payment in addition to the advertised price of a transaction and that such payments and their size are a matter of social custom and are made at the discretion of the patron. In a restaurant environment, good customer service is often rewarded with a small gratuity. Throughout the course of the meal, a relationship has been formed and hopefully the customer will leave very happy indeed. This will hopefully result in positive feedback about the restaurant to others, who may then want to try it for themselves and in their turn become repeat customers.

In our experience at Pizza Express on that afternoon, we felt that failing to give an adequate tip when one was clearly expected may have been considered miserly. Yet the customer service wasn’t great and that is what I would have expected to leave a tip for. I don’t know what your own experiences are but it is interesting isn’t it I mean, I always leave a generous tip where I feel that the service has been considered and attentive but when a tip is just expected or taken for granted I feel compelled not to leave one.  If that seems unethical or a faux pas then I will have to accept that because then again, I’m not Jay Z am I? Oh, and by the way, Champagne is my favourite tipple….not that I have ever sampled what I am sure are the delights of a bottle of Armand de Brignac….. nor am I ever likely to I suspect!!

%d bloggers like this: