We all know to leave a tip at a restaurant indicative of how much we appreciated the table service.
But if you really enjoy a product or service of other kinds, you can reward the provider with another kind of tip.
No, it’s not another way to spend your hard-earned cash. These other kinds of tips just cost you a moment of your time.
And might have a small impact on your prospects of being able to enjoy similar products or services in the future.
Suppose a new small business opens in your community. You try it out, and you’re highly impressed.
What should you do?
No, you don’t find the owner and leave him a little cash. That’s not appropriate.
Instead, you could spread the word to friends and family, you could return to that business the next time you need a similar product or service, and you could even write a nice review for it (there are places for this online, or you may have a blog with a relevant audience).
Many of us already do this to some extent. Definitely, if we have a good experience with a business, we’ll consider coming back. That’s automatic.
Some of us tell friends and family.
Most of us probably don’t think to rate the business online or leave a review.
Except for certain kinds of products. It’s becoming more and more common to review books and movies, for example.
Spreading the word and leaving reviews helps reward a business for providing useful products and services at reasonable prices.
Such marketing may actually play a role in whether or not the business thrives.
If you discover a new product that you love, but never tell anyone about it, and suddenly the product is no longer available. Well, if you had helped spread the word, maybe the product would still be available.
What if you try out a product or service, and it turns out to be bad?
It’s interesting to draw an analogy with restaurant tipping.
If you receive lousy service at a restaurant, what do you do? Leave a smaller tip. Maybe even no tip at all.
I bet you wouldn’t ask the waiter or waitress to pay you a tip instead!
Normally, poor service results in a lesser tip, great service in a better tip.
So if you receive lousy service, perhaps the right thing to do is simply not to use the same product or service again. Spread the word about other products or services that you like better.
Saying bad things about the product or service is kind of like asking the waiter or waitress to leave you a tip.
But sometimes it’s necessary. When table service is really awful, you might talk to the manager. Similarly, if a product or service is really awful, you don’t want your friends and family to use it either, so you want to warn them.
Although, saying good things about a product or service that you like better has much the same effect as saying bad things about the product or service that you don’t like. You can choose to focus on positive thoughts about a good product or service instead of negative thoughts about a bad one. You’ll probably feel better this way, too.
For example, if I love a book or movie, I will leave a good review for it. If I don’t like it, I just won’t leave any review at all. It would have to seem particularly deceitful for me to consider leaving a bad review – like advertising a novel when it’s really a short story. Even then, someone else will be all too happy to leave the bad review, so I may as well stay positive and not bother with those unhappy thoughts.
Recently, a new restaurant came into town. We love it: Great food, great service, great prices (usually, you only get two out of the three, at best). We go there frequently, spread the word, and I even went on Google to leave a review. That was my tip. 🙂
Chris McMullen, self-published author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers