The challenge: Declining cash tips for staff
As a former front desk agent, Amber observed guests wanting to tip housekeepers even when they didn't have cash on them. She was determined to find a way for guests to acknowledge and reward the many associates who contributed to their memorable stay.
"I always would think, oh, that front desk agent was so awesome, or they were so nice when I checked in. I wish I could do something for them. But I don't have cash."
The solution: Implementing cashless tipping with Canary
Amber collaborated closely with Canary to introduce Canary Digital Tipping for about 40 employees at the property. Canary Digital Tipping simplifies the process of leaving tips for hotel guests. Staff can encourage tipping through text messages, emails, and QR codes across the property, for both departments and individuals.
Amber strategically placed QR codes throughout the hotel to encourage tipping. Three tipping options - $5, $10, and $20 - were available, and associates created profiles to receive tips via text messages. Amber recalled, "I tried to be inconspicuous with QR code placement" to ensure a seamless experience for guests.
Marriott's partnership with Canary was instrumental in Amber McCoy's decision to implement digital tipping at her property. The endorsement from the hotel brand she had worked with for years gave Kelsey confidence in Canary's trustworthiness. "Knowing that Marriott approved it is one of the main reasons why I chose Canary. I trusted the company."
The results: Cleaner rooms, happier staff and satisfied guests
The implementation of digital tipping yielded impressive results:
- Improved Service Scores: The property experienced a remarkable 10 percentage point increase in cleanliness scores, as guests recognized and appreciated the efforts of the hardworking associates.
- Increased Guest Tipping: The shift to digital tipping saw short-term guest tipping surge from 1 in 10 guests tipping to 3-4 in 10 guests leaving tips, fulfilling guests' desires to show their appreciation conveniently.
- Higher Average Tip Amounts: The average tip per room soared to approximately $10, a significant improvement from the previous $3-4, providing an extra incentive for associates to deliver exceptional service.
- Enhanced Staff Morale and Engagement: Employees reported higher morale, with some even engaging in friendly internal competition to provide the best guest experience. “Once they get the first tip, they’re hooked," she said. “They want to keep going and going.”
- Improved Retention: Digital tipping has helped support staff retention at the SpringHill Suites property. Amber McCoy saw value in being able to offer this benefit to her team members. "Canary Digital Tipping has definitely helped with retention. I've had the same housekeepers for a long time, whereas I've heard other hotels have consistent turnover."
An effortless implementation
For Amber, Canary Digital Tipping has been a resounding success at improving the guest and staff experience at SpringHill Suites Marriott-Lake Buena Vista. When asked if she would recommend Canary to other hotels, Amber emphatically replied "I definitely would."
"It's been such a smooth implementation and the seamless way we can recognize more associates has empowered guests while boosting staff performance and earnings. Digital tipping has been a win-win for both guests and associates."