This New App Is Changing The Future Of Hospitality Jobs.
Eric Plam, CEO and Founder of UpTip, is set out to drive innovation in the service industry.
Eric is an industry leader in the tech industry with extensive experience working with companies that intersect consumer hardware and mobile communications.
He currently juggles his day as the president of his last company that he founded known as Solis, and as the CEO of his new endeavor, UpTip.
Eric founded Solis after he and his associates identified a common point of pain among fellow business travelers: getting a fast, reliable mobile internet connection while on the road is a challenge and when returning home, the traveler would invariably receive a shockingly high roaming bill.
Solis’ solution to this problem is a personal wifi hotspot for global travelers that provides easy, fast, secure, and affordable mobile data around the world.
Since he and his associates are avid business travelers and have had experience in the past creating solutions to help travelers, the idea of UpTip eventually emerged amidst a group discussion.
Uptip’s mission is to drive value in the service industry by replacing cash tipping with a frictionless e-payment and quality rating platform that connects people, like hotel guests and valet attendants for example, in new and meaningful ways.
Authority figures in the service industry agree that cashless tipping will help ease the current labor shortage they are experiencing,
Let’s break down exactly what UpTip is about and how it is helping new service workers each and every day.
What’s The Problem?
You just landed in Las Vegas and get to your hotel, you check-in, the bellman grabs your bags and brings them to your room.
You get up to your room excited to relax, during this time you may make small talk with the bellman as he begins to exit your room, but then right, before he leaves, he turns back and you catch yourself in a staredown with him before closing the door.
He gives you the look. You know what look I’m talking about. He gives you the “is there anything else?” look.
You awkwardly check your pockets only to realize that you don’t have the right change available to give him a tip, and so you tell him that “you will tip him the next time you see him”.
How often is that promise actually fulfilled?
This is a common occurrence amongst service workers that Eric’s team wants to change as tipping provides essential income to service workers and encourages greater customer service.
But this is just ONE of the problems that UpTip wants to solve.
Some of the other problems related to tipping in the service industry include:
1. A lack of visibility for the workplace.
Nail salons, valet parking, and hotels are just a few examples of workplaces where managers cannot see which employees are being tipped, how much their staff members are being tipped, and who is giving tips.
2. There is no way to convey how customers feel about the service being delivered.
Customers can surely offer a dollar amount that represents their appreciation for the service they receive, but it doesn’t truly convey how they truly feel about their experience.
3. No receipt is given to the customer.
Uptip wants to reimburse customers who give a tip and are traveling for business.
How UpTip Is Solving The Problems With Tipping
As we quickly evolve into a cashless society, especially because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, it only makes sense for tipping to be done digitally instead of with physical cash.
Without even having the app installed on your phone, users can send a digital tip to a service worker by simply scanning a QR code that service workers can provide for their guests.
Once the code is scanned, users can select four pre-determined tip amounts ranging from 2 dollars to 8 dollars or they can select a custom tip amount to enter in if they are very satisfied with their service.
Along with tipping, the UpTip app has a fully-integrated 5-star rating system along with custom feedback to give to the person who provided service to you.
These features help personalize the act of giving a tip and create more meaningful interactions between service providers and guests.
After a tip has been given, a user will receive a receipt of their transaction for them to keep for future use.
Check out this short demonstration to see how convenient this new form of tipping truly is.
Who UpTip Helps
Along with the customer and service provider benefiting from a more personalized tipping experience, the workplaces that host this application benefit tremendously as well.
As mentioned in the first paragraph above, management can now have greater visibility to see which employees are being tipped, how often they are being tipped, and how much they are being tipped with each guest.
Along with this, UpTip encourages greater employee retention since service providers are now being tipped much more frequently.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, employee retention is at the top of every employers’ priority list and thus hotels and other service industries are rushing to hop on this new application.
Employees that use UpTip have a profile that collects a history of all tip transactions including the amounts paid, stars given, and any additional feedback given by customers.
The app does this to build out a resume that any service provider can use to show to a future employer as proof that they deliver excellent customer service.
This allows employees to have more tip income, increased recognition in their workplace, and more control over their careers.
Customers want to share their generosity, but may not always have the money in their pockets to do so at a given time.
UpTip provides a convenient way for customers to never worry about having the right amount of cash to tip when they receive excellent service.
UpTip’s Results So Far
With just the pool of clients that UpTip has worked with so far, they have seen a 33% increase in tipping opportunities and 40% increase in the dollar amount of tips.
Goals For The Future
Within the 18 billion dollars transferred through cash tipping, Eric and his team estimate that there are roughly 80 million people who would be adept at using their system.
UpTip’s goal by 2025 is to process 5% of cash tips in the United States, which equates to 900 million dollars.
In order to get to this goal, the team is looking for additional seed funding to help them scale their business accordingly.
As of now, UpTip has raised over $150,000 through friends and family and they have shown to have serious traction under their belt as they have partnered with well-known companies like Hampton Inn.
Within just the short time that they have been around, Eric and his team have found an opportunity to drive massive innovation to the service industry by providing a cashless tipping and rating platform.
Today, UpTip is up and running in eight hotels and the team has commitments to deploy in 84 more hotels in the near future.
After launching in their first initial locations, the demand for UpTip has completely skyrocketed as the hotels that are currently using the platform have noticed significant benefits in their workplace and the satisfaction of their guests.
As we move into a cashless society, UpTip will drive to become a leader in the tipping industry and provide value to new service providers each and every day.
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