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The Best Customer Service Practices for ALL Drivers - The Client Service Approach

So someone I am close to decided to order on Uber Eats to have food delivered to their workplace and she was shocked and appalled at the poor treatment she received from the driver who delivered her food.

He got lost, called her and attempted to explain to the driver where she needed to go, and he didn't understand and continued to be rude. He even went as far as threatening to "give up on the order" and keep the food she ordered for herself.

Maybe he was having a bad day, maybe she could have handled this better, but it is so sad to see how someone who should have been better about treating someone, especially a customer and risking their account for something so insignificant at the end of the day.

So in attempt to help you not make the same dumb mistakes he made, I am going over the best customer service practices that I practice on a regular basis.

My name is Joseph Mandracchia, I have been working full-time with the gig economy since 2018 and have completed over 8000 orders and deliveries across several different platforms and pay models, as well as other forms of income.

It is my hope to impart some of my knowledge and experience unto you to help you make the most money in your side hustle and help you on your journey to achieve financial independence.

Disclaimer: I am not a financial, tax or legal advisor of any kind. I am not giving you financial, tax or legal advice. I am simply expressing what I have done to overcome in this area and hoping you can find a take away for yourself within this article.

Why is Customer Service Important?

Some drivers will argue that because you don't have a boss, you don't need to worry about this and the only thing you need to worry about is making as much money as possible in the least amount of time.

While there truth to the fact that you do want to make as much money as possible, you don't want to end up as one of those deactivation stories simply by letting your mouth run wild, like the guy shown above.

You also want to open up as much opportunity to be tipped better as possible, some customers will tip some money on the app and tip more if the service was up to their expectations or even more so.

If you have a bad attitude and customer service approach the only thing you will get is a complaint and a poor rating, and on some applications, such as Uber Eats, you can lose the tip entirely.

The Client Service Approach

Now in order for me to properly explain a proper client service approach we need to talk about the main differences between a customer and a client, because there is a huge difference with customer service and client service in how you approach them.

A customer is a person or organization who buys goods or services from a store or business. There may or may not be a relationship built and probably will never hear from them again, and while this may be the case with some people, I doubt this will be the case if done right.

A client is a person or organization who uses the services of a professional person or company. There can be a strong relationship built and most professional services such as Lawyers and Accountants use this approach to increase retention.

Now the reason this applies to your orders is when you are selective in your orders you will notice how some people order around the same time, from the same places and you can be recognize customers as well as others recognizing you.

Especially since those customers will be the among the few that actually tip people well, and in turn you will most likely see them more and more often.

Building those types of relationships can really help you in the long term and keep well paying customers on the platforms you are driving for, and overall increase your revenue.

There is no guarantee that these people will get you as a driver every time, however treating them this way will keep both you, your customers and you account status on good terms and that is a very important practice when making money in any field of work.

Important Aspects of Client Service

In order to keep things simple on here, in a way you can apply this for yourself I am going to break this down into parts to keep in mind so you have the best possible results.

We are going over communication and overall presentation of yourself, the interpretation of delivery instructions, and the handling of the orders themselves.

Communication with Customers

This is probably the most important part, because communication and how you present yourself overall is what others will perceive of you and in the very short period of time you are interacting with them, you want to make the best impression.

When to Contact the Customer

There are very few instances when you should contact the customer, but they happen almost every time you have an order so you should be ready to contact them.

Instances where communication is recommended includes:

  1. If your order has a long wait at the restaurant

  2. If the order with the customer is experiencing a challenge such as missing items

  3. When you leave the restaurant and are on your way to the customer

  4. If you have a challenge finding the customers location

  5. When you drop off an order for a contactless delivery

Now there are two ways you can contact your customer, and that's text message and phone call. So let's go over each of these forms of communication, how to use them properly and go over some examples you can apply TODAY to your skill set!

Texting Your Customer

Now when you contact the customer, most times it is not during a phone call though having good phone etiquette is important. Usually, I communicate via text message to give updates and always making sure the customer knows what is happening with their order.

I usually recommend adding enthusiasm and manners to every message and it doesn't have to be much, just something simple and polite. So let me give you all of my examples so you have an idea of what you can do for yours.

Hey this is *your name* from *company*, Sorry for the delay, I am still waiting at the restaurant and as soon as I receive the order I will head over there as quickly as possible. Again, I apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience!

Hey this is *your name* from *company*, I just picked up your food and I am on my way now! I will be there as soon as possible!

Hey this is *your name* from *company*, I just dropped off your food, I hope you have an awesome day!

Phone Calls

So calling your customer is best to only use when you need an immediate answer to something in order to complete the order itself. The most common instances for delivery drivers include order challenges and customer location challenges.

Order challenges can range from items unavailable, replacing items, or clarifying the order with the restaurant and customer.

Location challenges can be for your GPS taking you to the wrong address, gate codes, following instructions, location verification, etc.

So let's go over a basic overview for what your communication should look like during a phone call in the event that you need to make one.

Hey this is *your name* from *company*, how are you doing?

*customers response*

Good good, I am currently at *merchant* waiting for your order and they are expressing to me that *challenge they are experiencing*, would you like to *option A* with something else or *option B* completely?

*customer response*

Okay, I will let them know and once the order is ready I will be there as soon as possible!

Now in the event the customer asks what is available to replace an item, make sure you are on speaker phone and work with the merchant on stating potential options. You never want to give an offer and then be forced to surprise them with a random up charge.

The other side of this is in the event you have a hard time finding the actual address, or the location where the order is to be delivered. This is what the Uber Eats guys should have done when he had this challenge.

So chances are that the customer is aware of any GPS challenges that you may have and would have likely left something in the instructions about this, however if they didn't you would need to contact the customer.

Simple template would look like this:

Hey this is *your name* from *company*, I am having a challenge with *state the problem with finding the proper location*, am I missing something?

Remember to remain polite and it probably happened to other people too, and it can probably be the silliest thing or in some cases where what seems to make sense just doesn't.

Following Delivery Instructions

So there almost every order that you receive has delivery instructions of some kind, whether it is simply hand it to the customer, or leave at the door, whatever was written in should be followed.

This is pretty self explanatory, call upon arrival, text upon arrival, knock/ring bell, don't knock/ring bell, etc.

However, there are cases where you just can't regardless of what is said. Whether that is intentionally stated or a setting they left on that cannot be followed due to problematic situations.

For Example, with alcohol deliveries you have to either scan the ID or manually type in the ID of the individual who is receiving the order in which you are handing off to, yet some instructions will say something like "leave at the door" to make the delivery contactless.

This is not only something you should not do, it is illegal. So you will have to ignore this one if you do receive it although, it should be understood by the customer, I only had one instance where this was an issue.

Then there is the good old meme answer meme instructions where they probably haven't even noticed that they did it. "Hand to customer: Leave at the Door"

This is more of a dealers choice if you do get it, however I would contact the customer and just ask what they want to do. Most times they come out, sometimes they say leave at the door.

Proper Order Handling

Okay so no one likes to receive the food they ordered cold, or destroyed. That's a given, sometimes it is unavoidable but there are things you can do with your order handling that will make sure that the customer gets their food in the best possible way.

Make sure you use your hot bags, keep the order warm or cold, whichever is necessary. I usually keep 2 of each type of hot bag (shopping size, catering and pizza) in my car for whatever I need on a regular basis.

You never really need more than that, although you can if you want to. If it ever ends up being that much bigger of an order, the restaurant typically gives you a bag to provide to the customer as a bonus for ordering so much.

You should also consider a drink caddy, which you can carry the customers drinks especially for those customers who insist on ordering more than 4. Makes juggling less necessary, and will help you in the long run.

Final Remarks

If you apply this to your everyday working habits, as well as the other information I have available, the results will certainly reveal themselves in your ratings tab or other tell tale signs... like cash tips.

Though it isn't guaranteed in all cases, this has been proven to help in the grand scheme of things. The only time which it hasn't is the customer that doesn't believe in giving 5 star ratings or the customer that always finds something to complain about.

Overall though, I have found these tips to be effective in my experience in driving for delivery apps and I hope you find the dame results for yourself.

With that said, thank you so much for taking the time to read this article! I hope you found some value in what you read here and will apply this information in your life and success in your side hustle!


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