6 Ways to Improve Communications with Delivery Drivers
Food delivery drivers are becoming an essential part of a restaurant's business due to the rapid expansion of food delivery applications. They're often a customer's first human interaction with your restaurant, and they have the power to impact their opinions. As a result, making sure your delivery drivers are professional and efficient is an excellent approach to keep your clients happy. However, to achieve this balance, your restaurant will need to maintain open lines of communication with your drivers.
Whether you utilize in-house drivers or have an established agreement with a third-party delivery service, developing a relationship with your drivers is critical. Time is of the essence when it comes to food delivery, and miscommunication can quickly result in negative reviews and a shrinking customer base.
Here are a few steps to increase communication with delivery drivers and overall client satisfaction.
- Inform your drivers about order statuses.
Restaurant and food delivery drivers being in synch ensures efficient delivery services. They can get multiple orders at once to maximize their time or stop and refuel before starting the next round. Don't wait until the drivers are waiting impatiently by the kitchen to exchange information — instead, make sure they already know the order's status before they even arrive. Communicating these key information in advance allows the driver to plan accordingly.
To help your internal or third-party delivery drivers work at maximum efficiency, you can use restaurant online ordering systems like Deliverect, which includes a pick-up screen feature to simplify communication. With just a glance at the pick-up screen, the driver can check the order's status and know when it is their turn to pick up the goods. Even during busy lunch or dinner rush hours, the pick-up screen eliminates the confusion about whether the order is ready and reduces order errors caused by poor communication.
- Make use of text messages
Introducing a texting service is a straightforward way to improve communications with delivery drivers. Consider this: 99% of text messages get opened, unlike emails, which have an 18% open rate on average. Investing in a text messaging system means less chance for your drivers to miss an important message from your restaurant about a customer's order.
Introducing a simple text service will show your drivers that you care about the customer and value the drivers' safety. For example, drivers can send an "arrived" or "delivered" text when they reach a checkpoint, allowing you to know their safe progress through service.
- Answer the phone
Texting has many useful applications, but sometimes, nothing can help better than a good old-fashioned phone call. Nowadays, technology is so dominant that we forget that making a phone call is still an effective way to communicate. Some customers still prefer to call in and directly place an order. You can't beat a human touch, no matter how advanced technology becomes.
Picking up the phone can be applied to interactions with food delivery drivers. If the message is complex, calling is quicker than texting. Plus, it allows clarifying and immediately creates a relationship between the driver and the restaurant.
- Communicate restaurant’s policies and standards to the drivers
As the pandemic has shown, events can cause dramatic policy shifts in a short time. And because your drivers are front-line workers directly interacting with your customers, they must stay well informed of your new policies.
If you have new hours, be sure to let drivers know so that they aren't camping outside of your restaurant when you're closed for the day. As you tweak your cleaning protocols, share the updates with your drivers to make sure they meet any new requirements.
Another way you can improve communications with delivery drivers is to set them up for success. That means appropriately training them on food safety, showing them how to communicate with your customers effectively, and ensuring they have everything they need to meet your standards, whether that includes insulated carriers, face masks, gloves, or hand sanitizer.
- Listen to drivers’ opinion feedback
Even though food delivery drivers work for you, they should always be treated as equals. They are often the first people to experience your delivery process, even before your customers. So, naturally, they will have a unique point of view on how you can improve your strategy. Asking for their opinions and feedback is an excellent way to improve communication with delivery drivers and gain valuable insight.
Drivers might even surprise you with creative ways you can better the customer experience. However, it doesn't just stop at hearing what they have to say. This can only be authentic communication if you listen and are genuinely open to implementing any of their brilliant ideas.
- Provide Excellent Work Conditions
In the restaurant business, the customers' experience is the top priority. However, great service shouldn't just be limited to customers; it should also extend to the people on your team who make your restaurant run like a well-oiled machine — i.e., your staff and delivery drivers.
Keeping your drivers happy encourages them to work hard and provide excellent service, which ties directly into your customers' happiness. Foster a more positive staff by paying drivers a reasonable and competitive wage, providing health insurance, and introducing perks.
There are plenty of things you can implement. For example, you can provide your drivers with restaurant swag to wear, give them discounts on your food, or offer snacks for them to grab and go. Going the extra mile to provide perks to your drivers is an out-of-the-ordinary way to improve communication with delivery drivers. It gives them the incentive to continue working for you and makes them more likely to reach out if they have concerns or suggestions.
Making sure you improve communications with delivery drivers is vital to the success of your business. It ensures a successful customer experience, boosts your reputation, and helps your restaurant earn more revenue.
If you're looking for restaurant management software that streamlines communication with your drivers, then look no further than Deliverect. Deliverect can help you manage and automate orders, monitor your inventory, seamlessly integrate with your current POS system, and much more.