There’s a pretty good chance that, in this lifetime, we’ll see delivery drones and autonomous trucks delivering packages to customers. However, given the regulatory hurdles, it might take a few more years for self-driving trucks to be available to the masses and so human drivers will continue to deliver packages for some time. Yet, as a delivery driver, you can stand out from the crowd by leaving a positive impression on your customers.
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert delivery employee, there’s always room for improvement. Follow these five delivery driver tips to excel at your job.
#1 Practice Defensive Driving
Not everyone on the road drives well. Some drivers speed; some wander into another lane because they are texting on their smartphones; some drivers follow too closely or make sudden turns without signaling. Though you can’t control others’ driving behavior, practicing defensive driving 101 techniques can help you avoid the dangers caused by their negligence and ensure vehicle safety.
To be a responsible driver, only focus on driving by avoiding distractions like talking on the phone, texting, eating, or changing music. Also, part of staying safe is being aware of other aggressive drivers around you and anticipating what the other drivers might do so you can make the appropriate adjustments ahead of time. This will help reduce your risk of a road accident. Practicing defensive driving is also essential for the reliable and safe operation of a company vehicle.
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#2 Know Your Vehicle
A good driver knows that distracted or drunk driving may lead to accidents. A good driver also knows his or her vehicle operation and can respond to potentially dangerous situations. Does the motor vehicle have enough power to execute overtaking maneuvers safely? How hard should the brakes be pressed to stop the vehicle completely? Is the vehicle equipped with ABS brakes?
Knowing your individual vehicle and having basic mechanical knowledge can be extremely helpful when you are on the road. Knowing how to take care of minor issues on your delivery vehicle can also save you time and keep your delivery vehicles in good shape.
#3 Ensure a Superb Customer Experience
As a delivery driver, you represent your brand. So, don’t underestimate the importance of being friendly, smiling, and greeting the customer. If you are always slacking, arriving late for deliveries, dressing shoddily, or being rude to the customers, your customers will switch to a competitor. If you come across a demanding customer, stay calm, and hear them out.
Though timely delivery is a priority, traffic and weather conditions can sometimes wreck even the best-laid plans. Yet, keeping the customers informed of any delays and updating them with new ETAs are surefire ways to graduate from “good” to “great” service delivery.
Also, a small gesture could go a long way. So, carry a pen for customers who are paying with a credit card or use an eSignature app.
#4 Always Be on Time
There’s something very satisfying about delivering a parcel on time and seeing that smile on a customer’s face. So, make sure you’re always on time. Timely deliveries also tell your customers that you take the scheduling seriously and can be trusted.
With several route planners on the market, ensuring timely delivery should be easy. A route planner makes you a time multiplier by automating the route planning process and planning the shortest or fastest routes within minutes, while taking into account factors like traffic congestion, weather forecasts, specific delivery time windows, and roadblocks. Also, if a customer changes his or her delivery slot at the last minute, using the dynamic routing technology in your delivery route planning app will enable you to re-optimize your route without impacting the other scheduled deliveries.
#5 Be Honest
Having high ethical standards may not seem to be a mandatory skill for good delivery drivers, but moral choices manifest in a multitude of ways. For instance, it’s essential to have a good conscience to ensure that you are not slacking, not deviating from the assigned route during work hours, and not making personal use of company vehicles. Ethics are essential for handling trivial matters too. For instance, do not succumb to fuel theft by using the company fuel card to buy fuel for your personal vehicle. Honesty is best tested when you know no one is watching you.
To be a good driver, you don’t need to have split-second reflexes or the eyesight of a hawk. As long as you are responsible on the road, obey the rules, and ensure customer satisfaction, you’re on track to becoming a truly valued driver.