Here at The Rideshare Guy, we frequently cover the best delivery services for drivers, how delivery drivers can earn more, and more. But what are some things we wish customers knew about ordering delivery services? RSG guest contributor Jeffrey Fike is a long-time delivery driver for companies like Uber Eats and more, and below, he shares his top tips for customers to receive the best service from drivers.
Do you agree or disagree? What do you wish customers knew before they placed orders? Share them in the comment below!
With the quick rise and steady growth of app-based food and product delivery platforms such as UberEats and Doordash among others, many have had less than optimal experiences.
As both a customer and delivery driver, I know sometimes delivery orders can come out… less than ideal. Maybe an item is missed, delivered incomplete, cold, smashed, etc. It can lead to customer and driver frustration, and perhaps even make some stop using the apps entirely!
I am here to tell you that this does not have to be the case! While delays and other inconveniences may occur from time to time, there are certain steps that you, the consumer, can take to significantly reduce complications.
Top 5 Tips on Receiving Great Customer Service on Delivery Apps
When you place your order through your favorite app, you will be updated throughout the delivery process. Take these updates with a grain of salt, as they are not always accurate, but they are good estimates. Just remember they’re not written in stone, so be patient!
The #1 thing as a consumer you can do to reduce average delivery time is TIP your driver via the app! Cash tips are great, and really super exciting, but read on. This is a simple, and relatively painless (a few dollars go a long way) thing you can do to ensure great customer service from your driver.
Drivers are sent requests via the app with estimated totals, and the lowest I’ve seen is $2.25. Now, unless you are in the backseat of my car, and I already have whatever you ordered, I am NEVER accepting a request like that.
Why, you might ask? Well, first of all, it’s my car, gas, insurance, maintenance and time. For longer trips, or larger deliveries, especially during peak hours (where there will most likely be a significant wait at restaurant or register), the best practice would be to add a little bit more to the in-app tip than average orders.
The smallest order going the shortest distance will still take approximately 10 minutes and add miles to your vehicle. $2.25 is a hard no from any but brand-new drivers!
Consider these 2 requests, and tell me which one would you accept? There is a chance that $3 delivery customer would tip $15 in cash, but considering that cash tips are less than 10% of all income for drivers (in my experience), it’s less than likely.
As drivers, in some cases we can even send you a thank you note (don’t worry, automated, nothing creepy) for your generous tip!
2. Make sure we can find you!
An accurate and visible address is extremely important. If your home address is not visible from street, it will almost always result in longer delivery times, and sometimes much longer waits.
Even the color or location of house (Red house/ 1st house on the East side of street) can speed up delivery. Consider a small sign (available at hardware store or Amazon for $10-15) if you don’t already have one. And please, if it’s nighttime, turn on your outdoor lights!
On the other hand, if you live in apartment or condominium/townhouse communities: Give your driver specific drop off instructions. 123 XYZ Lane doesn’t do a whole lot of good if there are 36 apartment buildings in the complex, each with 12-24 apartments.
Even if your location has a specific address, be aware that Google Maps and Waze both have difficulty navigating private property, and will likely either lead the driver to a random location anywhere from ¼ mile to a full mile away from where you actually are or drop them at the front entrance.
Even better, give us descriptions. Including your building number and apartment number works, as does including where in the complex the location is.
3. Specify your delivery preference
Particularly in the case of Doordash: as a customer, you have the choice of “Hand it To Me” or “Leave at door”. When placing your order, you will again be asked about delivery preference. Please type the exact same thing, as the delivery driver gets delivery instructions presented via a delivery pop up, and within the app.
When these two don’t match, or for example, a customer has indicated both, it leads to confusion and possible problems.
4. Confirm the restaurant/store is open before placing your order
Really consider where you are ordering from, the time of day, and normal service time for take-out or drive-through or in-store shopping service, as well as the weather and/or traffic considerations. If it’s rush hour during a snow storm, understand that it will take longer to receive your order.
In addition, I know it might sound strange to say this, but confirm the business you’re ordering from is still open! Most restaurants have reopened their doors at least for delivery drivers but are pushing the rest of customers through drive through. This can lead to increased wait time – for everyone.
Some stores have a limited number of cashiers working and also may have limited hours. If you place your order any time within an hour, even an hour and a half of closing, realize it may not get filled.
5. Treat us with respect
Respectful communication goes a long way. Give your drivers time to do their job, and realize that we are probably driving for the first few minutes after your order says it’s been assigned a driver. We won’t be able to respond to a message from you right away, and sending us repeated “?” isn’t helpful.
If drivers are constantly getting lost or ending up at the wrong location when they are delivering your orders, recognize that there may be some ambiguity that needs clearing up.
If there is an item that the store/restaurant is out of, most drivers should contact you, and ask for your instructions. If you want napkins, silverware, or this week’s in-store circular, put that in your order instructions.
Most restaurants give the driver sealed bags, so we cannot verify if the order is 100% complete and correct. Be aware that some restaurants will not make substitutions. In any event, if your item is not available, the delivery platform will credit you back the proper amount. Check your receipts and follow-up via the app or online if necessary.
Don’t be afraid to text your driver, and give them some time to reply.
Hopefully these 5 simple tips will help ensure a smooth and seamless delivery experience for both you and your lucky driver!
Drivers, what would you add to this list that you wish customers knew?
-Jeffrey @ RSG
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Jeffrey Fike has been a professional writer for over 30 years, and a rideshare and delivery driver part time for 6 years. He maintains a 4.9 rating across the apps, having given nearly 5,000 rides and 500+ deliveries. His full time job is in Human Resources as a Manager, and he is a father of three. When not spending time with family or driving, music is his passion.