And How to Overcome Them
Whether you’re a delivery driver or a manager who’s responsible for a team of last-mile couriers, you’ll know that there are quite a few obstacles that need to be overcome from day to day to keep your operations running smoothly.
Knowing the best tactics to tackle them, and having the right tools to hand, makes a big difference, so here’s a look at common challenges in this field, and how they can be conquered.
Dealing with Difficult Customers and Keeping Your Cool
As a same-day delivery driver, it can be hard to deal with difficult customers. But no matter how frustrated you may feel, it’s important to remain professional and keep your cool in these situations. Here are some tips for dealing effectively with challenging customers:
- Listen carefully – take the time to listen closely to what they have to say so that you can better understand their needs
- Stay calm – don’t allow yourself to get drawn into an argument or become defensive
- Speak up calmly – use “I” statements when responding, instead of blaming language that points the finger at the customer
- Be empathetic– sympathize with the customer’s situation while still remaining firm in your stance on any issues at hand
- Offer solutions – if possible provide suggestions as alternatives or compromises that could help resolve the issue.
By following these guidelines, drivers will be able handle difficult customers more confidently and effectively.
Being Prepared for Unexpected Delays & Traffic Jams
Disruption to your deliveries can occur out of the blue due to congestion and other incidents on the roads. Here are some tips that can help you stay ahead of the curve:
- Check local news reports – tune into radio stations or check online sites like Google Maps before setting out on your route
- Consider alternative routes – look at multiple routes when planning your journey so that you have back up options if needed
- Make use of navigation apps – download navigation apps to plan the best routes and get real time updates about road conditions and potential hold ups
- Maintain communication with customers– keep customers informed in case there will be any delay due to unforeseen circumstances
Staying Motivated During Long Hours on the Road
It is mission-critical to stay motivated and energized when you’re out completing delivery routes, so that you can remain focused and efficient in your work. Here are some tips for maintaining motivation while out driving:
- Take regular breaks – make sure to take short 5 minute stops throughout each day
- Listen to music – put together an upbeat playlist, or listen to audio books or podcasts while behind the wheel
- Stay hydrated– always keep a bottle of water within reach when driving, as dehydration can affect concentration levels
- Be organized – plan ahead by listing tasks in order of priority and sticking with it until all orders have been delivered
- Keep positive– no matter how challenging things may get, try your best to keep your focus on achieving goals, instead of dwelling on any negative aspects
Time Management: Tips to Help You Beat the Clock
Tight delivery schedules can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Thankfully, there are a few ways to reduce the impact of deadlines on your day:
- Break down large tasks into smaller chunks – breaking up workloads can help ensure that all tasks get done in an efficient manner
- Prioritize urgent orders – complete the most important tasks first so they don’t slip through the cracks
- Utilize technology whenever possible – use GPS or mapping apps to optimize routes and reduce drive times, as mentioned
- Schedule in advance – if possible, try to schedule multiple deliveries at once so as not be rushed from one place to the next
We’ve only touched on a few of the main hurdles that delivery drivers have to deal with when handling orders that need to arrive with customers on the same day as the purchase is made.
Whether you’re a solo operator or you’re part of a large organization, if any of these issues prove to be insurmountable, don’t be afraid to speak up. Asking for support from superiors will let you resolve sticking points more efficiently.