In your ecommerce business, making your shipping and fulfillment process as efficient as possible is crucial to your success. The stakes are even higher for companies with Seller-Fulfilled Amazon Prime status like ShipStation customer Art of Words, a word art print company in Philadelphia.
In a previous blog post, Marc Berman, Office Manager at Art of Words, discussed the benefits and challenges of Seller-Fulfilled Prime. According to Berman, one of the main struggles of the Seller-Fulfilled Prime program is the two-day shipping guarantee. The acceptable margin of error for Prime is low, so companies that ship under Prime can’t afford to make mistakes or else Amazon will revoke their Prime status.
Despite this requirement, Art of Words hasn’t missed a deadline yet. How? One way was by forming a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with the delivery driver.
Below Berman shares his four personal tips on how to improve relationships with delivery drivers.
Build a Relationship
Do you know the name of your package carrier? Have you had a conversation with him? Asked how her day was? If you think you’re too busy to chat with the delivery person, think again.
While your delivery driver isn’t an employee, he or she can make or break your business. And as with any important vendor, forming interpersonal relationships with delivery drivers is crucial.
“We got to know our delivery person when he began picking up packages and making deliveries,” says Berman. “As our business grew, he picked up deliveries every day and we would engage in small talk with him. We were just talking to be friendly, but it resulted in us building a mutually beneficial relationship.”
From their conversations, the Art of Words team learned valuable information about him. “We found out that the last stop on his route is close to our office so sometimes we’ll text him to pick up some packages at our office after his last stop,” shares Berman. You might want to ask your package carrier about his or her route in case you need to make a special pick up request.
Exchange Contact Information
Berman continuously referenced how convenient it was to have their delivery person’s cell phone number:
“Talking and befriending our delivery driver led to us getting his cell phone number in case we needed him to come at a different time. This has been really helpful for our business. He usually comes around 3:30 or 4 p.m., but we may ask him to come a little later if there are a lot of packages that still need to go out.”
Know Each Other’s Needs
“It’s really about knowing what’s important to each other,” says Berman. “Our package carrier does his best to make sure we get as many orders out as possible in a day and that they arrive on time. Sometimes, he would pick deliveries up from our office several times a day. Likewise, we do what we can to make his job easier and more efficient.”
If you’re not sure what you can do to help your delivery person, ask them. They will be more open to listening to your needs and requests if you make the effort to help them. Berman shared how making a small change made a big difference for their delivery driver:
“Originally, we put our deliveries in trash bags, but then we started putting them in boxes. He thanked us and commented on how the items being in boxes made his job a lot easier. It made processing and loading the truck easier. We always put our products in boxes for pickup now.”
When talking with your package carrier, discuss your business and what you sell so he or she has a better idea of your priorities. If many of your shipments are Seller-Fulfilled from Amazon Prime and you have cutoff windows like Art of Words, share this information so it can lead to a better understanding your pickup and delivery requests. Your delivery person may even have some helpful suggestions.
Make Life Easier for One Another
Building a relationship goes both ways and you have to consider what would help the other person. It’s unfair to expect people to go the extra mile for you if you won’t for them. Going out of your way and taking a couple extra minutes to help is an effective way to improve relationships with delivery drivers. It will make everyone’s job more efficient.
“If we have a lot of packages, we’ll have them outside and ready to go. We bring them to the truck so that he doesn’t have to get out.” Be considerate of your delivery driver’s time. “If we’re not in the office, we’ll text him to let him know that there aren’t any packages for him to pick up. It saves him time and helps him on his route. The relationship really goes both ways,” says Berman.
The next time you see your delivery driver, offer him thanks and have a chat. Make this a regular habit, and the relationship you build will help both of you.