Over 20 years of retail expertise, from Brookstone to Gap, provided Lezley Bailey essential elements to starting her own business with Dumpling and crafting phenomenal customer experiences. But she wouldn’t have jumped into grocery delivery if the 2008 economic downturn hadn’t pushed her into searching for the next right fit. And that following fit ended up turning into 5,000 orders since starting with Shipt in 2019.
“With Shipt, I hit my 5,000 order mark and it was very bittersweet. It was at a moment where they’d come to Memphis as a test area for the new app, which ended up being like Instacart…they got rid of member matching and customer requests for shoppers so all those relationships I’d built up were gone,” explains Lezley, “A lot of my customers were very, very upset about it and so was I, and my business profits dropped 75 percent starting this past April.”
It was also the new CEO and merger with Target that forced her and other Shipt shoppers to run around the city grabbing Target stock rather than the store where it made the most sense for the shopper to grab items from. “It didn’t matter where the client lived, wherever Target had it in stock, that’s where you would shop. And it was blatantly obvious that with the Target CEO, and just from my time in retail corporate, it was the writing on the wall,” she explains.
Adding onto upset clients, removal of preferred options, and free-for-all ordering, Shipt also dropped pay so Lezley only received $7 to $10 per order and was no longer able to make ends meet. The Shipt switch “from customer service-based to quantity over quality” cut into Lezley’s almost three years of building relationships so she wanted to set out on her own.
“These customers are so unhappy, they still want the service, they still want me to be able to shop for them so that’s when I found Dumpling,” she says, “Shipt and Instacart just weren’t me, that’s when I ventured out on my own with a lot of customer relationships I built.”
Her clients wanted to know Lezley was their personal shopper, that she’d continue to shop for her clients as if they were family, and that by transitioning to her Dumpling business, Have Lezley Do It, she’d have control over their experience. A few asks about moving to Dumpling and “yes, please!” responses from clients, and Lezley jumped into running her own business in April 2020.
Freedom from Pay Plunges, Flexibility in Scheduling, and Friends at Every Store
Signing up for a Pro account with Dumpling, Lezley used a welcome incentive offer to help switch over more clients and ended up with a list of 200 customers within 2 months. The combination of regulars, word of mouth, the discount code, and getting away from Shipt where there was less concern for clients or shoppers, helped her climb quickly.
While in the ascent of growing her new business with Dumpling, Lezley’s also shopping with a more flexible schedule at Whole Foods, Sprouts, Kroger, Target, Lowe’s, and Home Depot. Her store goals for the new year? Adding personal delivery for boutique registry businesses like weddings and babies.
With the freedom she’s gained owning her own business, and not having to deal with Shipt’s wavering algorithm and pay scale, Lezley’s finances stabilized and she earned more with fewer orders; essentially, 1 Dumpling order equals 3 Shipt orders.
“I feel more in control of my ability to make ends meet with Dumpling. With Shipt, it was you get paid what you get paid, they tip or don’t tip, it is what it is, and you do what you have to do,” explains Lezley, “The lowest amount I’d ever made with a Shipt order was $6, and the most was $125, but that was from a $100 tip during the holidays. The least I’ve made on a Dumpling order is $22, and the most is $125 without a $100 tip.”
Setting her own pricing and having more control over her day-to-day, Lezley feels like she can now earn what she deserves based on the level of service she offers. “If you were at Shipt and Instacart, everybody got paid the same no matter how they did their job, whether it was exceptional or they could give two craps,” Lezley says, “But now with Dumpling, you feel like you’re appreciated and paid for the customer service you provide and don’t feel like you’re settling.”
“It comes back to quality over quantity and you may do fewer orders with Dumpling, but there’s freedom and you don’t feel rushed,” she adds, “Dumpling gives you that freedom, ability, and access to provide that quality service, which are huge added bonuses.”
Thankful Clients Who Adore Dumpling’s Relationship-First Approach
At a $15 flat rate or 15 percent pricing (no minimum tip required), Lezley knows she’s compensated properly and loves the ability to run piggyback promotions to notify clients she’s available for orders.
Dumpling’s constant app updates and working environment make “you feel like you’re part of the team with different training and coaching,” and they’re far from a disconnected corporate empire. “With Dumpling there’s no smoke and mirrors, only X people can know about this. It’s constantly trying to make the app better, making tools for what you need, what’s working and what’s not, and their constant yearning for feedback…which is unheard of anywhere these days,” says Lezley, “Even though we’re one person, we’re heard.”
While other platforms sweep issues, shoppers, and customers under the rug, Dumpling provides exactly the kind of relationship-building tools Lezley wanted with the problem-solving attitude to create better client experiences.
“People were so thankful for the customer service because it’s lacking on other platforms, also that attention to detail like expiration dates,” Lezley says, “It’s huge to exceed expectations, and that’s my job with every single order is to go above and beyond.”
For example, unlike other platforms, business owners on Dumpling can use memberships like Kroger cards, coupons and BOGOs, specials, and gas points. One of Lezley’s clients even saves $50 to $70 per shop, which pays for her service. These above-and-beyond perks pile onto the fact that she can shop any stores, do multiple shops per trip, and travel to specific stores for dedicated items; something her clients adore with her Dumpling switch.
With Dumpling, The Possibilities are Endless
Flowing into the future, Lezley wants to become the go-to grocery knowledge presence on social media; posting what’s available, where to go, how to get the most shop for your money, and how to take care of your clients.
That includes paying attention to your clients’ lives and showing up with kind gestures like flowers: “Kroger even has discounted flowers so you can go pick up a card and spend less than $10 bucks while still making $15 [on the order],” she says.
Or for about $20, Lezley showed up for a client’s daughter who didn’t have many guests at her birthday party. She snagged tons of items in Target’s clearance section, wrapped them up into many little packages, and gave it to her. “It’s less than $20 bucks, but in the long run, you made that little girl’s day and helped build a relationship by showing you care,” Lezley says, “Do something for your customers every once in a while or give them a discount and surprise your clients, and you can do that with Dumpling.”
“The possibilities are endless” with Dumpling, she adds, from providing a platform for transactions and orders to offering a way to pay for groceries to setting your own pricing. “I do not know why you wouldn’t choose Dumpling,” explains Lezley, “You should be able to find a platform that aligns with your character, your values, have nothing mediocre, and Dumpling has it all; it’s a no brainer.”
When it comes to creating your own grocery delivery business, Lezley recommends going above and beyond, and realizing that your own business means you’re compensated for the quality of your service. “It’s putting in the time, the effort, the communication, the psychology part of building those relationships, and being there to care for the family,” Lezley says, “And you see your customers as family, that’s how it justifies the pay and knowing they have the confidence that you’re worth it.”