So you’ve made the switch to running your own grocery delivery business – and for a while it’s going great. You’ve got so many clients who are expressing gratitude and giving you more flexibility in your work. But then you get a client (or two) who you find yourself dreading doing orders for every time you get the notification from them. Maybe you’ve done orders for them that were labor intensive and you didn’t make what you expect, or maybe they just always reach out last minute with a big ask and little patience. Maybe every time you complete an order for them they have complaints or expect discounts or returns. Either way – something’s got to give!
First you’ll want to determine if the issue is actually the client or if it is something that can be remedied going forward by updating your business settings and policies.
📅 Structure Your Schedule to Avoid Last Minute Orders
Be sure to check your schedule settings, including adding time buffers to prevent last minute orders if needed. Consider adding wording to your profile such as “For best service, please give 24 hours notice for orders”.
📍 Take Time and Travel Expenses into Consideration When Determining Your Delivery Zone
Reassess if the zip codes and delivery areas you have listed are manageable for you to drive across for an order, if not then reduce your delivery area.
💵 Set Pricing That Supports Long Term Business Goals, Not Just Quick Customer Acquisition
Take a look at your pricing and ask yourself if it allows you to cover your time and expenses before tips.
We have a course on how to best set up your pricing in our university, which you can find here. If you have any trouble logging into the university please reach out to the message center and our team can help!
⭐️ How to Set Up Promotions that Benefits Both Your Clients and Your Business
If you are advertising discounts to clients make sure there are terms and limits within your promotions (such as specifying the discount is only applicable if they place a grocery order of $100+ or setting a 30-day time limit).The ideal use of discounts is to entice new customers to try your service (or even a feature of your service you want them to become aware of, such as shopping at the farmer’s market), or to reward behavior that helps your business. If a customer is telling the community about your business, saving you fuel by piggybacking on another order, or ordering consistently then it makes sense for them to be eligible for discounts. Discounts are best used to help a new customer try your service and should yield long term benefits by securing a dedicated client. If your discounts aren’t serving your long term business goals, it might be time to re-evaluate.
If clients are consistently expecting unearned or unadvertised discounts (or price matching to other services) remember that you deserve to cover all your expenses and be paid for your time. Those who want your business to thrive will recognize that they are getting a premium service that already has fair rates. If the client is grateful for you, but has an actual budget concern causing this behavior you can stretch their grocery budget without cutting your own rates by offering to check a less expensive store first, opt for generic brands when there are replacements, or utilize store rewards.
Encourage Your Clients to Engage with Your Business in a Manner that Serves You Both Well
Along with discounts you can use gentle reminders to encourage clients (or remind those who came before you had perfected your business settings!) into utilizing your business in a way that is most effective for you. Remember that this can take a few tries so patience is key, consider giving clients a couple chances to learn the desired behavior. Avoid making the client feel guilty or burdensome by keeping this positive. Focus on the behavior you want them to do instead of harping on the behavior you want them to stop doing.
If a client has complaints or wants you to return items for them you can handle this on a case by case basis. If there is validity to their complaint it can serve your business to make it right and to learn from any mistakes, but take note if there is a client who just never seems to be satisfied and expects a fix every time. If a client does this consistently it can be a time or financial loss for you that no longer makes sense.
If You Determine a Client is not the Right Fit for Your Business – that’s OK!
The beauty of owning your own business is you get to choose which clients are the best fit for your business (Dumpling University has some great tips about how to recognize who is the right fit, and even ways to try and gain more of those clients. You can find that here). It is important to maintain positive communication with clients who aren’t a good fit. There may even be another shopper in the area who is a better fit for them, who you can recommend. You’ll want to remove them from your service in a respectful manner. You can say something like “unfortunately I am no longer able to service your neighborhood” or “I have loved serving your family but am unable to do so going forward. I wish you all the best” and instruct them on how to find another shopper (if there are any in your area).
If a client becomes combative with you, you suspect they are abusing the Dumpling platform, or you need advice on how to work through the issue our team is available to help! You can write into the Dumpling Message center through your Boss app to get in contact with us.