The Best Trick to Making Bigger Tips as a Pizza Delivery Driver

The single factor that has had the largest contribution to my pizza delivery driving success was treating every customer as if he or she were a new customer.

At Domino’s, we have a policy that whenever there is a new customer, the delivery driver assigned to that order needs to make a call to the customer before heading out the door. This serves primarily to cut down on the number of prank calls, bad orders, etc.

It’s useful: there have been times where I’ve attempted to make a delivery, only to find that there was nothing there. Perhaps the customer service representative who fielded the call misheard the customer, or keyed in the wrong number. This call is extremely important, so why not do it for every customer?

As delivery drivers, we get very few chances to make an impression upon the customer. Most drivers wait until they are in front of the customer before making their first impression. By making the phone call before going to the customer’s location, you are doubling the number of impressions that you’ve made upon the customer.

My typical customer phone call script goes a little like this…

[call connects]

Hi, “Customer?” I’m calling from Domino’s Pizza. My name is Alex, and I’ll be your delivery driver.

[wait for customer acknowledgment]

I’m calling to let you know that your order is fresh out of the oven, and I’m ready to bring it to you.

If the address is in a known business park, I’ll ask the customer “what to look out for,” and they’ll provide some guidance on finding their building

Usually, I’ll have the customer confirm the address that I have on the ticket: “I have your address as … – is that correct?”

Great, I’ll be (there / at your door) at (ETA).

See you soon! / Looking forward to seeing you!

This script sets me up for a positive interaction with the customer.

Why else is the phone call important?

Expectation management. No one likes to be left in the dark, not least when they’ve paid for service.

On busy nights, orders at our store get backed up. We are understaffed on the make line, so most everyone (drivers included) is pulling double duty. More often than not in these situations, I wouldn’t be able to make it to the customer’s door at our quoted time without seriously endangering other drivers on the road. A brief phone call to the customer telling them that things at the store have gotten a little hectic, but their food has just come out of the oven and I’m looking forward to getting it to them soon goes a long way to keeping customer satisfaction at a high. At the door, I’ll greet them and tack on a “thanks for your patience” to make clear that I understand any frustration they may have experienced during the wait.

Resetting the timer. The wait between placing an order and receiving delivery feels unbearably long for a hungry customer.

Everyone wants their order yesterday. By giving the customer a call with an ETA, the customer now has a new time to look forward. Otherwise they’re looking at the clock with the expectation that their food will be delivered at the time that was quoted during ordering. I give an ETA with a slight buffer (under-promise and over-deliver)

This also helps cut down on the number of phone calls back to the store from customers whose orders have yet to leave the building. These phone calls typically come in at our busiest times, when all hands must be on deck. My phone call helps the store maintain operational efficiency by reducing the number of interruptions that the in-store personnel must handle.

Finally, the phone call affords me an opportunity to demonstrate my professionalism and commitment to the customer’s satisfaction. My phone call separates me from the vast majority of other drivers in a positive way. This commitment to customer service is important by itself, but it also functions as ammunition in the event that I need to deploy Anti-Stiff.

Other sound bites / word tracks

Your order is a priority for me.
My goal is to provide exceptional customer service.

Goals of First Call

  • Introduce yourself
  • Verify and gain information
  • Reset timer
  • Demonstrate professionalism