Driver performance is inextricably linked to the ability to build and maintain efficient and successful delivery operations. Since the quality of service that a fleet delivers has a huge impact on the overall customer experience, businesses need to find innovative ways to motivate and reward their drivers.
Punctuality in the last mile is an imperative for today’s consumer – whether they’re waiting for a piece of clothing, a new fridge or just a pizza. How to provide them with an agile, flexible and transparent experience is something that is widely discussed in our industry these days. But how can companies also improve process efficiency and driver performance while also making sure that you retain good drivers for the long term?
There are three main ways in which companies can reward their drivers. It’s important to mention that there is no silver bullet strategy as to the best way to motivate a fleet since it often depends on the company’s business objectives. For some businesses, the number of items each driver delivers would determine whether the operation is successful, while for others it would be the speed of the delivery or the customer service itself once the driver arrives at their destination.
1. Tipping Drivers
Tips are a widely used method to reward services. In theory, the better the service, the bigger the tip. This works well for many companies, especially those for which speed and friendly service is paramount. What’s more, there are certain product categories, such as food deliveries, where people are used to the tip being a part of the experience. However, it is important to take into consideration that for other categories, people might not be accustomed to tipping. What’s more, a delay in a delivery might not always be directly related to the driver’s performance, even though it might still result in a lower tip. Nonetheless, tipping is still a strong incentive, as it motivates drivers to offer a service that is friendly, punctual and responsive to customer needs.
2. Number of Orders Target
Another alternative is to reward drivers based on the number of orders they deliver in a certain time period. This type of incentive usually sets a target number of orders which, once delivered, results in a financial bonus or reward. This is particularly beneficial for fleets that assign each driver to a relatively small neighbourhood or zone with numerous drop-offs. Obviously, it would be an unfair way to reward drivers that need to travel longer distances, or for service-oriented tasks, but for last-mile inner-city deliveries it can be a powerful incentive for employees, ensuring that they do not get distracted in between drop-offs.
3. Faster Deliveries
Speed is of the essence when it comes to deliveries. And many costs associated with them, from salaries to fuel, are currently on the rise. While no company would want their drivers to break the speed limit, they can definitely reward faster operations. For example, drivers can use GPS technology to select the fastest routes, and can be rewarded for their efforts in order to focus their energies on providing a timely service. For customer-centric companies, rewarding speedy deliveries provides a clear win-win scenario. On the one hand, it gives customers a swift delivery experience, while on the other hand, it focuses on the fleet’s efficient use of time.
While not all incentives are relevant to every type of business and their compensation structure, the subject of driver rewards is something that needs to be carefully managed. Depending on the type of goods or services delivered, you need to take into account the volume of orders, the distances covered, and the population density in a specific region. Drivers are one of the most crucial pieces in the delivery ecosystem. What’s more, they’re often the face of a brand in front of the final customer. The bottom-line is that companies need to make sure that their fleet is motivated, efficient and goal-oriented, providing your customers with exceptional experiences that fuel loyalty.