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How to Handle Difficult Customers When Delivering Food

Posted by: felicia Jul 03, 2019

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Unhappy customers are unpleasant.  Sometimes, things just do not go the way they were supposed to. An unhappy or difficult customer can happen in any industry and in any field. They are part of life. You may not be able to avoid the situation, but hopefully, you can make the situation better and leave the customer with a good impression of you and your company.

Food delivery is one of those jobs where people can be unreasonably difficult. Most of the time, people are lovely and easy to work with but not always. Hanger is more than a punchline to a joke. Some people really do experience mood swings when they are hungry, and you’re delivering their food. The best thing to do is treat people with kindness and respect. This should always be a given, but a smile and a polite word can go a long way in brightening someone’s day.

If you have a difficult customer, do not take it personally. In all likelihood, the situation is not your fault, but you have the misfortune of having to handle it. You can handle it, so keep calm and listen. Listen to everything the customer is telling you and engage them. By asking the customer clarifying questions like “Can you start from the beginning?” indicates you are actively listening and you care. People just want to be heard. Give the person all your attention, so they feel like their concerns are being taken seriously.

Once you have heard the whole story, repeat their primary concerns or complaints back to them. This way everyone is on the same page about what happened. It also shows the customer you care and you did listen. Then, be empathetic. The situation may not be your fault, but you can say, “I’m sorry this happened.” It indicates you care. 

Customers also want a solution. In all likelihood, you won’t have a solution for them personally. What you can tell them in a polite manner is that you are just the delivery person. Remind the customer you are unaffiliated with the restaurant. Let them know they can call the restaurant directly to report the error, and hopefully, the problem can be solved. This can be a frustrating answer for customers because they want a solution to their problem instantly, but you do not have the power to make a change to their food order. You are just the driver. 

Difficult customers can be one of the least pleasant parts about a job. If you handle each situation and person with tact, respect, and kindness, then the problems should be minimal.

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