Today we will present to you many tips that have been collated by an Amazon Flex driver with over one years' experience. Let's jump in and start.
Tips for not getting fired. Yes, sounds kind of weird, but there are several issues that you must cope with in order to stay ahead of the game and not get fired from Amazon Flex.
First, remember that the number of deliveries per block will always be too much. You end up running against the clock, and if you don't make all the deliveries you get a ticket, if you get two tickets you're out of a job. So even though the warehouse supervisors might snarl at you, ask to reduce the number of packages if it is too big. It's better dealing with an angry supervisor than angry customers.
You must get out of the warehouse as soon as possible; you don't want to waste valuable block time in the warehouse. Also, you invariably must wait between 20 to 30 minutes in line until you get your package load. You must scan in all your items to check you have everything, and make sure you have the right number of packages, if you have less it's easier to find it in the warehouse then not taking it and if you have more, get rid of the extra load, you don't want to deal with an extra package. The longer they keep you, the more reason you must lower the number of packages, and you use this to your advantage. It transfers the blame on to them and not on to you.
Special Box for Envelopes
While most drivers just scan and place their items in the car or van for delivery, I find that envelopes have a special knack of falling under the seams and hiding from you the moment you need to deliver them. So instead of bunching everything together in one big lump, even if they are arranged by address and deliver route. I place the envelopes separately, by address and number and this assures me I will never lose an envelope in the car or must search frantically for one when I arrive at a delivery location.
The next thing about arranging the envelopes is to make sure the bar code faces the same way and to arrange the addresses by number. You don't need to be too exact with the numbers if they are for an apartment complex, but when you pull out envelopes, you want to have a little time to arrange them for scanning. Arrange the QR codes by number lots and place the single items separately. If you have experience using the app you know what I am talking about.
Apart from the special box for envelopes, make sure you have enough room for large packages and boxes. Make sure you have ease of access for heavy boxes, the last thing you want is to be stuck figuring out how to get a large heavy ox out of the back of your car after tossing it in carelessly at the warehouse. While you will re-arrange the items after you ma your route, make sure the boxes are easy to reach and are in numerical order, this will make identifying them easier.
The next important thing to know is that the app does not send you to the first location based on any logic, it starts sending you to a random starting point. So, once I have picked up the packages, scanned them and sorted them out in my car, I park for a minute, in a place that does not obstruct the flow. This is the time I study the map. I prefer to set my deliveries like a swirl, working from the outside in, that way I save a lot of driving time and money. I look at the map and set the first delivery to the outermost arm and then plan the rest based on routing to the center of the swirl. Even though it takes a few minutes to tap every flag on the map and create a good and efficient route, I have never had a late delivery, and by careful and efficient route planning you save a lot of time, and I mean a lot of time, which accounts for those awkward complex deliveries that can hold you back. If I find that there is a package that will hold me back or cause a problem for delivery timing, I give it back to the warehouse stating that I cannot meet the block time with that package.
A successful mapping route will be reached through consistent driving in one area. This means that you should pick your block location based on road knowledge and after a while, you will find that you know many repeat customers. This will give you an indication of how long each one will take the roads, the traffic and the customers all add up to planning a successful block.
This is an important tip for new drivers, don't get caught in an apartment complex trap. Every apartment complex has an office, you go to the office, and you deliver all the packages to the staff there. Some buildings have a special delivery room for this kind of stuff. It saves a lot of time and hassle as well as assures the packages are in stored in a safe place until the apartment owner picks them up. So, the customer will walk their few feet to reach the office and pick up the package, at least it was delivered, and on time to the building, instead of you trying to find every apartment, waiting for an owner to answer the door.
Recorded Customer Calls
If its raining and there is no one to deliver the package too, do not leave it outside, do not let it get damaged. Take the package back, and claim it was undeliverable due to possible damage. If it is raining, call support and the customer too, but do not take a chance that it will get damaged. If the customer wants you to leave the package anyway, make sure your line is recording the call, identify yourself properly and state that the package is likely to be damaged due to rain or snow and you prefer to deliver it another day. If the customer states that it is OK, then a recorded message covers you, but make sure the customer knows that the message is being recorded.
It's always good to have a foldable hand cart in the car as well as heavy duty gloves to protect your hands. The cart is good for delivering multiple boxes to apartment buildings and commercial premises, and the gloves are good to make sure your hands don't get cut or damaged when handling heavy objects.
Photo All Deliveries
Once you make the delivery, you should take a photo of the receipt as well as the delivery location. Sometimes drivers will be prompted to do this for extra verification. Take note that Amazon Flex is still not a well-known service yet, so when you arrive, the customer might be suspicious of a stranger with no uniform driving an unmarked car making a delivery. Show some identification or get an Amazon Flex t-shirt.
Just to sum up, it is important to make sure you can deliver all your packages in a block. Remember, if you get two tickets, you are out of a job. So, follow these tips, they will make your life easier as well as more lucrative and will give you time to enjoy working for Amazon Flex rather than cursing the day you started. One final tip, try to keep a cool head at all times, smile and be polite, it helps both you and your stress levels.