Driver Onboarding

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Mark Huggan of Phantom Couriers in Vancouver. One of Vancouver's best courier companies. Voted best in Vancouver. One of the hundred fastest growing companies in the province of BC expanding right across the entire country. And today we're going to talk about something that's really quite important and illustrates a lot of the systems and procedures that these guys use in order to make sure that your package is delivered on time and in good shape over and over a hundred percent of the time. And we're gonna talk about driver onboarding, how you doing Mark? 

Mark H: We're doing excellent today. How are you? 

Mark: Good. I think this is going to really show the level of detail that you guys use in order to get the job done right the first time. This is for new drivers. So how does it work? Give us the deal.

Mark H: You know, 365 days a year we're running ads on Indeed and Jobillico. We're always looking for new drivers because we're always growing. So there's always somebody coming in at the lowest common denominator at the bottom of the bar, the lowest level.

And we have to speak the same language to all of our drivers, even if they're the most senior driver to the most junior. We speak the same language because that's the language our customers are speaking to us. So we have a pretty short and condensed, like a minimum effective dose onboarding procedure that starts off with binder that is ready to rock.

They get it and they keep it. And it's full of everything, all of our systems and procedures and how we like to do things so that we can communicate to the customers because our customers are communicating with their customers. And we're just the conduit. So it has everything from pretty simple stuff like turn on phone, log in to thing, right down to the end of the day, when you're shutting off.

So how to collect signatures, how to get proof of deliveries, how to register your vehicle for insurance, how to get the proper mileage for your tax deductions. There is a million things in this book and we go over them. At each page, they have to sign off on. So if there's ever a problem, we can coach them by saying, Hey, this seems to be confusing. Why don't you come into the office and we'll go over it and then we just flip to the page. Here's the example. Here's what happened. Let's compare notes. And then they learn and they go up. Because everybody thinks it's just getting in a car, go and then you're like, how much money did I make today?

And you're like, well, you know, you only did like four things and other people did 22. So they need to practice. So this onboarding procedure helps people get going and you know, a lot of great people come through the door and everybody needs money. So our job is to make sure customers get delivered and our couriers make top dollars.

Do, you know, the least amount of work. Most effectively make the most money. It's just economics. So we have a pretty big onboarding thing and there's texting involved, there's email pictures involved, there's reading, only really four things that you need to know as a courier. 

Where is it? Where's it going? Was it ready? When does it have to be there? But then you compound that with 16 other deliveries throughout the day, and you have to keep, there's a method to keep track of all that. And so it's pretty simple stuff we use. Cover and move, you know, you have a bunch of things you need to do. And this one is due now at Mark's house.

So you go to Mark's house and when you drive, but off to Mark's house, dispatch knows it. You're at a point in time and your point of reference on the map. What's next. So we can measure like you have some time, why don't you go over to Jim's house and pick up a package for Sally. It's due two more hours on your way. So we cover and move all the way. We keep it really simple. 

So we prioritize and execute, and then we listen to what the drivers have to say to us, like bad traffic, then we can go to the text, watch out for traffic here. So decentralized command, they tell us what's going on. Total communication all the time. 

I'm probably being conservative when I say that myself probably have over 2000 conversations a day with drivers, and they're quick, they're short, they're concise, but there's a lot of communications going on. And it's overwhelming for somebody who's not familiar with the courier industry. And people who have been here for five, six years, they're just like another day, but it's overwhelming at first. 

That's what we have the onboarding, which gives them support. And then we call them in on the first pay period and review and show them like their progress with a graph. And it's pretty great. It's good for longevity. 

Mark: So you guys really focus, the core of your business honestly, is communication then basically. That's what I'm hearing.

Mark H:  Yeah, that's what people do communicate. So it's natural. You know, that's all we do is communication between the customer, the courier and the end user all the way down the line. It's not what I thought it was when I started the company. I thought I was gonna be burning around doing this, but I soon understood that is important and it's communication. That's all we're really doing. Like deals need to be done. It's communicating, you know, it's 100% of our job. 

And then if a customer calls, we need to get concise information from a courier. And if it's not on our system and it's out there, he's got it. Decentralized command. Here's the reference number, what's the status? And he's like, well, let's due it four o'clock it's 3:45. I'm a kilometre away. It's exactly with our GPS, we can tell the customer so they can be relaxed. Our system has it, but a lot of people don't have the time to look it up. So we need to ask for them. And we do that. And it's just concise information because then they can go and say, look, Mark, it's going to be there in four minutes. It'll be there ahead of schedule. And then you're like, great. I'll call them then. And then we'll seal the deal. 

And so it's all right down the line and it's fun stuff keeps you very busy all day, but it's rewarding, right? Because there's a lot of satisfaction at the end of the day. And our on time numbers are really good. Obviously when we train somebody, we put them on the longer duration trips. So that they don't, you know, they're not late. And then as they get there, they go from unconsciously incompetent to consciously competent.

We start putting the higher priority trips on them and then they can accept more work. And then they're happier too, because they can get stressed out and quit. We don't like that. We don't like turnover. And like every business it's 80/20. And turnover's expensive and nobody feels good, getting a new job and then not liking it.

So we try to make sure that they're the right fit and that we fit for them too. So we always have a trial period, get to know us.

Mark: There we go. If you're looking for a courier that goes the extra mile to make sure their drivers are happy. To make sure that they're very well trained and continuously trained. To make them better and communicate with you about all your packages that need to be delivered, when and where and how they're getting to where they need to be. These are the guys that talk through Phantom Couriers. You can reach them at 604-899-5447  or long distance for the rest of the country, outside of the Vancouver area, +1 844-899-5447. Call them they'll deliver it for you. Thanks, Mark. 

Mark H: Right on man. We will with a smile. We love it. It's what we do