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Customer Service

Getting It Right The First Time

One All-Star Tip to Help Your Holiday Sales Run More Smoothly


Can you think of the last time you received an order, either one that was delivered or something you picked up yourself, only to get home and realize the order isn’t right? Something is missing, the quantity isn’t correct, a dietary restriction wasn’t adhered to, the list goes on…

It’s frustrating, for sure. It ends up being more work for the person who placed the order and for the staffer on the other end who has to fix it in order to make it right. It’s better service (and costs less) to get it right the first time!

Enter the Zingerman’s 4 Steps to Order Accuracy: a seemingly obvious recipe, that when used in every interaction, will have a big impact on your ability to deliver the best possible experience to your guests!

Your business or department may have a slightly varied method to order accuracy, but the bones and intent are the same.

4 Steps to Order Accuracy.

  1. Read Back
  2. Pre-Check
  3. Re-Check
  4. Confirm upon delivery

Step One: Read Back 

Read back the entire order before getting off the phone to make sure everything is correct.  This step is one of the most effective tools we have to get it right the first time, especially in the time of Covid-19, when so much business is being done over the phone!

Pro Tip: Team up with the guest to make reading back more effective and fun. Say something like “let’s review your whole order real quick to make sure we’ve got it right.” 

Step Two: Pre-check 

The pre-check involves the written order getting looked over by another set of eyes to catch anything that the order-taker might have missed (out of stock items, missing information, an entry that isn’t quite clear, etc.)

Pro-Tip: While computer software has made it easier for many of the businesses to keep track of what information is critical so things aren’t missed, having another set of human eyes is a crucial piece to order accuracy! 

Step Three: Re-check

Typically this means the order is ready to go to the guest (bagged or otherwise), re-checking involves the order being inspected by another person who did not do the prep or the packing to catch any mistakes, missing items, and small errors. This is imperative because a person who did not pack the order is far more likely to catch an error than the person who did.  

Pro-Tip: Covid might have put a pause on re-checking a packed bag to minimize fewer touches, however, if you are the one packing, be sure not to rush and check off items (based on your department protocols). Doing this step diligently ensures that you are catching the special details and that all the items are in the bag. 

Step Four: Confirm Upon Delivery

When the order is delivered or picked up, we review the order with the guest, item by item, referencing the receipt as well as identifying the items in the bag. This is the key final check to make sure we are getting the guest what they want, and we make sure no bags or items are getting left behind when the guest leaves. 

Pro-Tip: This step is tricky nowadays! With Covid, where contactless delivery or curbside is predominant, confirming upon delivery is probably next to impossible to do (unless you are serving directly and the guest can verbally confirm). Instead, reading back and packing it right the first time will be critical.

Ultimately, we want to wow our guests in every interaction. Impeccable order accuracy is another mechanism to make sure we’re doing just that! 

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