Online Food Delivery – Customer Service Changes The Game

Jun 06,2019 by Aishwarya Srivastava
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One of our fondest memories as a child is often the taste of our favorite home-cooked meal; the steaming hot flatbreads and rich curries or a bowl of pasta, seasoned to heavenly perfection. Food is not just a necessity; as we evolved into a civilized species it became a part of our cultures and traditions.

In fact, there is hardly any religious ceremony or social gathering that can ever be complete without some home-cooked delicacies. Whether it is Diwali, Ramadan or Christmas, food has always been a part of our celebrations and gatherings.

I was born in a Hindu family and I have been really enthusiastic about learning how to prepare my favorite meals, especially the ones that are a part of our festivities. However, as time passed and I started working; cooking turned into a task from a recreational activity.

Today, just like lots of people all across the globe, I live far away from my hometown and family. The work schedule and traveling leaves me with just enough time to prepare a simple meal and on certain occasions I rely on restaurants and food deliveries. The sacrifices you make for your passion and career!

However, as much as I miss home cooked food on certain occasions, I find it really convenient to sometimes order in rather than preparing a decent meal. Yes! Home cooked food is the best and my mother (just like yours, I’m sure) is always right! However, it is ok to just enjoy good food from your favorite restaurants occasionally, especially when you have burnt your dinner!

Today, as technology has taken over our lives we can order our favorite food in a jiffy. Food delivery apps have made it so easy to grab a bite at almost any time of the day, and in fact, you can even order some food while travelling.

Isn’t it just great for those days when you are tired and maybe a little stressed? Just a little bit of food therapy with your favorite web-series or movie and you will feel better for sure. Apart from this, you have healthy food options too on food delivery apps like Zomato and Swiggy. So, it is not like you have to always relish carb and fat loaded dishes.

Food Delivery Apps – Customer Service A Concern?

No matter how convenient I find ordering food online, one thing that sometimes aggravates me is bad customer service. You can easily seek support from most food apps but there still are some glitches that become an obstruction in making their services truly seamless. Let’s take a look at some of them to understand how online food delivery businesses need to evolve in order to serve the ever more demanding Generation Y and Z.

Time Is Ticking!

Time is a major customer satisfaction metric that can define the efficiency of services rendered by a business. While a customer can wait for a while for his food to be delivered or to get connected to a live agent for reporting an issue, if the wait time keeps increasing; he is likely to get irritated and tired soon.

You cannot keep someone waiting for his/her food or support services because they are paying you for both. A business, no matter what vertical it operates in, needs to remember that customers can make or break it. Take them for granted once and bid them goodbye because they aren’t coming back to be dissatisfied.

While the optimal wait time for customer service shouldn’t exceed 1 minute, there is a 60 minute time window to ensure that customers receive their food. They wouldn’t expect to wait longer than this unless they have ordered a whole feast for a party.

So, it is critical to ensure that the services are streamlined to ensure timeliness. For the efficient flow of support functions, some major food delivery businesses have resorted to business process outsourcing. This collaboration has helped them deliver great services expeditiously without annoying customers with extended wait time.

Order Spikes – Yikes!

There are days when restaurants have the busiest kitchens, like weekends, festivals, and holidays. They don’t have to just serve the customers waiting on tables, they have to also ensure that food deliveries move timely.

However, the load to move food deliveries timely isn’t just affecting restaurants, the food delivery service providers also endure order spikes on such occasions. They have to make sure that the delivery persons are assigned tasks expeditiously and are provided with the required support to make sure that steaming hot food reaches its destination timely.

During order spikes, even the support functions suffer because there may or may not be enough resources to take up complaints and answer queries. This can be a major setback for the food delivery service provider because customers will not just get irritated but will also write bad reviews online, massively destroying the business’s reputation.

Today, customers are more powerful than ever, their reviews and ratings can rapidly affect a business’s reputation in the market. This is the reason why BPO services are a crucial requirement for enterprises in domains like online food delivery. Outsourced support helps them thrive even in stiff competition with startups and even multinational giants like Uber Eats entering the market.

UX – Is It Personalized?

This is one support function of some food delivery apps that I believe is pretty useful on days when you can barely open your eyes to go through menus. Personalizing the ordering experience and offering options to repeat your past order is really impressive. You can click on a past order and you are done, no more unending discussions on what you want to eat, phew!

However, certain apps do not offer this feature and they might be losing customers because of this. You aren’t really personalizing the user experience, how can you expect the customer to come back when he has an option to switch to a competitor who is providing the same?

This is a bummer! It often makes me switch from one app to the other because I either don’t have time to scroll through menus or am too tired to do so. User experience (UX), just like business process outsourcing, is a major competitive advantage for businesses.

The market leaders who understood this are thriving with the trust of their loyal patrons and those who didn’t, gradually sank in the swamps of growing competition. If you want your customers to keep coming back, then you need to give them a delicious reason. They will appreciate your efforts to keep them hooked and will not just come back but recommend you.

Final Word

The rapidly developing online food delivery industry demands businesses to evolve and adjust to the demands and behaviors of the modern consumer. It is no more as simple as pizza delivery: the market is aggressive and the consumers have options.

If you won’t serve them right, they will sooner or later move to a competing service provider. Believe it or not, people are really sensitive about their food and if you disappoint them once, they aren’t coming back. They can wait for a faulty electronic device to be replaced but cannot wait for a food order replacement because they will be hungry or angry; probably both, hence the neologism which is feeding the rage these days: hangry.

By putting customers through bad service experience, businesses would lose both reputation and profits. So, opting for solutions like business process outsourcing and UX personalization is essential.

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