- A study from First Orion based on a 2,000-person survey shows that 79% of consumers who have an issue with their food delivery order want to receive a phone call to resolve the issue. Ninety-three percent expect that issue to be resolved in less than 10 minutes.
- The study also reveals that 62% of consumers have missed a call related to their food order because they didn’t recognize the number calling. Eighty-one percent said it is “very important to extremely important” that an unknown number is identified by name so they know who is calling.
- More than 70% of respondents reported experiencing an issue that requires customer service, which could exacerbate loyalty to a restaurant when so many other delivery options exist.
Food delivery was on a steep growth trajectory prior to the pandemic, but the crisis accelerated that growth, forcing many restaurants to provide the service quickly even if they didn't have the infrastructure yet or to ramp up that side of their business. However while more people are ordering out — First Orion’s report shows that over 60% use a food delivery app at least three times a month — a large majority have experienced customer service issues, a key to gaining repeat customers.
Delivery has long had customer service issues, like slower speed of service than dine-in or carryout, or compromised food quality from travel time. Zion & Zion research from January shows that orders placed through a service like DoorDash or Uber Eats were inaccurate nearly 25% of the time.
As delivery channel usage grows, more customer service issues could arise. Of the 70% of First Orion respondents who had problems, late delivery (50%) generates the most complaints, followed by incorrect orders (37%) and cold/non-fresh food (36%). Thirty-three percent of respondents reported their driver needing directions, perhaps the best example of needing a reliable and direct communication channel with the customer.
Missed calls can also delay or cancel orders, further compromise food quality, lead to lower tips for the delivery driver and reflect poorly on the restaurant brand.
Because delivery is typically facilitated by a third-party provider, rectifying such issues can be a challenge. Customer service should be a critical piece of delivery logistics, which means providing customers with a clear contact and ensuring a number is identifiable as part of the delivery company. Branded phone calls, which show the customer that the incoming call is from the delivery driver, can lift the answer rate to over 90% on average, according to First Orion’s report.
Restaurants that are proactive about customer service contact could alleviate potential problems because many consumers tend to place just as much blame on the restaurants when delivery orders go wrong. But branded calls aren’t the only solution. Branded texts or in-app messaging can also facilitate direct communication between a customer and a third-party delivery driver. These direct communication solutions could be cheaper than losing complete orders because a driver is lost and unable to get a hold of the customer.