Navigating the Complexities of Food Delivery in a Pandemic

March 19th, 2020

During this time of self-quarantine, retail closures, and overworked medical personnel, food delivery services have emerged as one of the few industries actually seeing an increase in business. One of our customers is a leader in this category and they are using Topbox to quickly identify and address emerging concerns from customers, drivers, and merchants – far faster than surveys and other traditional feedback approaches would allow them to do.

They are aggregating the in-app conversations taking place between drivers and customers, inbound support calls from both merchants, drivers, and customers, and interactions taking place between their drivers in online forums, and analyzing them all together as a single data set, in near real-time. This approach has delivered prescriptive insights into customer, employee, and partner experience issues that simply did not exist two weeks ago, and allows our customers to stay one step ahead of the rapidly changing, crisis landscape.

Here are a few examples:

  • Most notably, requests from customers for very specific delivery options have been overwhelming and prompted app updates that let customers specify their preferences when ordering. For example “leave it at the door and ring the bell” (vs hand it off in person) was a popular, new request.
  • Many customers contacted the business with the suggestion that they waive delivery fees for local restaurants, as many are being forced to close, and they recently announced that they would implement this policy.
  • By listening to a subreddit by and for their drivers, they learned that drivers were frustrated with long wait times to pick up customer orders at larger retailers – essentially standing in the same line as the retail customer because there were no accommodations for delivery services.
  • Inbound calls from customers have revealed specific, virus-related complaints about driver etiquette, that will now be addressed in training and coaching materials for the drivers.
            • Driver coughed in hand while carrying food
            • Driver left food on the ground
            • Driver opened food container in front of the customer
  • Drivers are calling in because they are unsure how to deliver to healthcare workers and patients at a hospital. Customers at hospitals (both patients and healthcare workers) are also giving feedback about unreceived orders because the delivery instructions were unclear or not allowed per hospital policy.
  • Merchants (restaurants and stores) are closing early, requiring drivers to cancel orders last minute and resulting in unhappy customers.
  • Our customer is taking rapid action to address these emerging concerns (for example, adding delivery options to the app), almost as quickly as they are being identified, keeping their drivers, merchants, and customers safe and satisfied with the level and integrity of service. This has resulted in their NPS scores nearly doubling in less than a week.

If they were relying on surveys alone for feedback, insights like these would take days or weeks to discover, and some of these issues could quickly spiral out of control without a prompt response.

Listening to customers, employees, and business partners is going to prove more important than ever, both during this crisis and after it, as we collectively pick up the pieces. The most timely and candid feedback available is the unsolicited, organic feedback customers are already giving you via support calls, product reviews, in-app chat, and social media. The ability to combine all those channels into one platform where they can be analyzed as a single data set reveals emerging issues and trends you might otherwise miss.

If you’d like to hear more about how Topbox customers are leveraging conversation analytics to stay ahead of customer concerns during the pandemic, please click here to request a demonstration.

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