Third-party delivery platforms have enabled rapid expansion in the food ordering app market, but restaurants are still looking for ways to improve their customer service in what’s becoming an impersonal business.
Preventing customers from getting frustrated and dissatisfied with the outcome of their orders is essential when there are numerous options they could choose, and there’s no better way to do that than to improve communication between restaurants and their customers when they connect through an app. Here are the top needs for restaurants to consider when looking for a food delivery app that lets them communicate with customers effectively.
In-app Text Messaging
One vital element that should be considered in food delivery app development is in-app text messaging to allow three-way communication between the customer, restaurant, and delivery workers. Restaurants benefit from being able to reach out with news and updates about orders. Customers can use text chat to check in with the restaurant if their order is late in arriving or if they made a mistake in order that they want to correct. Delivery drivers can text customers to let them know that they are on their way or if they are delayed, or ask if there are instructions about where to make their delivery.
If customers are able to initiate text chat, it can help to let them select from a number of reasons why they are reaching out first, such as order instructions, issues with delivery, or other questions, so the restaurant can prioritize how to respond.
A survey by First Orion found that 80% of respondents would want a phone call if there was an issue with their order, but often it turns out that requiring customers to include their phone number with their order doesn’t provide a good enough way to reach them. The survey found that 62% admitted to missing a call related to their order because they didn’t recognize the number calling them.
Supporting in-app calling is a clear solution to this issue, ensuring that customers will know if the restaurant staff or their assigned delivery driver is calling them through the app and be prepared to answer. In-app calling is also a way for customers to reach the restaurant more effectively if they have questions or are unable to order through the app’s menu, without having to dial and signalling to the restaurant that a current customer is calling.
Delivery Status Notifications
Customers are frequently anxious about waiting for their order to arrive, and they may not want to have to call or text to get updates. Providing updates in the ordering interface on the food delivery app is the ideal solution. Consider how useful it is for customers to get notified automatically when their order has been acknowledged when the food has been sent out for delivery, when the driver is 5 minutes away, and when the delivery has been completed. For contactless delivery, the final step can include a picture taken of the package to prove that the food was delivered to the right place.
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Special Instructions and Comments on Orders
One form of communication that can drastically improve customer satisfaction is the ability for customers to add special instructions and other comments to their orders before checkout. If choosing from a food delivery app’s menu feels too inflexible and they can’t include additional instructions about how they prefer their food, they might prefer calling on the phone, which requires more work for the restaurant staff. Comments can also be helpful to tell delivery drivers where to leave the order.
Push notifications are a valuable tool for reaching customers through a mobile app, sending them a text message even when the app is not active. This enables app administrators to target customers who haven’t used the app recently with special offers and reminders. They can also be used in the process of delivery, for instance as a way to notify users of completed deliveries. However, extreme amounts of push notifications are a leading reason cited by 75% of millennials for deleting apps, so they should be used cautiously. Customers don’t want to spend more time than necessary worrying about when their food will be ready, so clear communication is crucial for keeping them satisfied with the ordering process. Both text and calls are useful for clarifying miscommunications in different situations, so planning to support both during mobile delivery app development is a good idea. Restaurants that can reassure customers about their delivery process will have more satisfied customers and repeat business, building a stable and loyal customer base.