As consumers become increasingly comfortable placing orders online and enjoying front door delivery, their expectations around the experience are also rising. For restaurants and merchants that wish to remain competitive in the expanding landscape of delivery, it is becoming imperative that customer expectations are met or, better yet, exceeded.
If your business is looking for ways to increase customer satisfaction with delivery orders, the perfect place to begin your journey is with a few key metrics. These data points can help you discover where you can improve while also helping you understand your current strengths.
When a customer places an order, it sets off a chain of events. The order is sent to your team, they get the details of the order, and the fulfillment process begins. Once the order is ready to go, ideally, a delivery driver will pick it up right away and drive it to the home or business of your customer.
The time it takes from order to delivery is an important number for you to track. Customers will quickly become dissatisfied with their experience if they are left waiting for a delivery long past what they expected. In fact, 27% of people who use food delivery services state they would actually be willing to pay extra for faster delivery.
Offering speedy delivery is critical to your long-term success and in creating brand-loyal customers. Each week, track the speed of your delivery. If you notice any concerning timelines, dig deeper. Perhaps your evening staff is being overburdened by in-person diners and delivery orders, leading to slow delivery times. Maybe you aren’t tapping into a broad enough network of delivery drivers, leaving food to sit on a table rather than being delivered immediately.
Whatever the case, if you have an issue with delivery speed, you need to fix it. Look for ways to improve your process and invest in the right team to ensure you meet customer expectations. Additionally, as you track this number, use what you find to help set better expectations with customers. If you know during a peak dinner hour that your kitchen staff will be limited and that rush hour traffic will contribute to a slower delivery speed, communicate potential delays clearly with customers.
Waiting around for a delivery to arrive is high on the list of what will drive a customer to unhappiness. However, this is immediately followed by order inaccuracy.
When a customer opens up their delivery, it should contain every single item they paid for, including any special requests. For restaurants, this becomes particularly critical as customers may ask for add-ons, swap out the sides, or have allergy-specific requests.
To track your fulfillment accuracy rate, choose a specific period of time to measure. For example, a busy restaurant might look at weekly fulfillment accuracy rates. Over the course of a week, divide the number of accurately fulfilled orders by the number of total orders fulfilled.
Ideally, your fulfillment accuracy rate should be 100%. If your number is lower than the high 90s, you need to take a careful look at where the issues are arising.
Common reasons for inaccurate orders include the following:
- Lack of staff: If your kitchen or retail store is understaffed, it can cause teams to rush through their work to keep up with orders. This often leads to mistakes when fulfilling customer requests. Consider hiring additional staff or even test out the idea of operating a ghost kitchen to handle peak ordering periods.
- Poor information flow: Without the right technology in place, you’re at risk of missing out on important customer requests or order details. Take the time to test this out by placing your own order via all available platforms that customers might use. Make sure that every piece of information that a customer enters flows directly to your team. If details are getting lost in the mix, consider nixing specific platforms and focusing on using a branded app that provides you with better control over the flow of information.
- Delivery driver errors: In some cases, if delivery drivers are in a rush, they might be at fault for order mistakes. Make sure that your staff takes the time to double-check orders with delivery drivers before they head out the door. This will help prevent them from leaving behind portions of a customer’s order.
Within third-party apps or your own restaurant app, customers have the opportunity to leave reviews. These in-app ratings can tell you a lot about how well your delivery process is running.
Filter your reviews by lowest to highest ratings. Go through each rating with less than five stars and look for trends.
Are customers upset by wait times? Are they receiving the wrong items? Are delivery drivers providing subpar service?
Perhaps certain menu items are consistently leading to negative reviews. In this case, you might want to consider changing your to-go menu to ensure that the items you offer for delivery will perform well.
In-app ratings can tell you a lot about customer satisfaction, and they can open up the door for conversations with your customer base. If you are currently relying on third-party apps for all of your delivery services, this can be more difficult to manage as many third-party platforms will not allow you to communicate with customers or access this important information. If so, consider switching to a direct-to-consumer delivery platform that will allow you to manage your customer relationships.
Beyond what your customers are saying about your services within delivery apps, take the time to look across the web for additional reviews. Google, Facebook, and Yelp are good places to start.
Similar to in-app ratings, take the time to outline any key trends that you notice. This can help you unearth potential problems with your delivery process and highlight your business’s best strengths.
While you’re at it, take the time to respond to each review. For positive reviews, a quick thank you can go a long way in establishing a continued relationship. In the case of a negative review, acknowledging that someone had a subpar experience and inviting them to reach out to talk about their experience further can save you from losing customers for good. Often, a quick phone call with a manager, a special offer, and a sincere apology can turn an unhappy customer into a long-term fan of your brand.
Finally, another effective method for gathering metrics around customer satisfaction with delivery orders is to specifically target this audience with surveys. A follow-up email or text message after a meal or product has been delivered can help you gauge customer satisfaction.
There are two approaches you can take to this process; each has its benefits.
- A rating: One quick method for gathering data is to send out a survey that simply asks for a 1-5 star rating. Customers can either text back a response or click on a response in an email. Due to how easy it is for customers to respond, you’ll tend to get a higher response rate for this style of survey, which makes it a great tool for gathering quick feedback. However, you will be limited in how much information you’ll glean from the survey. The best use of this style of survey is to quickly ascertain a baseline of how your delivery service is performing. If the numbers are good, you can move forward. If the numbers are poor, it might be worth taking the time to dig further. Consider doing this survey on an ongoing basis to constantly keep your finger on the pulse of your delivery services.
- A short survey: To dive a little deeper, send out a short survey to customers who recently received a delivery order. Keep this survey short — generally no longer than five questions — to encourage participation. You might even offer an incentive for customers to fill out the survey, such as a discount on their next order or free delivery on select items. This survey can help you understand important information, and you can tailor it according to what data you are seeking.
Learn More About Ally — A Direct-to-Consumer Delivery Option
If you are looking to improve customer satisfaction with delivery orders, Ally can help. With Ally’s full suite of software, merchants can find customers, take orders, connect with delivery drivers, manage payments, and more — all without paying a penny in commissions. Additionally, unlike many of the solutions on the market, Ally gives you the tools you need to take back control of your business and communicate with customers. This allows you to grow your business while providing improved delivery services. Get started today!