#DeliveryNightmares: A CRAZY Third Party Delivery Story and 4 Remedies

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4 Tips on how to have a better experience than our intern Kyle.

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97% of people have had something go wrong with a third party delivery from a restaurant. 

In the video above Kyle the Intern at Ovation shares his unbelievable story about his dinner delivery went wildly wrong. It is for sure worth the watch. 

And while we did pay for Kyle and his wife to have dinner to make up for their loss (freaking Samantha…), he never got restitution from either their delivery company or the restaurant. And herein underlies the problems about third party delivery: third party. 

It can be hard enough getting your employees to care enough about the customer experience, but handing it off to an employee of another company–and bam–recipe for success  issues. 

But how can you deal with that in this new world we live in where delivery will become a larger percentage of how people order in the future? According to Yelp, delivery services have more than doubled during this pandemic and those habits will become a part of the new normal going forward. 

While some have opened their own online ordering and delivery services, many are forced to sign up with GrubHub, UberEats, DoorDash, Postmates, and others–all of which charge fees that cut into already slim margins and don’t share customer data. 

Many are fighting back with class action lawsuits to cut down those margins, realizing that customers are going to be demanding more convenience and as social distancing becomes a  larger part of the culture in America and eating in restaurants will take a while to rebound. 

But not matter how people order, here’s the bottom line, as stated by Paul Cryer, the COO of a national fast casual company, “There is something that will never change: Customer service is king. Being able to connect with customers to make sure they had a good time and remedying when they don’t will never stop being the currency.” 

So how do you do that when the experience will increasingly be outside the four walls? 

1. Catch the issues early

If you want to know how your customers feel, ask! Put in a card with a QR code on it, have it printed on your to-go bags, give a free side of fries with a note saying that their opinion would be appreciated. That way, when they open their bag, if something went wrong, they can let you know privately and right away. Then you can handle things promptly and privately…otherwise–you’re held hostage to those negative reviews that people seem to only leave when something goes wrong and is unaddressed. 

2. Collect usable customer data

When you do that, also collect their name, email phone number and permission to message them. Phone numbers are always best (as 95% of people read their text messages within 3 min), but always make sure they know that you will be messaging them. If you don’t get permission to message, the data is unusable for communication.

3. Push people to your online ordering, curbside, or your delivery if you have it

If you have been able to figure out the logistics of doing your own online ordering and/or delivery, use that data you’ve collected to push people to it with a discount for going through your system. 

4. Keep track of “Repeat Complainers” so there isn’t a “Kyle” the inter , a “Byle” the intern, a “Lyle” the intern, etc. 

There are some out there always looking to complain just to get a free handout. It is critical to keep track of those would-be freeloaders with a system of record keeping your team can be aligned on. 

Now sure, you can do this yourself, or, as always, we’re happy to help here at Ovation, as we automate all of that to help you take control of your third-party delivery experience, your online reviews, and your brand. 

Let’s chat and see how we can help you protect your business from this new post-COVID-19 world we’re stepping into. 


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