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How to manage delivery apps for your restaurant and keep customers happy.

By Husain Sumra|Monday September 14, 2020

Choosing and managing delivery apps for your restaurant is an important way to keep your company growing. To manage this opportunity, use our guide to food delivery services.

Food delivery apps: Understanding the options.

Today, there are many different food delivery services that help you serve your customer base. We’ve also included reviews from G2, a business software review website, so you can see how users are rating each app.

UberEats

G2 Reviews: 4.3-star rating out of 5 stars (100+ reviews)

Service Area: UberEats has expanded across the world. As of 2018, UberEats serves 200 cities around the world and the service continues to expand.

Uber Eats is one of the largest food delivery services in the world, so no matter where your restaurant is located, you know you’ll be able to deliver to users.

DoorDash

Service Area: DoorDash serves more than 50 cities in the United States.

G2 Reviews: 4.3-star rating out of 5 stars (40+ reviews)

There is more to this app than delivering restaurant food to customers. You can also use this service to deliver other supplies to your restaurant via DoorDash for Merchants. For example, restaurant owners could use DoorDash to order delivery of restaurant equipment if they need an item quickly.

Zomato

G2 Reviews: 4.3-star rating out of 5 stars (40+ reviews)

Service Area: This online food ordering app serves hundreds of cities in the US.

You can manage your Zomato restaurant listing directly from your smartphone while UberEats offers a specialized tablet. In addition, Zomato offers free widgets to help restaurants grow. For example, you can display a widget that shows how many Zomato reviews you have. Showing reviews from a third-party website may help reassure new customers unfamiliar with your brand.

GrubHub

G2 Reviews: 4.1-star rating out of 5 stars (25+ reviews)

Service Area: The company serves several thousand cities around the world, including several hundred locations in the US.

GrubHub has a significant number of customers who regularly place orders. As of Q1 2020, the company had over 23 million “Active Diners.” In addition, the company is growing over time. Compared to Q1 2019, the company grew gross food sales by 8%. With this level of growth, GrubHub is worth a close look. In addition, GrubHub implemented an integration with Yelp in 2017. This reduces friction for your customers, so they can check out your restaurant on Yelp and order instantly.

Now that you know about the most popular food delivery services, it’s time to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using these services.

Ways to improve your restaurant’s success with delivery apps.

1) Managing free delivery.

On one level, all of the food delivery services reviewed above appear to offer the same service. Your customers can order food online and receive their orders via a delivery driver. However, there is much more to the story than that. For example, consider the free delivery question. Offering this option to your customers is one way to spark interest. However, there needs to be a reasonable way to compensate the delivery driver. Some apps make it easy to have a minimum order amount, while others may impose a service charge. If the mobile app for food delivery does not provide adequate compensation to the delivery driver, your customers may get slower service because fewer drivers will be interested in working with that service.

2) Improve your delivery times.

When a customer places an order for food, the clock starts ticking on delivery times. To be fair, restaurant owners can only control part of the delivery time equation. You cannot control traffic. Ultimately, your best option lies in improving your restaurant processes.

To offer better delivery times, there are three techniques to use. Start by reviewing the menu items you offer for online ordering. If a food item takes an hour to prepare, it may not be suitable for delivery. Second, review how your kitchen is organized and managed. Take a look at the most popular online food orders you receive. Can you pre-package some of the items (e.g., measure out 1-cup portions of milk at the start of each day to speed up the cooking process)? These steps will help you improve delivery times.

3) Never miss an order by maintaining a backup internet connection.

Since you are using food delivery apps, you need to have a robust internet connection. To avoid disappointing customers, consider investing in a backup internet service in case your internet connection fails.

4) Encourage customers to leave a review for your restaurant via the delivery app.

When a customer opens their mobile app to order food, they see ratings for each restaurant. For example, UberEats launched a 5-star rating system for restaurants in 2017. If your restaurant is new to food delivery apps, you may have far fewer ratings than those that have been on the platform for years. To catch up and stay competitive, encourage customers to give ratings. If you are not receiving good reviews, take a look at what customers are saying. For example, if there are customer complaints about small portion sizes, take action to address those comments by better describing your menu items.

5) Develop a process to manage multiple food delivery services.

Some restaurants use multiple tablets in the kitchen to track all of the online orders they receive. That’s one way to solve the problem of staying up to date. Alternatively, restaurant owners may decide to assign responsibility to one person in the restaurant. That employee can then monitor online orders as they come in, make sure the right orders are handed to the delivery person, and keep an eye on delivery times. Without this approach, your restaurant staff are more likely to make mistakes because there is no quality assurance check on each online order.

6) Keep your business phone lines operating smoothly. 

In some cases, your customers want to talk to your restaurant on the phone. For example, they might have detailed questions about whether your restaurant offers gluten-free meals. Regardless of the popularity of food delivery apps, research shows that even 35% of Generation Z (i.e. born 1997-2012) prefer to use the phone to communicate with small businesses. If you are still using a traditional landline phone at your restaurant, that service may no longer be good enough to keep up. Discover how a digital phone system for small business offers more capabilities like delivery of voicemails to your email and call recording so you can give feedback to your employees.

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Loyal customers are critical to business success because they tend to be a source of repeat business. According to The Loyalty Report 2018, “Loyalty programs that establish positive emotional connections with Members see 27% more of their Membership increasing their spend with the Brand.” This research tells us that building customer loyalty can lead to more spending.

Loyalty programs vs. improving customer experience: Designing your approach

There are different approaches to building customer loyalty. Some companies use loyalty program cards, bonus offers and other incentives. You might offer access to special deals like CVS or take 5% off the purchase price like Target. You might even give some or part of your product away for free, like airlines that provide free flights through their loyalty programs. What if your small business isn’t interested or able to offer these kinds of loyalty programs?

There is another way to encourage loyal customers to keep giving you repeat business. Gather customer feedback through a phone survey and then use that data to improve the customer experience. When customers see that the business owner has acted on their feedback, they may feel inspired to return to that business. That means more revenue for the bottom line. You just need a fast and straightforward way to conduct a customer satisfaction survey. That’s where a focused business phone survey comes in.

Why increasing customer loyalty with a phone survey is a good choice.

Organizing a customer satisfaction survey by phone offers notable advantages compared to other methods. While a net promoter survey can give you interesting data, there is no conversational element involved. Further, using the net promoter survey approach effectively requires a certain degree of specialized training in the net promoter methodology.

You might also consider online customer surveys. Surveying your email list or website is worth attempting. Depending on the size of your email list or website traffic, you might be able to get a large number of survey responses. The challenge with online customer surveys is that you will have to spend a lot of time reviewing the data to find insights. There is no way to ask a customer to clarify their survey responses or provide an example.

Conducting a customer satisfaction survey by phone gives you the best of both worlds. You can ask questions and get survey responses. However, you also have the opportunity to provide the human touch. For instance, you may hear a customer complain about a lost or delayed order. When you hear about a problem during a phone survey, you can gather all the necessary details to make the situation right with the customer.

How to increase customer loyalty with a phone survey step by step.

The following steps give you a starting point to create a simple customer satisfaction survey. Over the course of a month, you could gather a significant amount of insights to improve your customer service by calling five to 10 customers per day.

  1. Define your customer satisfaction survey goals.

Before calling a single customer, reflect on your business goals. Are you seeking to improve your profit margins? In that case, you may want to focus your survey on the customers that spend the most on your business. Finding ways to make high-spending customers content may give you an excellent return. Alternatively, you may decide to focus your survey project on whether your local SEO has attracted customers. 

  1. Write your customer satisfaction survey questions.

Now that you have clarity on your goals, it is time to write your questions. According to Survey Monkey, a survey software company, it is best to focus your survey on closed-ended questions. An example of a closed-ended question would be: “How many times have you bought from our business in the past 12 months?” However, this kind of question may not give you the ideas you need to improve the customer experience.

At the end of the survey, consider asking one or two open-ended questions to understand better what your customers like. Encourage customers to think creatively with a question like this: “If you could change anything in our business, what would you improve?”

Tip: Reduce your need for note-taking by using call recording, but make sure that you ask for permission first.

  1. Test the survey with a small group of customers.

With your list of customer satisfaction questions, make a few test phone calls to customers. The purpose of the test is to discover if any of the questions are unclear. If you receive confusing answers, revise the question to make them clearer.

  1. Train employees on how to gather survey responses.

Consider running a few training phone calls for your employees. Ask them to call you or other employees in a role-playing scenario. Making a few practice calls will help your employees become more familiar with the questions. Besides, practice phone surveys will help employees learn how to record survey responses accurately. Once the training is complete, give your staff a list of customers to call and let them get started.

  1. Review the survey responses for insights and follow up with customers.

After all of the survey responses are in, schedule time to review the results. In particular, look for patterns in the results. If a large number of people gave low scores to your website, you may need to make improvements. Also, review the survey responses received in the open-ended questions. You might be pleasantly surprised at what customers tell you.

  1. Follow up with customers after the survey when needed.

A phone survey lets you gather rich insights because you can quickly ask follow-up questions. However, merely gathering survey responses may not impress your customers very much. Instead, offer to refer problems to the business owner for improvement or offer to enter the respondent in a drawing for a gift card. That is a much more compelling improvement! By addressing problems and issues when they arise, you stand a much better chance of winning additional loyal customers.