Branded communication technology can help restaurants and delivery services improve communication in the critical last mile of delivery to enhance customer experience.
Food delivery, which saw a massive increase during the pandemic, is a restaurant industry trend that is here to stay. Consumers have come to enjoy the speed and convenience of mobile ordering and expect a frictionless delivery experience. As restaurants respond to increasing demand for delivery, they must find ways to ensure top-notch customer experiences. Branded communication technology can help restaurants and delivery services improve communication in the critical last mile of delivery to enhance customer experience.
Today, food delivery is a major part of the dining experience for consumers. According to the National Restaurant Association, 54% adults say purchasing takeout or delivery food is essential to the way they live, including 72% of millennials and 66% of Gen Z adults. With this shift in dining patterns comes an increase in spending on food delivery. A survey by eduMe found that 60% of U.S. consumers are now spending more money on food delivery per month than before the pandemic. Almost one in four (22%) are spending, on average, between $50-99 more per month, and more than one in 10 (11%) are spending $100-$149 more per month on food delivery.
With many people relying on their next meal to come to their doorstep and spending more of their monthly budget to do so, the global food delivery market is now worth over $150 billion, more than tripling since 2017. In North America, the online food delivery market reached a value of $26.2 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow to $53.5 billion by 2027, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.5% from 2022-2027.
While demand for food delivery is growing, customer experience is suffering due to a lack of proactive, direct communication with customers. Establishing better communication is essential for overcoming challenges associated with the last mile of food delivery and improving customer experience. As a result, restaurants and food delivery services are turning to branded communication technology to connect with customers and optimize the delivery experience.
Branded communication is a technology that allows companies to display their logo, company name, department and reason for calling on the call recipient’s device screen at the time of the call and in the call log afterward. Knowing who is calling and why gives consumers the confidence to answer their phones. That’s pivotal when it comes to addressing logistical problems in food delivery.
There are many moving parts when it comes to food delivery and breakdowns in the delivery process, including late deliveries, incorrect orders, food that never arrived, and drivers needing directions or access. Unfortunately, most consumers ordering food delivery have experienced one or more of these issues. A recent eduMe survey found that since 2021, 63% of U.S. consumers have experienced at least one incorrect food delivery order.
Phone calls are an immediate form of communication that can fix problems like these when and if the customer answers their phone; however, most consumers today don’t answer calls from unknown callers because of the rising number of scam and spam calls. In 2021 alone, there were an estimated 110 billion scam calls, 88 million scam victims and $44.2 billion in scam losses in the U.S. Nearly one in three Americans have fallen victim to a phone scam in the last year, with an average financial loss of $500. To put this into further context, if all the scam and spam call bad actors were part of a single conglomerate, that corporation would rank 101 on the Fortune 500 list ahead of companies like 3M, Dollar General and Delta Airlines.
Like many other business sectors, restaurant food delivery is negatively impacted by a call environment that creates consumer mistrust in the phone call. Research by First Orion shows that 59% of consumers missed a call from a food delivery or pickup service in the past year because they did not want to answer an unknown number and 56% said the missed call resulted in a negative delivery experience. While consumers experience dissatisfaction when communication is lacking, delivery drivers experience frustration with the same issue. According to the survey, nearly 75% of delivery drivers said they “always” or “usually” need to communicate with their customers, but customers ignore calls nearly 70% of the time because the number is unrecognized.
The key to getting consumers the right food at the right time and place hinges on communication. Branded communication helps businesses like restaurants and food delivery services establish person-to-person connections through voice touchpoints, providing transparent, consistent communication that translates to happy, loyal customers.
Capitalizing on the food delivery market and staying ahead of the competition requires restaurants to adopt technology designed to optimize last-mile delivery logistics. Restaurants that don’t meet consumers’ expectations for high-quality, convenient and frictionless food delivery experiences will lose their share of wallets. Conversely, restaurants that leverage innovative branded communication technology can serve up greater customer satisfaction, which will help grow their bottom line.
Allison Owen is the vice president of client success at First Orion, where she oversees the client and partner experience. Her work in CX dates back more than 25 years and includes leadership roles at industry-leading data companies such as Merkle and Acxiom. She attended the University of Central Arkansas and studied sociology and community education.