Business & Innovation
- April 20, 2021

Speed, choice, safety: Here’s what makes customers happy

Our mission at Delivery Hero is to always deliver an amazing experience. But how do we know what “amazing” means for our customers, and is there a difference between how customers in Montevideo perceive an “amazing” experience versus customers in Bangkok, Dubai or Stockholm? 

The objective of our Global Customer Experience team at Delivery Hero is to answer these questions. In this article, we will deep-dive into what is important to customers, which role cultural differences play for their experience, and how the definition of “an amazing experience” changed through COVID-19. 

Across the world we have seen that our customers value the ease of ordering on our platform, the choice they have on products for an affordable price and, one of the most important parts, the time it takes to receive their order (delivery time). These insights help us to focus our technological and operational efforts on what really matters to our customers. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly the data tells us about the recipe for customer happiness.

Delivery Hero’s Customer Experience team

How delivery time impacts customer happiness 

When it comes to delivery time, the key question is: How long is a customer willing to wait for their food until they become unhappy? The answer to this question depends on the region, customer segment and situation they are in.

Due to our ongoing measurement of customer experience (each month we analyze almost two million customer responses!), we can provide some very good guidance on that to the business: Generally speaking, customer satisfaction begins to deteriorate if they are made to wait more than 10 minutes. However, being too early has a negative impact too. Therefore, the challenge is to find the right delivery time range to satisfy our customers. 

Generally speaking, customer satisfaction begins to deteriorate if they are made to wait more than 10 minutes. However, being too early has a negative impact too.

As a rule of thumb, food delivery after 45 minutes results in very unhappy customers and a significant increase in contact rate for our service centers. What’s interesting to observe is that customers were more willing to wait a little longer at the beginning of the pandemic (in the first quarter of 2020). One year after, in the first quarter of 2021, the expectations are back to pre-pandemic times. 

Why more variety can lead to more re-orders

On the topic of choice, the more restaurants or products we can offer, combined with several price options, the better of an NPS we receive (NPS = Net Promoter Score, number that indicates if the customer will recommend us to their friends and if he/she will re-order). However, there is a fine line between too many and too few choices. 

From previous analyses we know that the right variety can lead to more loyal customers and they tend to order more often and/or have a bigger order volume. This is especially true for our q-commerce business. Customers nowadays can find more products than they previously could and they are more likely to re-order again and more often. 

The FOX concept: Measuring happiness by combining different types of data 

It is not enough to only focus on survey feedback to understand the impact delivery time and choice have on customer happiness. Therefore, we included operational data in our analyses and were able to quantify the direct impact even of one minute delay on customer loyalty (NPS). By leveraging operational data for the order experience stage of the customer journey, we have seen indications that stacked orders can have a negative impact on customer happiness and that a change in delivery time has an immediate impact on customer loyalty.   

That being said, it is important to analyze not only survey feedback but link it with other data sources in order to understand the customer experience and the impact several touchpoints can have. The Global Customer Experience team at Delivery Hero calls this concept FOX. The objective is to combine financial, operational and experience data so we can understand dependencies and really focus on the aspects with the biggest impact on customer happiness.

How the pandemic changed order behavior and customer happiness

After having been in a global pandemic for over a year now, we have a lot of interesting data insights into how expectations and the importance of experience attributes changed during this time. Research across 20 countries has shown that almost 50% of our customers order more than they used to before the pandemic. 

Research across 20 countries has shown that almost 50% of our customers order more than they used to before the pandemic. 

Additionally, we have seen a new critical factor determining customer happiness: safety. For one third of our customers, it is important to have the assurance that the restaurants implemented a safety checklist for the meal preparation. Also the delivery experience itself changed, now being executed contact-free and with safety measures like facial masks in place. Around 70% of customers trust our brands to deliver their food in a safe manner that protects them against COVID-19. 

In a nutshell, being able to choose from a big (but not too big!) variety of partners and products, going through a simple ordering process, receiving the items on time (but not too early!) and having a safe delivery process results in customer happiness (at least in 2021). We’ll keep a close eye on how this might change going forward, so make sure to watch this space!

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Written by


Sebastian McClintock Delivery Hero
Sebastian McClintock

Director, Customer Experience Delivery Hero

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