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Hungry for Phone Calls: Insights Into Food Delivery Customer Preferences

Food Delivery Report Infographic

Everyone likes food. Who doesn’t? Everywhere you look, there are restaurants, drive-thrus, and apps on your phone to get whatever food you’re hankering for. And people certainly have food delivery preferences when it comes to their purchases. Mobile delivery has become increasingly popular over the last two years (thanks to quarantine and isolation). Roughly 90% of people reported using a food delivery system, according to a 2021 First Orion survey.

As the food delivery industry prospers, there are reasons it falters as well. Namely, the food delivery customer experience needs improvement due to miscommunication with clients.

First Orion surveyed more than 5,000 U.S. residents about their food delivery customer preferences with calls from food delivery services to their phones. The survey also reached out to delivery drivers to get their side of the story.

Our Findings

Our results revealed that while nearly 75% of drivers said they needed some communication with customers, more than 3 in 5 customers reported missing a call from their driver because it wasn’t identified properly.

Key points:

  • Nearly 80% of people said they had an issue with a delivery and needed customer service
  • More than 3 in 5 customers missed a call because it wasn’t properly identified
  • 93% of customers want a call when there’s a problem or substitution needed, AND 59% want a call when the driver can’t find their location

You Won’t Like Them When They’re Hangry

Dealing with hangry people can be dangerous (Have you SEEN anyone happy when their stomach growls?). When customers crave the latest dish, they want it now – or at least on time.

Food delivery is all about convenience and providing “hot and ready” results. When customers face an issue, they’re looking for an immediate resolution. Customer service needs to be ready to provide great service, especially when calling. Nearly 80% of people said they had a problem with a delivery and needed customer service to resolve it.

Phoning for Food

The top five reported issues we found were:

  • Late delivery (“you’re late!”)
  • Food quality (“my food’s cold and soggy ): “)
  • Incorrect order (“Excuse me, but this isn’t what I ordered”)
  • Food order never arrived (“your order has been delivered” “There’s nothing here!”)
  • Driver needed help getting to the location (“I will be delayed; I can’t find your apartment” *missed call from Delivery Driver*

Fix the Fast Food Dilemma

Now that we have insight into food delivery customer preferences, how can businesses provide a quick solution to consumers and drivers alike? The phone call, DUH! A big issue with emails is that they are slow and get lost in the inbox.

SMS messaging has its issues, too – people can easily miss a random ping or vibration, especially if their phones are on silent.

Don’t just take our word for it. 93% of delivery customers request a call regarding an order issue.

For delivery drivers, 59% use a phone call to contact customers when they have delivery issues, like an incorrect address or a problem completing an order.

Food for Thought

Lousy service can hurt a business. And when it comes to food, customers take good communication seriously.

Over half of surveyors say missing a call created a negative experience for them. This negative experience can lead them to the competitor’s embrace – more than two-thirds would switch to a service that could properly label outbound calls.

Looking for more insights into communication preferences for food delivery customers and drivers? Check out the 2022 Food Delivery Report. Discover if a Branded Communication solution is right for your business.

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