Customer Experience

Podcast: Digital customer experience learnings in a time of crisis

Sebastian McClintock, Director of Customer Experience from Delivery Hero shares how customer insights are driving real-time shifts to business strategy during the current pandemic and setting the company up for the “new normal.”

Delivery Hero, an online food delivery service that partners with more than 500,000 restaurants in over 40 countries, is facing the challenges of a global pandemic with a unique, digital approach.

Sebastian was joined by Clay Warren, Head of Digital CX at Qualtrics.

Hear the full interview

Read full transcript

What actions has Delivery Hero taken in response to the current crisis?

“We launched a program to support our riders, providing face masks, gloves and hand sanitizers, but also working to make sure the customer feels safe because our research tells us that customers want things like contactless deliveries.”

How are you keeping a pulse on customers during this time?

“As well as our recurrent customer surveys, we’ve started to include COVID-19 surveys to understand customer needs, and what they’re afraid of. We also survey riders and restaurants - we call it the magic triangle because the three experiences are dependent on each other.

Across all the countries we operate in, we’re getting 100,000 responses a week and we can really dig deep into the topic to understand what’s going on with the customer.”

How are you collecting that feedback?

It very much depends on the country. In Asia and the Middle East, everyone uses their phones, so we use push notifications — if we send an email nobody will respond. In Europe, and some South American countries we see that customers prefer to use email so we gather feedback that way — we need to be flexible based on the channel customers prefer.

Is this the new normal? How should we react going forward?

“We’re seeing a number of things that I think will stay after COVID-19. Like we’ve seen a shift from cash payments to card payments and that’s something we’re set up for.

I think generally, this has exposed people to online ordering and we have a lot of new customers that I don’t see rushing straight back to brick and mortar stores.”

What advantages does Delivery Hero have going forward being a digital-first brand?

A big advantage for us is we can scale everything we do — so if we try an innovation or a new feature in one market, we can scale that globally pretty quickly.

Speed, scale, and targeting are all critical for us — so we talk to customers all the time about these things, because it’s our job on the CX team to push that with management and have the processes in place to make sure we deliver that for our customers.”


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Clay Warren (00:04):
Hi, this is Clay Warren, head of digital CX at Qualtrics. And I want to welcome you to a webcast series. We're calling the digital playbook in this webcast series. We'll discuss all things, digital, digital marketing, digital analytics, digital strategy, and digital customer experience throughout the series. We'll invite industry experts and digital practitioners to discuss and debate these topics. Today, we're going to talk about the role of digital customer experience in today's pandemic and economic crisis. And with this in mind, we've invited our guests, Sebastian McClintock director of customer experience from delivery hero to join us. Sebastian, welcome. Good to have you on. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks. Thanks for the invitation. Uh, Sebastian, can you tell us a little bit about, uh, delivery hero, what services you provide, maybe where you operate and your role? Sure.
Sebastian McClintock (00:57):
So Delivery Hero, we operate in more than 40 countries and due to the, the global scope of our countries, very important to understand from a global point of view, the different customer expectations and that's what a resident do. So my job is I'm, I'm heading the customer experience team here in Berlin, but in Germany, um, and my team and I take care of making sure we understand the new trends of customers, the expectations of the customers, but also what the customer experience with us, how they see the, the customer journeys, the journey stages, and also how they perceive our new services and Delivery Hero. Um, it's not such an old company actually. It's um, we, and this company grew a lot of what time over the time. So we started off as a marketplace company, which means we were the, um, the people or the platform who, who made sure that the customer gets menu options for restaurants or the food, and then the rest.

Sebastian McClintock (02:05):
And then the customer ordered on our platform from the restaurant and the restaurant delivered that changed a little bit over time, which means that now we have a, a large fleet of riders, um, what they deliver the food on the behalf of the restaurant. And it's not only the food over the time, especially the last quarter or last two quarters. More importantly, the grocery delivery increased a lot right through to the COVID-19 situation. So we, the customer cannot also order a groceries on our platform that can order drinks on our platform. They can order healthcare products. So that's a very wide portfolio, what they can order from our company or from our platform. And also important or interesting to know is maybe that we do not operate under the delivery of grant globally. We have local brands, um, and all the different mob markets, like some of the South America or main brand, there is Pitta dosha, and the middle East, they have Taliban in Asia via food Panda in Europe, we have Foodora. So they're based in all the different regions, but for different brand, which makes it even more challenging, but also fun too. I really understand the, the Rana's awesome about our brand, right?

Sebastian McClintock (03:27):
Yeah. And then the new one, which, and since we reset, especially in times like these, we have to adapt to a new, um, for the new sedation. So we started demod DMARDs are basically the, the small shops, the mama Pat shops. So to say on the corner. So we offer a service for them that the customer can, can order from this small shops and the deliver we deliver again, the products, which means it's not like the big brands like Walmart, like Tesco and no, it's also little tiny shops. They get another opportunity with us to be online and to sell the products online. And we do live on their behalf. Well, it's a very nice concept, I think.

Clay Warren (04:12):
Yeah. So the consumer has a tremendous amount of choice.

Sebastian McClintock (04:16):
Yes. Interesting. Lots of choice. And that's also, that's a challenge done, right? That's why we need the custom experience to really understand, well, what do they want the customers? And is it too much choice, right. In some countries we even see if we offer over a certain amount of, of options, that's too much for the customer. They cannot, they cannot cope with it. So they have, we have to scale back some other Congress or regional that would like to have lots of options at least to see them. Usually they pick very often they pick the, the, um, their was other, let's say pizza. They always ate by the Lisa what to see, Oh, I have many more options. Right,

Clay Warren (04:57):
right. Interesting. So, I mean, this is a pretty expansive brand. And what I would imagine that over the course of COVID-19 and a pending, or maybe that's a current global economic crisis, um, how is, what are some things that deliver hero has done, or maybe some findings that you guys have implemented that have helped delivery hero during this time

Sebastian McClintock (05:21):
during the COBIT 19 times? I mean, correct. Yep. Yeah. Um, so since we are, we have such a big fleet of writers. We launch a program to, to support writers specifically. Um, not that they don't get paid out their check every month, for example, but they get it every week. Um, all we had them to provide hygiene articles like face mask or gloves or enough hen sanitizers. So these are the basic basic reading, right for the writers were ensure also that the customer feels safe because we have seen from research and from simply asking a customer, they expect that the rider wears the face mask they expect, and the writers has gloves on. They expect that they can have a conflict contact, less delivery, meaning they don't want that, uh, that the rider comes with the food in the hands, handing them over. They prefer the rider just leaves the food in front of the doorstep and then leaves.

Sebastian McClintock (06:21):
Right, right. Then the customer can take it. And so that's on the writer's side. And on the restaurant side is, you know, the lots of restaurants on travel right across the, that the government forced them to close, or they, they don't have the enough brokers anymore. The brokers are sick or what, whatever, for whatever reason that cannot operate on the, on the, on the scale they used to. So therefore those restaurants, we also, um, did some programs, we'll put some programs in place to help them to overcome. And the time that where they have lots of losses, where are profits, and also help them to on a lower scale, at least help them and to make sure they can keep operating. So at least a little bit of money comes in from that point of view. Sure. Lots of different programs we try to, to, to support our, um, our partners. So to say, right. How

Clay Warren (07:16):
it's interesting, because you mentioned some of the insights that you've found that, you know, you understand the consumer expectation, the consumer expects safety, they can expect your riders to wear masks, to wear gloves, you know, to be, take the utmost precautions. How are you keeping or how has delivery Hebrew keeping a pulse on customers during this time?

Sebastian McClintock (07:38):
Yeah. So in general, we be a very much interested in feedback in general from our customers. Um, so therefore behalf recurrent service and the company implemented anyhow and right, or next to those recurring surveys we have on top, we call them COVID-19 surveys. So there'll be target customers specifically asking for, for the expectations, what they, what they want now, what they are afraid of now and what the nice thing is also that, so we call it a magic triangle in the company and then magic triangle. Beverly is asking the customers, the restaurant and the writers for feedback, because all those three groups, they implement each other, each other, right? So the customer is angry of the food is late delivered. Why is it later? Why was the food late delivered? Was it the restaurant didn't prepare the food fast enough? Or was it that the writer did not show up on time when the, when the food was ready?

Sebastian McClintock (08:43):
So the restaurant has to re re re cook or warm it up or whatever. So there are many, many different variables that we, if you measure, and if you keep an eye on Trek every single day. So just to give you a number in our 40 plus countries, I believe 40 and 42 of them are 41 of them. We alive with surveys and they called them after order surveys, where we ask the customer for feedback after the ordered, and every single week, we get more than 100,000 responses and wow. On globally from all the different countries and entities. So we have a vast amount of data and not only, um, data itself, but we have huge number of verbatim. So we can really leverage this verbatim, those comments to really dig deep into the topic what's going on with the customer. And this, I think helped us, um, with the, the COVID-19 times.

Sebastian McClintock (09:39):
Why, because very early on in, it was back in February, even in Europe, BFC comments who mentioned Corona and COVID-19, and then as soon as at least in Europe, the dependency came closer and closer. Those comments increased. And now that it's more over into the America, South and North America, we see a high portion of comments regarding Corbin and cooling there. So basically our comments of the tracking and the service from the customer restaurant riders, we see the waves come and go around the world, which has proven amazing. I think if you were just thinking about what do you can see and learn from the customer comments, how would that correlates with the, the Google situation? Right. Right. And now is that our customers leaving those comments? Are you guys capturing feedback via an app, like a survey in an app? Or is it through email or is it a combination of both?

Sebastian McClintock (10:40):
Yeah. Yeah. Good question. That's very much depends on the country. Like in Asian countries is the Asian countries and middle East are very much after event. Meaning the customers, they use their phone for everything. I know almost everything. So if you tried to send up emails, you will not be as successful. Therefore we adopted and only send push messages. So as soon as the customer opens the app, or even before they get into duplication saying, I know you ordered food, um, please let us know what to think about it. Right. For example. So in a push in some other markets and, um, dominantly in European markets, even summer, some South American markets, we still send out email service. Once we see the email service, these that's the right channel from the customer point of view, they use the emails, right, like behind sometimes. So they like emails.

Sebastian McClintock (11:33):
And then you have to, you have to, um, send out emails about the service to ask customers. And that's a very good question, cause it really, really impacts your, um, your, your score and your responses. And cross, we have seen that the, the inept surveys push surveys, the response is at least three times higher, then the email surveys, at least some conversation more interesting. And sometimes even more, I would say, um, the, the comments are shorter compared to emails and in the email, it's the Baden or the customer constant longer, better, often compared to the mobile phone, which makes sense. Right. I mean, it's easier to have a keyboard in front of you and then type comments. That's a very, that's interesting part. Yeah. So

Clay Warren (12:24):
Sebastian, do you think, I mean, so hopefully I would imagine that eventually we'll move out of this crisis mode. Um, how do you see is this the new norm, uh, that we're in and I mean, companies are constantly, they're probably asking you, but they're consistently asking me, you know, is this the new norm? How should we be reacting? How do we keep a pulse on our customers? Um, what advice do you have for maybe other CX practitioners, especially in digital, um, moving forward.

Sebastian McClintock (12:53):
Yeah. I mean, for us to be honest, it was, Mmm. It was, um, how do you say that? Like the, in some Congress before COVID we have seen that the customers, they wanted to pay cash, it did not lie paying the credit cards and all of a sudden that changed. Right. I think thank goodness that we had this system set up upfront already so possible. It's no problem too, to accommodate that customer change other behavior change. Right. So it was very easy for us and also the contact list delivery. Um, I believe that the, be some, one of the innovations or not a, it's not an innovation. One of the ideas that we then did that will stay like this, right. Would it be, have, um, that you can give tip online and not wait for the, for the writer to comment, then hand out the tip in cash.

Sebastian McClintock (13:44):
So there's some changes in the, in our process that happened during this COVID-19 situation and they will stay for sure. I believe, um, the, what we may be and he's, but just that's my personal opinion regarding the customer expectations. They go juice now too, to order online. All right. So you have a high share of new customers in many different regions. And from my point of view, at least the hepatitis there, they've seen it. Brooks, they've seen, we delivered very fast and we are reliable. So why don't they just stay with us? Right. Why, why should this switch over, go back to the old brick model stores and go there, get their food, bring all the heavy, heavy goodies home it's simply kind of ordered with two clicks and then they're done. So that's what we have seen a change in the behavior regarding that, which is amazing, which is really good for our business.

Clay Warren (14:45):
Yeah. I think I, a hundred percent agree. I think we've seen a shift in consumer behavior and that they're more acclimated to digital channels. Yes. And becoming okay with, I can, I can stay at home and I can have a very good experience working with the brands through digital channels instead of having to get in my car and do the traditional run to the restaurant and sit down. Um, yeah. And I, 100% agree. It's been interesting. Do you feel like, I mean, dish, uh, delivery hero has, has certainly been a, you know, a digital savvy brands. Uh, you guys are obviously, um, talk to me a little bit about, you know, the advantages that maybe Liberty hero had as being as, as being a digital first brand.

Sebastian McClintock (15:32):
Mmm. But the, the advantage is that we can scale everything and we do scale everything, right? So if we see this and you innovation or some new features, they're broken very well in one market, Oh, the customers actually, they, they approved. So to say, based on the feedback, they really liked that feature. It's fairly easy for us to roll that out globally on a global scale. So that's always, what's always very important for us, the scalability, and it's similar for the customer experience from my team, everything we do, we keep in mind, this has potential to be down globally on a global scale, all for the countries in all our, our 200 plus service, we have life every single day. All right. So with this in mind for us, it's very important to have a good tool. Um, but we can, we can do this, but we can scale out, or we can simply add new customer segments where we can simply target certain customer segments. We want to, you want to send better. Right. And that's why I've asked is very important too. Mmm. Yeah. As I mentioned to, to, to have a scalable approach

Clay Warren (16:46):
yeah. Speed. Scale, uh, intelligent targeting, uh, all are critical things. And we talk to customers all the time about these facts of, you know, it's not just collecting feedback. It's about having, being able to do this in real time, in an intelligent way. That's, uh, that's a great learning. Um, yeah, I appreciate it.

Sebastian McClintock (17:09):
Yeah. And, and talking about speed of just come into my mind, the, not a customer behave, and now that shift and custom habit behavior we have seen over the last three years, it's the delivery time. So flux sound up to two years ago. It was totally fine to get your pizza delivered within an hour, maybe or 45 minutes tops. And then you received your pizza within 45 minutes. You were top notch, right? Today's customers, they expect 25 minutes, 30 minutes delivery time. Right. You make it happen. Right. So we make sure it happens. And, um, and that's amazing to see the, if either Adobe is such a big company, you're still able to preserve all the identify cusp expectation, but also fulfill the customer expectations and figure out processes and, and put processes in place, which helps us to deliver the promise we make to the customer.

Sebastian McClintock (18:08):
You get your pizza and whatever 30 minutes or so. Right. Right. Which is very important. And that's also something my team, the customer experience team needs to, to push it more to the, to the, to the management because we know exactly that's the expected, the expectation from the customer. We've seen the numbers, what we've seen a feedback. They, they, um, they expect the food and between, let's say 30 minutes and 40 minutes, if you had two or three minutes, more or less doesn't matter. Right. But they expect a certain delivery time, which is promised upfront and then kept the promise. And then not very much, don't don't care. The customers sometimes don't care if, um, I don't know if you, if you have a small Coke, a big Coke, that's an offer, they dress one drink with it. I'd say there's some things that also what we need to figure out what really matters to the customer, what we think it did. It's not true very often. That's fine. We have such extensive programming, the number of hero to figure out what drives the customer. What are the expectations of their customer?

Clay Warren (19:19):
Yeah. That's interesting. I've found that as well as that, you know, CX a lot of times, especially in digital, you know, I keep finding brands are like, Hey, we're measuring NPS. And I'm like, that's great. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And then what, and CX is more about understanding how to meet customer expectations, discovering the unknown unknowns at times that customers have these expectations that a lot of times, unless you ask and you ask them the right way and you collect that data over time, um, or even in real time, you're unable to uncover what that expectation is and how to meet that. And it feels like deliver hero has done such a good job of doing that. I'm, I've been so impressed with your brand. Um, Sebastian, I really appreciate your time today. Um, it feels like you've kind of laid out the playbook for, for digital CX during a time of crisis. And I, I can't thank you enough. Um, perhaps we can have you back on the webcast at a future date. If you guys learn anything I want to close with. Um, if anybody, yeah, absolutely. Um, if, if, if you want to, for those who are listening, if you want to talk about anything you've heard on the webcast or about how Qualtrics can help your business customer experience, please feel free to email me@claywarrenatqualtrics.com or visit our website, qualtrics.com for more information, stay tuned next time for our next webcast. Thank you.

Sebastian McClintock (20:46):
Thank you.

Clay Warren

As Head of Digital CX, Clay Warren leads the product and marketing strategy for the Qualtrics CustomerXM for Digital solution. In his career, he has enjoyed both a depth and diversity of experience spanning disciplines including digital marketing strategy, media, analytics, and product marketing. Prior to Qualtrics, Clay led the go-to-market strategy for Adobe Analytics. Prior to Adobe, he built digital marketing strategies for Microsoft and for global brands at digital agency, Razorfish.

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