6,000 per minute. At the height of recent promotions, New York City restaurants were receiving orders from Grubhub. On May 17, eager to expand its NYC business, the Food Delivery app surprised customers with a limited-time offer that offered a 15 discount on any order placed between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. that day. New Yorkers backed out of the deal. But Grubhub was not prepared for the madness that would result – nor were the restaurants, which reported never received prior notice of the promotion.
Orders piled up faster than anyone could fill, with restaurants and delivery drivers describing the experience as a “battle zone.” Grubhub announced that about 450,000 orders had been delivered, but many customers had to wait for hours for their lunch to arrive, with some orders arriving by 8pm and many not.
The experience not only angered customers using the app, but also angered the responsible partners in preparing and delivering orders. Restaurant owners dedicated to customer service were outraged; One operator summed up everyone’s feelings in a tweet: “rGrubhub You didn’t communicate with businesses. You didn’t ask if we really wanted to take part in it. Today you have threatened our reputation and violated our boundaries. Pay us the money you stole from us today. #dontbuyongrubhub. ”
Customers who did not receive their orders on time were left in limbo for the day, not sure if they would receive any support from the return or food delivery service. Those who arrived at the customer service were met with an hour-long waiting time, an online chat service, and a crashing app.
Days later, on Thursday the 19th, Grubub announced that it would return to customers, but with a lot of caution: refunds would only come for customers who did not receive their orders (and not for customers waiting for hours) and would be made in service. The form of credit in the application.
Despite the public outcry, Grubhub’s response has ranged from stupid to utterly tone-deaf. 17 tweets from the brand The order continued to encourageInterestingly suggesting that a $ 15 promotion is somehow equivalent A complete free lunchAnd worse, not so subtle Blaming restaurants Due to lack of preparation.
David Tower, a spokesman for Grubb, went so far as to call the promotion a “big win” because the initial announcement of a “free lunch” led to the acquisition of new diners and reactivated customers at “very low” marketing costs. But at a time when 96 percent of customers leave the brand after a bad experience, Tovar’s words seem inconsistent with the current moment.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. Here are four major takeaways:
Lesson 1: Don’t focus your CX strategy around variables you can’t control
Like all food delivery applications, Grubhub must rely on independent third parties to provide its services. Restaurants do not respond to Grubhub and delivery drivers are independent contractors, able to work for any of the competing platforms they choose in Tandem. This creates a fragile ecosystem built on mutual respect – which crashed immediately at 17 when the “unexpected” increase in the two-legged orders of this three-legged stool was sidelined.
Delivery drivers in NYC were rewarded with a surge price for keeping working. But the drivers who chose to take day off were criticized with push notices from Grubhub urging them to come to work instead of bonus pay. Drivers reported earning hundreds of dollars more than usual, making sure Grabhub earned more loyalty from them. However, the resulting problems with Grubhub’s app spread far beyond New York, and drivers around the rest of the country felt the pain as the app failed, with some leading only an average of $ 3.50 an hour of work that day. What is stopping these drivers from leaving Grubhub in favor of moving to the more popular Doordash (which boasts 59 percent market share) or UberEats (with 24 percent market share)?
In addition to the potential consequences for delivery drivers, Grubhub will now have to deal with the furious restaurant industry in America’s most populous city. Restaurants have reportedly lost money due to this promotion and fear of losing customers due to the notoriety of this bad experience.
Grubhub not only took the risk of focusing this promotion around variables that were completely out of their control, but also made things worse by having bad conversations with restaurants and drivers and limiting promotions to the three-hour window under their control. If they only offered प्रयोगकर्ता 15 credit to all users without a time limit (and informed their partners about the upcoming agreement), this whole situation could have been ignored.
Lesson 2: Look for opportunities in your competitors’ mistakes
Due to Grubhub’s public crash, competitors such as UberEats and Dig saw the opportunity. Within days, two businesses were trying to make up for Grubhub’s mistakes by offering NYC residents more provocative promotions.
UberEats users received an email with a tongue-in-cheek subject line that read “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” followed by a blinking face emoji. When they opened the email, they found a $ 25 coupon for use on UberEats, with no strings attached.
Dig, a quick-unofficial NYC restaurant chain with its own delivery app, asked users, “Are you still hungry since Tuesday?” Sent a promotion asking. This was followed by referral discounts for anyone downloading the app.
When your competitors make serious mistakes in public to anger customers, consider ways you can take advantage of their mistakes. UberEats and Dig showed their customers that they appreciate and understand the pain they have suffered. Before Grubhub announced its decision on the refund, they offered a solution, possibly earning as a result of long-term customer loyalty.
Lesson 3: Make sure CX touches every layer of your organization
In hindsight, it seems that the “battlefield” could easily have been predicted (and stopped) as a result of this promotion The team that came up with the promo had previously consulted with their CX strategists. But, more often than not, CX is sorted into a department focused on responding to customer needs rather than using it in an integrated, proactive way in business.
An excellent CX strategy is holistic. It identifies pain points on the end-to-end customer journey and resolves those pain points First They happen. CX teams should act as the devil’s advocate when planning big PR stunts because their job is always to represent the needs of the client. But this is not possible if your CX team is authorized to act only when the customer needs it. CX should touch every level of your organization and any planned promotions must pass the CX snuff test before it can be damaged. The old adage, “Better safe than sorry,” comes to mind.
Lesson 4: Don’t make mistakes
Perhaps the most surprising thing that has come from this Fyre Festival of food distribution is the response from Grubhub. By reducing reactions as “unexpected results” from angry NYC public[s]”We are talking about the city to be proud of at 17,” Grubhub showed his hand as a brand with its customers or partners.
Recent studies suggest that 41 percent of consumers will return to the brand OK We apologize for the inconvenience, but we really need to acknowledge the customer’s feelings. When this magnitude of failure is met with such a depressing reaction, it is like cleaning the rocks under a rug: you can hide the rocks, but now you are fighting with a turbulent and sharp rug.
Finally, it was a numbers game focused on expanding its user base in a city that has been at war with the delivery service for years. Grubhub’s market share in the Big Apple has been steadily declining since it peaked at 72 percent in 2020. When this promotion started, it was only 42 percent and I guess that number will decrease further because Grubhub’s response has been very depressing.
Brands can and will make mistakes. But how those mistakes are handled can make or break a brand in the eyes of consumers who have more options than ever before. Today’s customers demand accountability, and Grubhub missed the opportunity to act on its mistakes with grace. With so many alternative providers to choose from, Grubhub’s days can be counted on NYC and elsewhere.
CX experts everywhere should note: when brands prioritize transaction moments over conversion relationships, they miss the opportunity to create real lifetime value for themselves and their customers. Talk about unexpected results.