Where is my coffee?

It is Saturday afternoon.  Things were moving slowly.  I just thought I need something to boost my energy.  Instead of going out, I decided to order something from Starbucks via local food delivery platform..  a bit lazy choice.

The ordering went smoothly. The app is easy to use,  you can find Starbucks easily and offering from Starbucks were presented nicely. I selected a cup of coffee,  a cup of tea as well as a small cake,  for my wife and myself.   The payment process was quite great.  No more typing of 16 or 15 digits of your credit card,  it was integrated with Apple Pay (I am using iPhone).   Once payment was confirmed, the app presented order status “preparing…”.  I received email confirmation as well.  So far so good

You can image that preparing a cup of coffee and tea is not going to take much time especially they are from Starbucks.   But,  I started to get worried what was going on as the app still showing the status preparing,  just tea and coffee… you know..

30 minutes was gone,  no change of the status – still preparing, I checked the app – only 3 standard items available for my pending order  – – basically, you can not cancel it, you can not change it.. . And I started to search whether there was  any customer support channel available – nothing in the App.   I went to their website – Great! the help center only presented standard answer, no online chat and no phone number.   And I did google search.  and then I got  email to their support – usually, that would not solve anything in a timely manner.

almost 40 minutes passed,  my order was still preparing. I decided to send an email to their support anyway.

email was sent and just after that I received a notification that my order is on the way,  finally, after more than 50 minutes from a Starbucks probably just 1km away.

The issue here is me,as customer does not have any means to address their needs to find out what was going on and whether they could do anything – change the order, cancel the order or …   This in turn, I believe, would impact their decision when they need to select the delivery platform next time.

I checked “help” again after my order was delivered,  I noticed that the items available were related delivery  (anything missing, any problem, wrong order), payment, feedback about delivery person, and late delivery (was it a bit too late to ask whether the delivery was late? ) Actually, I noticed that there were chat function under certain questions, for example, missing item,  order marked as delivered but not received yet. ..  It seems that the platform adopted smarter approach to deploy their support resource:

  1. no generic helpline
  2. only target those that requires human intervention
  3. no support if that is beyond their control.  Probably delay in food preparation is not something they could change immediately as it is under the control of restaurant. hopefully,  there will be follow up actions with the respective restaurant if there were always complaints about the delay .

I received their email response within the 30 minutes after i clicked send button.  I was surprised. At least, someone was working on the customer support email and addressing the concern form customer.

I would say the missing piece here is how to deal customer frustration when there is delay in food preparation which is not under their direct control.  But that is also one of key pain point their customer is facing I believe.  I really do not want wait for my coffee for 50 minutes.

have a good cup of coffee!

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