Categories
customer service startup

Big Basket – Morning Cheer

img src: livemint

Is Big Basket doing any form of soft skill training to its delivery staff, or was my today morning delivery an exception?  The delivery person smiled a cheerful smile and said Good Morning.

Came in. Stacked the 9 items that I had ordered neatly on the floor. Read it out. Checked it. Collected the cash. Smiled.

And said, “Thank you. I hope you have a great day Sir.”, again with a very genuine smile. 

Wow. That sealed it. It goes to show how such a simple upgrade to the mundane delivery process, can affect the customer, in a good way.  Good going Big Basket. I hope you are doing this as a process.

How many of you would agree that, this should be the differentiator for such experiences?

Categories
innovation startup technology

Hyperlocal for daily milk?

The current proliferation of Hyperlocal is awesome. I love it because of at least 2 reasons:

  1. I get stuff from my local area – a lot of times I am used to getting stuff from nearby where I live. These goods may or may not be available elsewhere.
  2. I get it from the local grocers and shopkeepers – so they are not affected by the so-called “e-commerce boom”. In fact hyperlocal enables ecommerce for these local guys who cannot afford to go and sell online.

Now, with that, out of my mind, let me get to a problem that every household faces. The problem of getting milk (and related items) every morning.

Daily home delivery of milk can be categorized into a couple of types:

  1. People who always order the same type of milk (full cream or toned or slim) and the same quantity every day.
  2. People who have coupons given by the milk guy for different quantities and types of milk. They drop these coupons in a bag outside the gate, and the milk guy delivers per the coupon dropped.

Even the first category guys have an on-demand requirement for other dairy and other bakery products such as curd, ghee, and bread (which, ofcourse has varieties – sandwich bread, milk bread, wheat, brown etc).

If you notice, one thing that is uniform across all the requirements is the fact that, in most times, the requirement is remembered only at 10PM the previous night and is required the next day morning. 

This is the official pain-point that is to be addressed.

Mockups courtesy the awesome moqups.com

mock1  mock2  mock3

This is not an extensive mockup, but you get the drift.

Additional features could be:

  • Location could either be the address that you signed up with, or can be configured using the GPS in your app.
  • The Date screen could have a way by which you can add recurrence. This would make it slightly more complicated, but might be useful for those who order the same thing again and again.

For best ease of use, I would recommend an online wallet. The delivery is most likely going to be very early hours in the morning, and hence could be cumbersome for COD.

Need for a new special logistic solution 

The one thing different about the logistics of this delivery problem is that, in most cases, the delivery would need to be drop into a bag/basket tied on the gate and leave. If the delivery is going to be at 5AM, this would probably need to be the case. This goes against the traditional delivery logistics of getting an ack from the customer.

This could be potentially be solved using:

Trust method. The customer trusts the hyper local delivery guy completely that he would delivery what he had asked for. He would just get an SMS or a push notification that the goods have been delivered.

Proof method: The delivery guy has some kind of a proof method that he did deliver the goods at the appropriate time. Perhaps he could place the goods in the appropriate location, click a snap with his logistics app which would imprint date/time on the snap and send it to you as part of push notification. More sophisticated RFID technologies could also perhaps be used – but I cannot think of any at the moment.

Well, @grofers, @amazonIN are you listening? Can we see this happening any time soon?

 

Categories
Opinion Restaurant Review

You lost me, Faasos

Faasos was one restaurant chain which I really wanted to succeed (with me!). I do not really care for it to succeed for everybody. These things are very individual. I loved their wraps the first time I tried them a year or two ago. They were in a much smaller scale. Their phone ordering was good. Their packaging was pretty damned good. Neat small rectangular cardboard boxes the size of the wraps, so that they stay in shape. Then they brought online ordering. They brought an app. Their messaging was funky.

They had it all going for them (for me!)  except for the key ingredient that I deeply care for – service. The first thing you notice when you order online, which seemed to be a flawless workflow was that, after you confirm your order, a message appears in the last screen that, the 20 minute guarantee does not hold good for online orders. Well, that is cheating in my regards, if you tell me that, after I have submitted the order.

Ok. Most phone orders that I place, do not have any guarantees, except for Dominos. So if it is not 20 minutes, I thought it would be 30-40 minutes. I was willing to wait.

I ordered, and got an SMS confirmation stating which store my order had gone to. It was amusing because there is a store (Koramangala Sonyworld) which is way nearer than the store that it was allocated to (Koramangala JNC). I didnt think too much about it because the further store was still slightly less than 2km.

40 minutes pass. I get hungry. I tweet out to @faasos asking for status. I get a “We are looking into asap” response message.

I decide to go back to the webpage. There is a nice track order section in the webpage, which asks for my order number. Hmm. Now where do I get that. The confirmation SMS did not have that. So I cannot track now either.

It is now an hour and I am getting hungrier. So I decide to call the store. The store goes into a dull “All customers are busy. Please hold the line” message for 4 minutes. I cut and call again. I hold 6 minutes. Same treatment.

I go back to the webpage to see if there is any other alternate contact number. Nothing zilch. Meanwhile, I have started tweeting my discontent. No response at all.

It is hour and 20 minutes and I give @Faasos 10 minutes time on twitter after which I would send back the order.

10 minutes later, I pick up my wallet and phone and leave the house to go somewhere and eat. I meet the delivery guy sauntering in near the gate of my complex. He claims that he rushed here in 5 minutes. I send him back. I tell him, I have nothing against him, but this is something to voice my displeasure at the company. I also show him the SMS that I received an hour and half ago, so that he can go and show it to his bosses.

The surprising thing is, a year ago, I had exactly the same thing happened to me. Secretly, I was wishing they had improved. I guess not. And now, I have lost faith completely.