This morning, Uber Eats announced via email some redesigned elements as well as new features to its app. The new additions appear to be aimed at giving customers as much information as possible about their order during its journey to the front door, and assure them there’s someone on the other end of the phone should a problem arise.
Specifically, Uber Eats has revamped its order-tracking feature to give customers more precise updates about where a meal is in the process, whether that’s in preparation, en route to the house, or delayed due to some unforeseen issue. In the case of those delays, the app will update the user on why food is delayed or canceled (if the restaurant is unexpectedly closed, for example). The third-party delivery service is also promising customers the ability to reach their driver even before that person picks up the order, and said, in the release, that the company is “working to make sure you can reach the support you need, be it via call or chat.”
Small as these developments are — especially when compared to some of Uber Eats’ other developments over the last few months (see below) — they’re in direct response to user feedback which is not all that great, to put it mildly. “Bad customer service,” “ridiculous customer service,” and many other iterations of that statement pop up in the reviews for Uber Eats in the App Store, and they’re typically followed by lengthy descriptions missing orders, canceled orders, and an inability to get customer service on the phone:
Presumably, the new updates and features are a response to reviews like this, and will make the entire delivery experience a smoother ride — both for the food and the customers.
But Uber Eats — along with Grubhub — is officially behind DoorDash in terms of share of the delivery market. With competition as heated as it’s gotten in this space in recent months, none of the major third-party services can afford missing fries and randomly cancelled orders.
More important, Uber Eats’ new updates come just on the heels of the National Restaurant Association’s 2019 State of the Restaurant Industry report. And as Hudson Riehle, the Nation’s Restaurant Association’s senior vice president of the research and knowledge group, said recently, “One major development over the next decade for the industry will be how this technology is integrated to make sure this remains the ‘hospitality’ industry.”
Whether a few new updates to its app can accomplish that for Uber Eats remains to be seen.