April 5, 2021

7 On-Demand Services that Use In-App Chat

Pronoy Roy

7 On-Demand Services that Use In-App Chat

Getting your food delivered to your doorstep is an amazing feeling. You don’t have to drive, you can take your time to choose what you want without holding up a line, and there’s no need to leave your house. Along with food, groceries and taxis are not immune to the charm of online orders either - think DoorDash, Uber, and Amazon Prime. These are all prominent examples of on-demand services.

Revenue in the online food delivery segment is projected to reach US$151,526m in 2021. (Source: Statista). The secret ingredient in their recipe for success is the use of in-app chat in their services. Some people would be skeptical of this assertion, but by the end of this blog, you’ll see what I mean.

On-Demand services that use in-app chat

Assurance is Good for Customer Retention

Assurance or customer assurance, in business, means gaining a customers’ confidence in a product or service. A study from 2010 indicated a positive correlation between assurance and customer retention. In fact, assurance was scored almost the same as service quality for customer retention. (Source: ResearchGate)

For on-demand services, the quality of products is often handled by the producers of the product, and the service quality is dealt with by the service provider, like in the case of Uber or Urban Company.

The implementation of in-app chat in on-demand services eliminates the uncertainty factor that comes with ordering online. This way, the users can contact a human who knows their concern and answer it. A company reported that adding in-app chat reduced their cancellation by 50% because of the ability to share the exact location with the help of an image.

Taking User-Friendly a Notch Up 

Reduced cancellation is not the only benefit that on-demand services can provide their delivery agents with to support them in assuring customers. In fact, several of these on-demand services use in-app chat for setting up custom messages that can be sent to the user once the agent has arrived at the location.

This paired with push notification of the chat lets the user know that the product or service that has been requested by them has arrived. This helps in standardizing the delivery process and as the users further work with the platform, they begin to know what to expect or look for any updates regarding their product.

This process becomes as non-intrusive as possible for the user and the user experience element of the platform is further enhanced. Take single sign-on for example. If the messaging is a separately included system within the app, the users don’t have to log in to the chat section to send messages. A good in-app chat gives them the freedom to send secure messages without any hassle.

If you’re still not convinced that in-app chat is how on-demand services improved their sales, here is a list of on-demand services that make use of in-app chat:

7 On-Demand Services that Use In-App Chat

1. DoorDash

Image of DoorDash Delivery Moped

DoorDash compiles several restaurants in an area to allow the user to choose whichever one they like. This model of on-demand food has been adopted by Uber Eats, Zomato, Swiggy, Foodpanda. Because these businesses are competing with one another, they end up deploying very similar features of in-app chat too.

Features They Use:

  • Text Chat for Special Instruction 
  • Voice Call for contacting the delivery agent
  • Push Notifications that inform the user of any communication from the agent

2. Uber

Uber app's chat
Image source : Tech recipe

Uber is an on-demand taxi service that allows users to book a cab instantly. Their text and calling features allows user to contact the drivers to clearly indicate their location, share landmarks, and guide them to the right place in no time. All of this is possible because of the features of in-app chat. And like DoorDash, in-app chat assures the custom that the cab is on the way so they don’t have to worry about a no-show situation.

Features They Use:

  • Text Chat for user-driver communication
  • Push Notifications that inform the user of any communication from the agent
  • Voice Calling between users and drivers
  • Data Masking to protect information like the client’s personal numbers from the agent and vice versa

3. Instacart

Instacart order tracking and shopper chat

Instacart is an on-demand grocery delivery service. It’s extremely popular in the U.S. where they have Instacart shoppers (their pickup and delivery agent) go to the requested store, pick up the ‘shopping list’, and deliver it. What’s especially great about this app is that they allow customers and their Instacart shoppers to communicate via chat. So, if a store does not have oranges and the user wants to change that for some other fruit, they can directly chat with their shopper. Even though they have competitors like Post Mates (acquired by Uber Eats), the freedom of change that Instacart users get is unparalleled.

Features They Use:

  • Image Sharing for exchanging images of the products
  • Text Chat to convey instructions or special requests
  • Webhooks that allow the user to confirm any replacements made by the shopper right from the chat

4. Airbnb

Airbnb app Chat
Image source: dribbble.com

When people are looking to travel and find a cheap stay at a new place, Airbnb is the household name - literally. People can rent out their property for varying duration across the year for travelers from across the globe. This means that Airbnb does the job of connecting hosts and guests all the time. Hosts have their concerns about who the guest is and their requirements, while the guests have concerns about the location and accessibility of the property. Airbnb, in my opinion, is one of the apps that would lose all their customers if they didn’t have in-app chat available. Being able to chat with hosts is the best way to build trust and confidence, before being able to decide to live in a stranger’s home.

Features They Use:

  • Text & Voice Chat to connect hosts and guest
  • Image Sharing for showcasing the property
  • Document Sharing for sending any confirmation documents and a replacement for using emails. 

5. Drizly

Drizly

If you want alcohol of your choice delivered to you (within an hour), Drizly is the go-to on-demand service in the United States. They partner with local alcohol retailers and take care of the logistics, making alcohol delivery a reality. With transparent pricing and fast delivery times, this business is doing a great job at meeting consumer needs. Their use of in-app chat is optimal to what they need and that’s what makes their business model so special.

Features They Use:

  • Text Chat to let the user know that their order has arrived
  • Voice Calling to connect shopper with customer for delivery directions or any other instructions.

6. Doctor on Demand

DoctorOnDemand App
Image Source: e-counseling.com

Visiting your doctor virtually may seem like an out-of-the-box healthcare solution, but Doctor on Demand is also an out-of-the-box service. It allows you to connect to a doctor or specialist globally and all you need is a device that has a webcam. Even though there are limitations to what doctors can do online, the scope of their virtual capacity is rather large. Therapists can have their sessions completely online, several doctors can treat pain frequent concerns virtually, and the patients love it because of reduced wait times and easy appointment booking.

Features They Use:

  • Text Chat to inquire with a doctor
  • Video Call to consult with the doctor on a wide array of symptoms
  • Voice Call for quick follow-up chat with the doctor

P.S. If you want to build your own on-demand healthcare service app check out this tutorial.

7. Urban Company (Formerly Urban Clap)

Urban company services

These folks get you everything from personal grooming and massages at home to cleaning services, electricians, and plumbers. All in all, if you want to take care of yourself or your house, Urban Company is the on-demand service that you’d go to. Since they’re also in the business of connecting professionals with clients, they have an obligation to include in-app chat.

Features They Use:

  • Text Chat to contact client or agent
  • Voice Calling to contact client or agent
  • SMS Notifications to inform the user about appointment confirmation.

8. Home Care Services

There are plenty of services out there that will send a handyman to your home for any problem you might have. From getting a handyman to get something mounted on the wall to furniture assembly. These on-demand services get you the people you need without any hassle. On-demand home care services include Handy, American Home Shield, and TaskRabbit.

Features They Use:

  • Text Chat to keep customers informed and updated
  • Document Sharing to send invoices
  • SMS Notifications to inform the user about appointment confirmation.
  • Data Masking to protect information like the client’s personal numbers from the agent and vice versa

Conclusion

If you are looking to build an on-demand service, in-app chat is going to be crucial to the future of your business. It will be up to you to decide what features you’d like to provide, but all in all, text and calls are going to form the basis of the trust your users have in your business as well as agents. It is also going to perform as the much-needed assurance factor that users look for when dealing with businesses.

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About the Author

Pronoy Roy is a technology enthusiast and especially passionate about the future of technology. He enjoys writing about modern technical applications that help solve real-world problems.

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