The UaU formula: how iFood delights its customers

The director of the iFood Customer Experience team, Thais Suzuki, tells the details of this strategy that aims to transform customers into fans

By: Thais Suzuki

Quite often, several companies look to iFood to learn a little more in-depth about the company's operating strategy. Customer Experience (CX) team. This in itself is a huge recognition that shows us that we are on the right path, but we know that the challenge of delivering incredible experiences to our ecosystem is constant and it doesn't stop here, especially when talking about a Foodtech with more than 60 million orders per month.

And despite all the complexity and scale of our business, we are investing heavily in experience we offer. We do this by uniting technology and inovation, developing a journey with a low level of friction, offering self-service tools, ensuring operational excellence in service and delighting!

And as you already know, a company's growth not only depends on new customers starting to buy from it (acquisition), but also on them staying (retention) and starting to consume more and more (frequency). That's why taking care of the experience is so important for us and for any other company.

But, calm down, I'll explain better how all this connects with UaU.

People-focused culture

First, I want to mention that what happens inside an organization it is reflected and felt by your customers. The way employees are treated has a direct impact on the way customers will be treated. If a company's internal culture fosters listening and empathy, this will have a similar impact on the customer experience. The same respectful relationship we have with FoodLovers (as we call our employees) is what we want to have with our entire ecosystem: consumers, partner establishments and delivery people.

This means that we place them at the center of all business decisions, taking into account their desires and needs to develop new solutions and products. This entire process is the result of our daily focus on ensuring the best experience.

But where does UaU fit into this story?

First of all, it is important to say that UaU (formerly WoW) actions have been part of CX since 2019 (just look), but here we have the #Innovation as one of the values, which means that everything changes all the time, that we always have the possibility of doing better and better. And that's exactly what we did with UaU, as we call our enchantment actions.

At iFood, we believe that UaU is an important customer acquisition, retention and loyalty strategy. These are those initiatives that seek to provide remarkable experiences capable of exceeding any expectations, such as that.

But how can we redefine an enchantment strategy that further impacts people in our ecosystem and also adds value to the business?

Charting a new path

According to a survey carried out by PwC, 89% of consumers say that experience is what most impacts the purchasing decision in Brazil. Looking at the world, this index is 73%. Additionally, almost half of Brazilian consumers and about 1/3 of global consumers say they would stop purchasing a product or service from a brand they love after a single bad experience.

Also in same search, looking at Brazil, consumers declared that several aspects coinciding with UAU will be important in the future to deliver an excellent overall experience to the customer, where they would be willing to pay more for it.

UAU strategy and a new look at the experience

According to an article published by Deloitte in 2019, “Organizations that closely align with the values of their customers (CX), workforce (WX), and partners (PX), and that leverage resources to create human experiences that are meaningful to all members of the ecosystem, grow faster and build stronger brand loyalty.”

And this is precisely what we took into consideration to develop iFood's new UaU strategy. We put into practice the Human Experience theory, which focuses on human centrality with the purpose of transforming customers and partners into fans. It doesn't matter if we are talking about consumers who order through our app, partners who sell and deliver food, or even employees. We need to create delightful experiences for everyone who is part of the iFood ecosystem to keep them close.

Furthermore, here UaU’s actions are also linked to the factors of surprise, enchantment and loyalty, as you can see in the image below:

But after all, is it WoW or WOW? You may have noticed that I mentioned the two words above. This was one of the processes in the restructuring of the enchantment project, the naming stage (study of the name). For us, “WoW” is a foreign word, not very accessible, difficult to understand for most Brazilian people.

With the study carried out and through emotional and personal motivation, the name “WOW” emerged as an easy-to-understand alternative. It may seem small, but all elements need to generate connection.

About UaU's new fronts

Understanding that providing incredible experiences is not the responsibility of a single team at iFood, another new feature is that we have now also created different strategic pillars of WOW in Customer Experience.

The Engagement pillar, for example, takes advantage of the great actions organized by our internal teams to provide remarkable experiences for customers and partners; Social identifies opportunities for enchantment through social media and the recommendation of FoodLovers; and the Service department empowers and trains analysts so that they are able to identify opportunities for delight from a service. The latter is the only one that associates an enchantment action with the reversal of a problem on the journey, the others do not.

Other than that, other teams at iFood are also dedicated to delighting our ecosystem, such as Marketing, with the Branding Experience, Branding Extensions and Trade Marketing fronts.

And finally, iFood's brand characteristic, emotional connection and spontaneous content are the 3 C's of Wow that we hope to achieve in all pillars.

But after all, what delights customers?

The treats and gifts that iFood sends certainly delight, but not only that. Far from it. They are just one part of everything we do to delight customers and partners every day. We work daily to understand the complete journey of our client and partner, seeking to:

1. Make friction minimal when using our product and service;

2. Provide autonomy through self-service tools, using technology and innovation to our advantage;

3. Guarantee resolute, agile and empathetic service;
4. Understand the pains, needs and desires of our ecosystem to develop appropriate solutions;
5. And create an emotional connection that awakens positive emotions capable of building loyalty

And so, with the daily effort and dedication of each FoodLover, placing the customer at the center of the business, we manage to delight our customers, as is the case with Fernanda, who is a Super Customer and received a celebration kit for her birthday this year, and some others that end up going viral on the internet, like our client Claudia who placed an order with Isabela Akkari and had an unusual result.

We want to deliver incredible experiences for our entire ecosystem, this is the objective of the CX team and it is present in each of our actions. WOW is just one of the ways we found to do this. It is a reflection of the customer-focused culture that we live daily at iFood.

* Thais Suzuki has a degree in Business Administration from Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie and completed her postgraduate degree at ESPM in Marketing and Communication. During his career, he worked for companies such as Viacom, Geekie and Movile.


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