Do you bother to remember your delivery person’s name?

Back in June this year, Zomato started adding a personal note about the delivery person who is delivering your food. And also an in-app method to tip the delivery person. The personal note has its share of critics since there is no clarity on whether the information added is with or without the delivery personnel’s permission. And the possibility that some details/names may color a customer’s bias to tip him or not.

Both Zomato and Swiggy had started adding the name of the delivery person in the app. The app, where we users track the delivery progress, is perhaps the best place to add the delivery person’s name.

Amazon and Flipkart add the name in the text messages they send about delivery updates (usually on the day of the delivery).

Uber and Ola have always shared details of their drivers – the language they speak and the rides they have completed (plus, overall feedback).

Our roads are full of service personnel from these companies – drivers and delivery personnel, primarily.

Among all the brands that communicate externally about their delivery/driving partners, Swiggy seems to be the one that has been the most consistent and persistent. Every one of their stories helps us users think a little bit more about the many people who deliver our food. We interact with more on the app than in real life – their delivery lasts a few seconds (if we have paid online), but the way we may treat them offers so many opportunities. From making that little effort to remember their name from the in-app tracker to when they actually land up for delivery… and remembering to greet or thank them by name.

The 2 earlier films by Swiggy include a montage-style thank you film in August this year and a really well-made and emotional one for Diwali this year. Both the films are by Dentsu Webchutney. The Diwali one is my favorite, so far.

I do realize that these brands have also been having a lot of problems with many of their delivery/driving partners – that’s par for the course. But that need not stop them from educating us end-users to treat all delivery or driving personnel with respect and dignity. That doesn’t necessarily mean we need to chat with them (as it happens often on Uber or Ola). The least we can do is get the finer details – thank them with a smile, and by remembering their names.

This new film by Swiggy communicates the message so wonderfully, with a brilliant dash of humor. Till it came to the denouement, I was wondering where the film was heading to. When it did, I was pleasantly surprised.

It reminded me of the way we used to hail an auto – ‘Aye Auto’ or just ‘Auto!!’. Uber and Ola have changed that too – no need to shout on the road when you can book them via the app and when they arrive you can greet them by name!

Unfortunately—and I fully understand why—these films, that focus on the delivery personnel and help us appreciate the service they provide, however well-made, do not seem to be promoted as much as the business-focused films that Swiggy makes. The result is that they depend entirely on word-of-mouth for reaching people. That ‘people’ is a paltry number in comparison – see the business films’ reach after heavy promotion on YouTube, running in millions and see the delivery personnel focused films’ reach!

But, as I said, I understand the reason. Business-first. Better the business, better the opportunity for the delivery personnel. And better money to spend on creating communication about them too!