In-App Messaging for On-Demand Platforms

In a world with zero friction, on-demand delivery would need little-to-no communication – i.e. buyers and sellers would always be available and there would be no waiting, mistakes, technical issues, traffic or miscommunications.  For those of us who do not live in a perfect world, in-app messaging provides a convenient way to resolve potential friction by ensuring customers, service providers or support are a message away.

Does Your App Platform Need Scheduling?

While there is little need for scheduling on homogenous platforms for low-value transactions like ride shares or food deliveries, more sophisticated services require customers and service providers to coordinate their schedules to ensure they’re free to receive/deliver the services.  There are also other ways to schedule beyond messaging including presenting customers with availability calendars and allowing the parties to suggest appointments and confirm them via notifications.  To learn more about notifications read our post here.

When Things go Wrong

When things go wrong, contacting the customer directly provides transparency.  New customers using an on-demand platform for the first time are especially vulnerable to being lost due to delays or problems where they have no means to receive notice or address an issue with their service provider or support.  When issues arise, lack of communication can aggravate a minor problem to a major one.  When issues such as conflicts do arise, we also recommend addressing them quickly, as discussed here.

You can add it in Later

Just because you don’t have in-app messaging during your first iteration does not mean you can’t add it in later.  Indeed, Uber just replaced SMS with in-app messaging last year.   Now the driver, car, and license plate shows up at the top of the message screen and the message is read aloud to drivers who can respond with a one tap thumbs up.  Here are some in-app messaging examples from an asian ride-sharing platform called Grab who was able to reduce booking cancellations by 50%.


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