Hosted Contact Center Featured Article

Food Delivery in the Cloud: GrubHub Transforms its Contact Center with Five9

June 18, 2013

By Blaise McNamee,
Web Editor

When Todd Provino was approached by GrubHub co-founders Mike Evans and Matt Maloney to reform the company’s aging call center platform, he knew he was in for a serious challenge. Tasked with “building a world class service organization,” the now vice president of customer service looked to Five9’s (News - Alert) hosted contact center solutions to keep the popular food-ordering platform growing strong.




In an exclusive interview with TMCnet, Provino revealed that before upgrading to a comprehensive cloud-based solution, GrubHub relied on antiquated call center technology that lacked the capabilities needed to carry out even the most fundamental call center functions. The system was so basic and outdated that simply transferring and switching calls was impossible. With only 30 or so agents on staff, GrubHub’s customer service operation was far from world class.  

According to Provino, “success depends on functionality.” With this in mind, he scoured the market for the best contact center solution available, evaluating multiple vendors, platforms, and delivery models. A lean operation, GrubHub didn’t have the necessary resources to manage and maintain an entire telephone system on its own. Moreover, being entirely service-oriented, the company needed to be able to make changes on the fly. In the end, it was the confidence of GrubHub’s technology team in Five9’s cloud-based solution that swayed him to go the hosted route.

“In the past, to make a change, or add a skill to an agent, or upload a quick emergency prompt in the IVR required that you enlist someone from the tech team to submit a change request, and then maybe a couple days later it would get done,” Provino said. “We didn’t have that luxury, so we wanted the flexibility of self-service options, which Five9 provided.”

A year later, GrubHub finds itself with over 200 call center agents and a powerful new hosted contact center platform at their disposal, serving 20,000 restaurants across 500 cities and 350 campuses.

Utilizing the highly integrated and sophisticated analytic, work force management, and virtualization, capabilities of Five9, GrubHub has been able to dynamically scale agents up or down based on call volume, seasonality, or meal rush times. Moreover, the new system allows GrubHub’s agents to work from home if needed or desired, making it far more adaptable during major weather events – a critical necessity for a service organization. This ability to scale with the daily peaks and valleys of demand has greatly benefited the business.

Provino said the reception inside GrubHub has been stellar. Agents and managers alike are enjoying the ease and simplicity with which they can access critical account information, reports, and analytics, using single logins and intuitive dashboards. Five9’s solution provides agents with a high level of transparency into who is calling (diner or restaurant), what their call is regarding, and how to address their problem, and this makes their jobs easier and more productive. The software also allows supervisors to access real-time analytics to assess call response times and other important metrics, further increasing call center performance.

For example, with Five9’s cloud-based contact center solution, the IVR system can be controlled using a single, intuitive click-and-drag interface, which managers are fully trained on how to use. With this, GrubHub can quickly change message priorities on a whim, keeping their customers constantly in the loop. 

“All of these capabilities come ready to use right out of the box, without ever needing to call a developer,” said Provino.

Going forward, Provino believes GrubHub must continue to communicate on the customers’ terms. This means expanding on the multichannel capabilities of Five9’s contact center solution, which leverages mobile, online chat, email, text messaging, Twitter (News - Alert), and IVR. As GrubHub grows, it will become increasingly important to have a single platform through which to access, aggregate, monitor, and analyze these channels. Otherwise, it becomes frustratingly complicated for users, supervisors and tech teams alike. In this regard, Five9 delivers.

“We don’t want to just say, ‘Call us,’ and not give people other options if they’d rather not.” Provino argued, “They’re coming to GrubHub on the Web or through their mobile app for a reason, and that’s because they didn’t want to pick up the phone. So why force them to call?”

Of course, customer satisfaction is the top priority, and in the customer service business, no news is good news. After implementing Five9’s cloud contact center solution, GrubHub has hardly received any complaints regarding its communication systems. That, of course, can’t be said for all of the 20,000 restaurants served through GrubHub. Thus, Provino urges all GrubHub users to take advantage of the company’s versatile contact center if they should ever have a problem with their food, before calling the restaurant directly.

“We own the experience from the point that you place the order to the point that your food is delivered, and we take great care of all of our customers,” he said 

He is confident that the combination of staff and technology GrubHub has put together will be able to efficiently and painlessly address any and all customer concerns, providing unparalleled levels of customer satisfaction from start to finish.

“What has been critical for our success as service organization is people. “We start with our employees first, and in turn we have a really dedicated and happy workforce,” he said. “Technology is one half of the solution, but the other half is getting the employee environment to the place where you have an engaged workforce, and when the two are working hand in hand you tend to see successful results.”




Edited by Rory J. Thompson