Helping build a kinder world of apps
How we used technology to help raise awareness about the need for a gentler speech on the internet
We now live in a world where various things we need, arrive at our doorstep in quiet, easy, and seemingly effortless ways, everything from pens to our lunch. This new normal with platform delivery helps us live well-oiled lives.
And when we are hungry, we ‘Swiggy-it’ – and Swiggy is now a household name across India. We expect food from any cuisine to reach us within an hour, without stepping out of our homes, sitting where we are. It is easy to forget that behind this ease of ordering is a system hard at work – someone to cook, pack and then deliver the food. And when the food is late, someone to receive our complaints.
Swiggy started in 2015, and in less than four years achieved the status of a unicorn company. They now serve millions of customers, 500+ cities, and work with 1.6L restaurant partners and 2 lakh employees, ranging from runners to people handling operations.
With such a large market and volume of orders, and a near ubiquitous status in urban households, Swiggy has a proactive customer service who answers hundreds of calls a day, helping with refunds, late orders or complaints about poorly made food.
The problem of ‘hanger’
And you may well all know, we have many complaints: too late, too dry, too spicy, too expensive, the parcel too small. As a result of our hungry impatience ( “hanger”), Swiggy customer care representatives spend each day of their working lives dealing with a lot of angry customers and the casual use of curse words. Even when it is not any fault of their own, they have to be patient and help resolve issues with composure. Some form of angry customer will say “What the f*ck”, “S*it”, “B***ard”, “Bl**dy”. “You ****, where the **** is my food?”
This interaction affects the mental health of the employees who have to work despite these unkind words, and it does not solve the problem. And it makes the world of the internet a more unkind place.