Voices of Grubhub: Michael Wireko, VP, Care on Powering Customer Service at Grubhub

June 26, 2024

To showcase different perspectives and give an inside look into Grubhub, we’re spotlighting leaders across the organization. For this edition, we caught up with Michael Wireko, Vice President, Care.  

Michael’s team is responsible for Grubhub’s Care function, which provides customer service to our diners, drivers, restaurants, and corporate partners.  

Michael, you’ve been at Grubhub for 10 years now. That’s a long time! Can you tell us a bit about your journey?
I joined Grubhub in June 2014, right after the company went public. I transitioned from Discover Financial Services, where I worked in customer service. When I first started at Grubhub, I initially worked on the finance team, working closely with Care to understand our contact patterns and staffing needs. Over the years, I moved into various roles, including managing financials, workforce management, and analytics. By 2019, I was leading the Care Support team, and in 2021, I began leading the entire Care team, including our front-line support for customer, merchants, couriers and corporate clients.

Our Care team handles inbound contacts from diners, merchants, couriers, and corporate clients. We have thousands of agents globally, primarily outsourced, with some specialists in-house. Our focus is on resolving immediate issues, improving self-service options, and utilizing data to eliminate the root causes of contacts. We work closely with product and tech teams to enhance the overall customer experience to drive retention and loyalty, which Care and service greatly impact.

What are the top challenges your team deals with?
Missed deliveries, missing items, and order status inquiries are the top three areas we typically deal with for customers. We’ve automated many of these processes to create a better and faster experience for customers, especially for missing items and order statuses. To address these types of contacts, we focus on understanding the customer’s concern, providing compensation when necessary, and ensuring the restaurant is informed about any issues—whether it’s related to the food a customer received or a delivery snafu.

How do you measure the impact and effectiveness of your team’s contributions to Grubhub’s business?
We measure our impact through various metrics, including customer satisfaction, retention rates, and the effectiveness of our self-service tools. We’ve implemented diner retention metrics to track how contact with Care affects customer retention. This allows us to invest in improving the customer experience and reducing churn. For restaurants, we focus on reducing attrition by offering self-service options and friendly policies.

You recently spoke at Customer Contact Week in Las Vegas. Can you share your experience and key takeaways?
The experience was fantastic. I talked about our strategy of linking contact center performance to business outcomes, which garnered a lot of interest. Key takeaways from the conference included how self-service is being leveraged and AI in customer service. We are ahead in many aspects, but there’s always room for improvement, especially with AI’s potential to revolutionize the industry.

What are your team’s focus areas for the second half of the year and beyond?
Our main focus is continuing to help Grubhub return to growth. This involves improving our service, personalizing the customer experience, and reducing waste. We’re expanding our self-service options, enhancing fraud prevention, and continuing to expand on personalization. By streamlining these processes, we’re improving customer satisfaction and retention.

What is one area that your team will need to address in the years ahead?
Balancing ease of use for customers with fraud prevention is a significant challenge. Making it easy for honest customers while deterring fraudulent activities requires careful planning and data analysis. Additionally, AI will play a crucial role in the future of customer service, helping to automate processes and improve efficiency, so our team is looking into how we use the technology to improve the experience for our customers and agents.

Having been at Grubhub for a decade and growing into a senior leader, how do you foster a culture that resonates within your team?
Learning at Grubhub for 10 years in multiple departments has been extremely constructive – I’ve learned that there are several ways to operate and that there are several opinions on everything. Based on this, I have tried to create an environment that promotes being customer-obsessed by putting yourself in the shoes of the customer and understanding how and what you do impacts customer behavior. Additionally, to help align opinions, ensuring that we use data to drive decisions rather than feelings. This includes having clear target metrics for the team and ensuring that we can best represent customer pain points to the rest of the organization by tying them directly to data.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career?
You have to understand what’s important to the people you’re working with and relate to your stakeholders. For example, when working with Finance and Product, being able to make business cases on customer retention and revenue goes further than talking about the impact on the customer satisfaction metric. This approach has helped me align with stakeholders and drive successful initiatives. This also ties to making things easy. Whether it’s for customers or internal teams, meeting customers where they are and putting in extra effort to make resolutions simple for others fosters cooperation and efficiency.