Whereas the COVID-19 pandemic shook the world and the e-bike business with it, the pandemic additionally led to an enormous surge in electrical bicycle gross sales.
Almost each firm that provided electrical bicycles soon found themselves with empty shelves and warehouses.
Between individuals being at house with extra time on their palms, riders exiting lockdowns and itching to spend extra time outdoor, and commuters searching for socially distant ways to get to work while avoiding public transportation, e-bike gross sales have by no means been increased.
However now that’s created a brand new drawback within the business: supporting all of these clients.
Giant e-bike corporations who depend their buyer base within the hundreds and tens of hundreds had been already tasked with managing a rigorously orchestrated customer support steadiness.
However now these programs have been pushed previous the breaking level as numerous new riders obtain bike packing containers at their doorstep, a small portion of which inevitably include hidden issues.
VanMoof, one of many extra seen e-bike corporations these days due to a big advertising marketing campaign round its recently released S3 and X3 e-bikes, has acutely skilled this phenomenon.
As reported by BikeEurope, VanMoof’s flashy adverts throughout numerous social media platforms are sometimes adopted by a litany of public feedback complaining about buyer help, or a definite lack thereof.
And whereas this absolutely represents only a small portion of its buyer base, VanMoof noticed gross sales greater than double practically in a single day, which means even a small variety of complaints had been sure to extend as effectively.
As co-founder Ties Carlier defined:
“There’s quite a lot of frustration, I do know. Even when it’s only some % of patrons that’s nonetheless manner an excessive amount of. We calculated in about 1% – 1 out of 100 bikes inside the first week or so would have one thing vital sufficient for a buyer to offer us a name. However that seems to be nearer to 10%.
Our subsequent frontier is to remodel our enterprise by constructing a full help ecosystem round each rider.”
And VanMoof isn’t alone, after all. Everybody has been pressured to up their recreation.
Rad Power Bikes, the most important electrical bicycle firm within the US, started growing the scale of its buyer help crew as soon as the e-bike shopping for growth started.
Founder Mike Radenbaugh defined in a name with Electrek a number of months in the past within the early days of the pandemic:
“We’re already hiring like loopy, our buyer help crew is as much as about 40 or 50 proper now, I’m not even positive. It’s laborious to maintain monitor. We needs to be as much as round 70 within the subsequent month or so.”
The rise in customer support at Rad Power Bikes got here at a key time, as the corporate capitalized on the e-bike growth by launching a popular new $1,099 model known as the RadMission.
Different electrical bicycle corporations discovered themselves in an identical boat.
Lectric Ebikes launched the $899 Lectric XP simply over a 12 months in the past, which turned one of many greatest runaway successes of 2019. In the course of the e-bike shopping for spree of 2020, Lectric Ebikes launched a followup within the type of the Lectric XP Step-Thru.
Anticipating the large enhance in buyer help wanted throughout the one-two punch of COVID-based shopping for frenzy and a brand new product launch, Lectric Bikes started growing its customer support crew.
The startup additionally employed a Director of Operations to usher in exterior experience and expertise, serving to additional enhance the corporate and buyer help system within the midst of a massive run on e-bikes across the country.
As Co-founder Levi Conlow defined in a name with Electrek:
Bringing in our new director of operations has been an enormous profit. She obsesses over efficiency and particulars. We first informed her about our opponents and the way they’ll have wait instances of days for emails and wait instances of hours for calls, and the way we thought we had been doing alright since we had telephone wait instances of round 20 minutes and possibly as much as a day for emails. However she got here in and mentioned ‘Nope, that’s not effective by me.’ She wished these numbers introduced all the way down to 97% of telephone calls being answered in below one minute and emails being handled extra like a buyer chat with fast responses. She wished to make us turn into probably the most out there electrical bike firm. And somebody with that sort of imaginative and prescient, it impressed all of us to get behind it. And now I’m assured in saying now we have the most effective if not THE finest buyer help within the business now.
Do e-bike brick-and-mortar shops have a bonus?
Whereas direct-to-consumer e-bike corporations are vastly standard within the US, ordering an e-bike over the web isn’t for everybody.
Firms with retail presences could have a bonus in the case of service. Pedego operates an enormous community of over 120 retail areas the place clients cannot solely take a look at experience and purchase a motorcycle, however return for service as effectively.
In actual fact, I used to be simply within the Pedego shop in Fort Myers, Florida (beneath) earlier at this time take a look at using the brand new $1,499 Pedego Element e-bike for an upcoming evaluate, and noticed their service heart first hand. The flexibility to service e-bikes on web site as a substitute of requiring clients to attend for telephone or electronic mail help, after which wait longer for a alternative half to be mailed out and changed by the tip person could also be enticing sufficient to win over many new riders.
Evidently, the electrical bicycle business has been put below enormous strain by the skyrocketing demand for e-bikes.
It’s unavoidable that some clients will sadly expertise issues, however the business as a complete seems to be effectively on its technique to enhancing service throughout the board.
And you’ll ensure that any firm that doesn’t choose up the slack will shortly discover themselves shamed in numerous social media feedback and threads.
Now we need to hear from you! Have you ever had any experiences these days, good or unhealthy, with e-bike firm customer support? Tell us within the remark part beneath!
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