Electrical bicycle gross sales are greater than ever, nevertheless it’s created a brand new drawback
Whereas the COVID-19 pandemic shook the world and the e-bike trade 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 folks being at dwelling with extra time on their palms, riders exiting lockdowns and itching to spend extra time open air, and commuters on the lookout for socially distant ways to get to work while avoiding public transportation, e-bike gross sales have by no means been greater.
However now that’s created a brand new drawback within the trade: supporting all of these clients.
Giant e-bike firms who rely their buyer base within the hundreds and tens of hundreds had been already tasked with managing a fastidiously orchestrated customer support stability.
However now these methods have been pushed previous the breaking level as numerous new riders obtain bike containers at their doorstep, a small portion of which inevitably include hidden issues.
VanMoof, one of many extra seen e-bike firms currently because of a big advertising and marketing marketing campaign round its recently released S3 and X3 e-bikes, has acutely skilled this phenomenon.
As reported by BikeEurope, VanMoof’s flashy advertisements 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, that means even a small variety of complaints had been sure to extend as nicely.
As co-founder Ties Carlier defined:
“There’s plenty of frustration, I do know. Even when it’s only some p.c of consumers that’s nonetheless manner an excessive amount of. We calculated in about 1% – 1 out of 100 bikes throughout the first week or so would have one thing necessary 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 group 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 group is as much as about 40 or 50 proper now, I’m not even certain. It’s onerous to maintain monitor. We must be as much as round 70 within the subsequent month or so.”
Different electrical bicycle firms discovered themselves in an analogous 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. Throughout 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 improve 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 group.
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 occasions of days for emails and wait occasions of hours for calls, and the way we thought we had been doing alright since we had cellphone wait occasions of round 20 minutes and perhaps as much as a day for emails. However she got here in and stated ‘Nope, that’s not effective by me.’ She wished these numbers introduced right down to 97% of cellphone calls being answered in underneath one minute and emails being handled extra like a buyer chat with fast responses. She wished to make us turn out to be probably the most obtainable electrical bike firm. And somebody with that kind of imaginative and prescient, it impressed all of us to get behind it. And now I’m assured in saying we’ve got top-of-the-line if not THE finest buyer help within the trade now.
Do e-bike brick-and-mortar shops have a bonus?
Whereas direct-to-consumer e-bike firms are massively widespread within the US, ordering an e-bike over the web isn’t for everybody.
Corporations with retail presences could have a bonus on the subject of service. Pedego operates an enormous community of over 120 retail places the place clients cannot solely take a look at journey and purchase a motorcycle, however return for service as nicely.
The truth is, I used to be simply within the Pedego shop in Fort Myers, Florida (under) earlier at this time take a look at driving the brand new $1,499 Pedego Element e-bike for an upcoming assessment, and noticed their service heart first hand. The power to service e-bikes on website as an alternative of requiring clients to attend for cellphone or e mail help, after which wait longer for a alternative half to be mailed out and changed by the top person could also be enticing sufficient to win over many new riders.
Evidently, the electrical bicycle trade has been put underneath big stress by the skyrocketing demand for e-bikes.
It’s unavoidable that some clients will sadly expertise issues, however the trade as an entire seems to be nicely on its solution to enhancing service throughout the board.
And you may ensure that any firm that doesn’t decide up the slack will shortly discover themselves shamed in numerous social media feedback and threads.
Now we wish to hear from you! Have you ever had any experiences currently, good or unhealthy, with e-bike firm customer support? Tell us within the remark part under!
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