This year, about 98% of our business will come from customers who buy directly from us online. For a lot of customers, it’s a fairly novel concept – to buy something like a bicycle online and its true, it is a fairly new approach to selling bicycles. However, it is something that has worked really well for our customers over the years, it offers considerable savings for them, and it’s the direction that the industry is starting to move to. While we have experimented with brick-and-mortar dealers, we have found more success in selling directly to consumer and augmenting it with the Ambassador network for doing test rides around the country. This has allowed us to keep prices significantly lower and manage the entire sale process inhouse. How do we address the service aspect? In order to sell directly to the customer, the first key issue we needed to solve was -- how do we provide service to our customers after the sale? Especially with something like electric bicycles which are new to many people, after-sales service is key to happy customers. We have experimented with a number of strategies in the last few years until we ultimately settled on an approach that seems to be actually quite good:‹ Go back to the blog
- When a customer has an issue with a bike that they have purchased from us, they start with a single phone call or email to us where they get connected with one of our service experts.All of their information, including past history, is stored centrally and is accessible by our team instantly. In about 30% of the instances, we are able to troubleshoot and resolve the issue directly on the phone right then and there within a matter of minutes.
- If the issue needs professional attention, our service expert with begin by checking our internal database of independent bike stores in the area that we have worked with in the past. Since we have dealt with thousands of customers all over the country, we have developed a network of dozens and dozens of shops who can handle service for our customers. Once a relationship is formed and the store has proved their capability, we maintain a relationship with them and refer future work to them.
- If we don't have an existing partner shop conveniently located, we will identify 3 bike shops in the area within a few miles radius of the customer and reach out to them ourselves. During a call, we assess their service capabilities to see if they are able to handle that particular issue.
- Once a store is identified, we will set up an appointment for the customer to drop off the bike there.
- Once the bike is at the shop, our assigned service expert will communicate directly with the shop's mechanic to troubleshoot the problem and guide them through resolving it.
- If the shop's level of service proves to be high, we recruit them as a Service Provider -- which means that the next time, for any customers in that area, we will send them directly to the shop. This allows our internal database of Service Providers to grow exponentially every year!