Swapfiets continue massive growth whilst offering cyclists a seamless service experience
Swapfiets is a Dutch company that offers a bicycle subscription service. Users are guaranteed they always have a bike that works for a fixed monthly fee.
“Before we used Zendesk this aspired growth would have made me doubt if we would be able to provide all these customers with an excellent customer service experience. However with the right tools in place our customer service operation can keep up with the ambitions of the company. Just how our founders intended it to be when selecting Zendesk”
Peter Voor de Wind
Swapfiets is a Dutch company that offers a bicycle subscription service. Users are guaranteed they always have a bike that works for a fixed monthly fee. The concept was launched in 2014 in the Netherlands and 5 years later it’s also available in Germany, Belgium and Denmark.
Furthermore the company just welcomed its 100.000th customer. One of their secret weapons according to Global Customer Service Manager Peter Voor de Wind, is providing kick ass service. Swapfiets was founded by three friends who recognized that people did want to have a bike, but didn’t want to be bothered with flat tires or broken lights. This is why service and maintenance are included in the subscription. This proved to be a great idea. After using fixed up bikes the company now designs bicycles itself, all with an iconic blue front tyre, inspired by the famous blue pottery from the town of Delft where Swapfiets was founded.
“At Swapfiets we have a clear view on customer service: we want to be the friend in your phone when you have a problem with your bicycle”, said Peter Voor de Wind, Global Customer Service Manager at Swapfiets. When Voor de Wind joined Swapfiets in 2017 the company had a decentralized customer service organization. However there was no data, no quality insights, no history of customer contact and very little efficiency in the process. Therefore he decided to start with centralizing customer service.
“That’s also were Zendesk came in”, tells Voor de Wind. “Or actually it was already there, but it wasn’t implemented yet. The founders selected Zendesk with the idea that they wanted to have a solution that could keep up with their growth and would be able to scale with us. Coming from a small start-up compared to the established company Zendesk already was, shows how ambitious they were.”
Insights to improve customer service operation
Getting the Zendesk solution implemented was top priority for Voor de Wind: “I wanted to get insights as soon as possible in order to improve our customer service operation. At that time our customer service teams worked decentralized and each were responsible for specific regions per country. This meant every team was working from its own regional warehouse and had its own phone number and email inbox. Also the regional teams had a physical phone with which they could answer messages customers sent via Whatsapp. Furthermore our customers could also reach us through Facebook and Twitter. Because of all the different locations and not having implemented a good solution, there was no central overview of these contacts resulting in the situation that customers would have to answer the same question several times on different channels.
Whatsapp in Zendesk was a game changer
With Zendesk in place Swapfiets is able to collect and integrate insights from all its service channels and from all conversations customers have with one of its hundred agents. This helps the company offer its customers a seamless service experience. A real game changer for Swapfiets however was the Zendesk integration with Whatsapp. “In order to deliver customer service through Whatsapp, we could only have two colleagues answer messages at one time in each region: one with the app on the phone and one via Whatsapp on a desktop. You can imagine we were thrilled when Zendesk selected us as the first Dutch customer to test WhatsApp integration with Zendesk. We’re still thankful for that. 30% of our customer contact is through Whatsapp. Thanks to Zendesk this works perfectly”, Voor de Wind states enthusiastically.
“The fact that Zendesk offers Whatsapp integration enables Swapfiets to live up to our promise to be the friend in your phone when you’ve got a problem with your bicycle. Therefore including fast and efficient Whatsapp support in our service channels was a real highlight for us.”
Focus on developing self service
“Since using Zendesk our customer service has improved remarkably”, continued Voor de Wind. “We’ve been able to easily centralize our customer service operation to four major cities instead of numerous local warehouses. Furthermore we’re much faster and more aware of the needs and wants of our customers. The insights that Zendesk provides us with also strengthen us in our focus on developing self service options for delivering an even smoother customer experience. Essentially customers don’t want to contact customer service. We also learned that a lot of the customer service conversations are about subjects that can be easily integrated in a FAQ. This is also something we are working on right now: getting the right content into our knowledge base in every region. Also we’re looking into working with a chatbot. In the end when our customers turn to self service, our service representatives will have more time to handle complex issues.”
To optimize the self service experience Swapfiets is also working on its app. For instance it wants to provide customers with the possibility to make appointments for bike maintenance via the app. Therefore developers are looking for ways to integrate the maintenance database. The future for Swapfiets is filled with growth in every way possible. It wants to expand its customer base by threefold by the end of the year and increase the number of bikes used in the German market to 150.000. Offering business subscriptions and further international expansion will also fuel growth.
“Before we used Zendesk this aspired growth would have made me doubt if we would be able to provide all these customers with an excellent customer service experience. However with the right tools in place our customer service operation can keep up with the ambitions of the company. Just how our founders intended it to be when selecting Zendesk”, concluded Voor de Wind.