Velobike case study

Velobike case study

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How UseDesk Helped Bike Rental Speed up the Support 6 Times

How UseDesk Helped Bike Rental Speed up the Support 6 Times

Moscow bike rental Velobike started using UseDesk after we had criticized their support in our blog. The article appeared just in time – it turned out that their Support department was looking for a system to work with requests. The CEO of Velobike contacted with us and we agreed to implement the service.


user registered in 2016




rentals in the season of 2016

Criticizing isn't as easy as it seems. It took 3 weeks to establish all the processes at Velobike. We started with a discussion how support works and what kind of issues needed to be solved. Several departments take part in the Velobike support:

Simple subscription questions are solved in the call center; if a customer's bike got broken or a customer was charged extra, the call center transfers the request to the Operator department. Operators involve the Financial department and dispatchers to help a customer. When the problem is solved, they contact with a customer by phone or e-mail.

Meanwhile the departments used to communicate to each other via e-mail, Skype or eve notes on paper. As a result, some requests got lost, they had a lot of manual work and very little statistics. We had to put the work in order so the employees could respond faster and spend less time on routine steps. Before we got rid of e-mail we drew a scheme of work in UseDesk. Then we connected e-mails to UseDesk, added answer templates to the frequently asked questions and taught the employees.

«This new system is an e-mail, Skype and Excel in one»,

— Velobike support agent about UseDesk.

Why We Did It

Problem 1. When customers wrote or called several times, a few employees started working on their cases. Incidents used to happen. A persistent customer who disagrees with being charged for rental called and wrote to the Support department twice, just in case. The customer got lucky – one of the support agents decided to get him a refund. But the team wasted the time they could have spent on helping 2 other customers.

Now. UseDesk joins repeated requests. Thanks to that the entire conversation history is saved.

The Support team are like investigators: they take into account all details and compare them to the system before they make a decision. Sometimes customers write that they didn't know anything about rental charges. In fact, he called the call-center and he was informed about the charges for an incorrectly parked bicycle. It's easy to check. Everything a customer said, everything what employees told him – all that is right in front of your eyes, you don't lose anything. This is how we make unconscientious bikers tell the truth. But if you're honest and responsible, you may get some benefit from it.

Problem 2. 22% or requests are about payment and refund. The final decision regarding some controversial charges can only be made by head of the department, Sergey Tsygankov. Before that support agents used to hand him requests... handwritten. They used to print every request and put it on his table. Some things got lost, customers couldn't get the money back and were reasonably angry.

It could reach 120 printed requests a day, trash bins in the office were full with paper.

Now: Velobike saves trees and ink in the copy machine. No papers. Agreements are held in UseDesk with the help of internal comments. Requests are simply get corresponded to Sergey, and he sees the entire list of requests where he needs to react. All the stages of the process are seen.

Problem 4. To get statistics employees used to put the information regarding every requests manually to an Excel file: date, time, subject, customer, person in charge, status and estimated time of solving.

This routine was vastly time consuming. Employees used to stay after their shifts to complete their Excel files. Sometimes they had to come to work on their day off.

Manual work brings mistakes: you may insert a wrong number, put incorrect time, which damages statistics. Therefore the statistics becomes useless.

Now. Manual works is reduced – you don't have to do anything, the system remembers the statuses and people in charge itself. Employees are focused on helping bikers and solving bike problems. At the same time managers see the statistics regarding the reasons of requests, the time employees need to solve problems and control the entire process in one system.

Problem 5. 60% of e-mails used to be sent by call-center employees from in a standard form.

Employees had to find a customer's e-mail in Velobike customer base by his ID before they could respond. Then they had to add the e-mail to UseDesk and only after that they could respond. Too long, uncomfortable and inconvenient.

Now. We saved employees 2 minutes for every e-mail:

  1. We moved customers with e-mails from the Velobike customer base to the UseDesk base.
  2. We created a rule that looks for a customer in the base by his ID in the e-mail and automatically inserts the customers card.

«Wow, we don't need to do manual work anymore!»,

— appreciated support agents.

How Velobike Uses UseDesk for Proactive Support

When the Bike Isn't Fully Parked

The most common reason of extra charges is a lock failure when the bike was being parked. A tired biker after a ride doesn't fully insert the bike to a lock, so the rental remains valid. And after the ride the customer receives an SMS from a bank saying that he has been charged for 450 RUR.

We had a lot of complaints, tears and wasted money. So the Velobike support modernized the process. Now if a failure happened during parking, a customer receives an SMS and a call from an support agent: "I see you can't park your bike. Let me help you!" Usually a customer doesn't manage to get too far from the parking place, so we ask him to go back and make sure the bike has been parked correctly.

Similar to customers' e-mails, failure parking notifications are also sent to support agents in UseDesk which helps them react before the customer dial the support number.

When the Rental Lasted 6 Hours

Another costly problem is a rental longer than 6 hours. Sometimes a customer decided to ride to a close town and overestimated his time and power. Or maybe he was being late for work and didn't find en empty slot at the station. Or he is a new at rentals and he couldn't figure out how you should park a bike. In any case, if a rental lasts half of a day, it means "something happened". Perhaps something went wrong. As a result, a customer may lose 1500 RUR because of being inattentive, and Velobike may lose a bike itself, which costs a lot more.

The Support department used to receive no signals about long rentals. Support agents used to manually monitor the bikes that were not parked within 24 hours. But it was barely possible to find a bike after a day.

That's why Velobike improved the notification system. Now, if the rental lasts longer than 6 hours, the customer gets an SMS, and support agents receive a notification in UseDesk. Support agents easily find the customer, call him and explain what happened. If the customer simply left the bike somewhere, he will be asked to return it to the nearest parking station. If you follow support department's advice and treat the bike responsibly, you don't waste your money. Velobike will be on your side, recalculate the rental taking into account how much a customer actually rode. This is what we call flexibility and customer-oriented service.

Since the 2016 season started every 4th bike has had problems with parking.

After the implemention of notifications

the number of unreturned bikes is reduced by 2.5 times.

We only got 1 bike lost within 3 months of working.

and only because the customer declined to park the bike at the other station. The other bikes are found and returned "home".


We compare seasons

July-September 2015:

Time to get ready to respond a customer: 5 min.

Time to respond to a customer including the investigation time: 12 hours 12 min.

July-September 2016:

Time to get ready to respond a customer: 1 min.

Time to respond to a customer including the investigation time: 2 hours 22 min.

The Indicators Are 5-6 Times Better

To be continued in the next season :-)

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