LimeBike scales through high-growth cycles with Zendesk
Learn how LimeBike supports over 25,000 monthly tickets in 50+ global markets using a Zendesk omnichannel solution
Bikes and Scooters
Dockfree bikeshare company, LimeBike, aims to be the answer to those “last-mile” transportation needs—ones that might call for a trek beyond the day’s walking threshold.
Since it launched its first market in June 2017, LimeBike and its eye-catching, citrus-colored bicycles, electric bikes, and electric scooters have answered that call. The Bay Area-based company is active in more than 50 markets worldwide and its support team manages a volume of 25,000 tickets each month. The company has seen astronomical growth, expanding out from its initial two national markets in under six months. When LimeBike saw its ticket volume shoot up from 1,500 to 8,000 tickets in the span of just one month, it was clear that the support team’s Excel spreadsheet wasn’t going to cut it. It was time to invest in a customer service solution.
“We began looking for something that would stratify communication,” explained Lakeysha Hayes, domestic and international customer service manager at LimeBike. “When you’re scaling rapidly, it’s important that all your communication channels are connected. We wanted to have email and phone in one place, see stats and get feedback from customers, and to be able to share that out to the team and to each city we serve.”
The desire for a unified omnichannel system led LimeBike to adopt Zendesk Support and Zendesk Talk for customer support. Meanwhile, its marketing operations are supplemented with Connect by Zendesk, a product that helps businesses send relevant and proactive messages to their customers.
“Communication is everything,” Hayes said of Zendesk’s ability to centralize support information across the company, throughout the field, and between support channels. “We love that our customers can see our phone number on a bike, and then they have all these mediums for support. If they want to send a text message, they can do that. If they want to email, they can do that, too.”
LimeBike differentiates itself from its competitors by offering a twist on the bikeshare experience. Customers download the mobile app, scan a QR code on the back of the bike to unlock it, and take it anywhere they want. But rather than requiring a customer to return the bike to a corral, customers may park it at a bike rack or anywhere a bike is allowed. LimeBike also aims to differentiate itself with a support approach that ensures the relationship doesn’t stop after customers reach their destination.
A team of 14 agents, all of whom work remotely, offer 24/7 multilingual support in English, Chinese, Spanish, German, Swiss, Russian, and Serbian via a follow the sun model. The agents are divided in two teams: one takes support queries about the mobile app or bike usage, and the other handles dispatch tickets related to broken or damaged bikes.
The team is held to a first response time SLA to answer 80 percent of email tickets in under an hour though, not surprisingly, SMS text messaging and phone calls account for 68 percent of ticket volume. If, say, someone is struggling to unlock a bike, they need immediate live support. Hayes also noted that, given LimeBike’s global customer base, text messaging is often a more convenient option when a customer doesn’t speak English and isn’t sure whether they’ll reach someone who speaks their primary language.
For the most urgent issues, LimeBike uses the Zendesk API to allow customers to send a message from the mobile app directly to dispatch agents. The dispatch team then gets the message to a field operations team who can fix or replace the bike. Furthermore, a JIRA integration links the support and engineering functions, allowing both teams to submit, manage, and close engineering-related tickets directly within Zendesk. This intra-team connectivity helps streamline LimeBike’s quickly scaling operations, Hayes said.
Onboarding agents is a simple matter of adding a user and creating a new profile. Once agents are up and running, LimeBike uses filters and views for ticket routing allow agents to customize their ticket queues to their preferences. Hayes has real-time visibility into agent workload and productivity—especially vital for managing a remote team—and uses the data from Support’s Leaderboard to inform her review process and one-on-one meeting agendas.
“The stats in Zendesk are what I use to determine who qualifies for a bonus,” Hayes said. “Zendesk allows me to pull the figures I need to make sure I’m taking care of my team as much as they are taking care of LimeBike and our customers.”
The reports from Zendesk also serve as proof points for civic partners regarding LimeBike’s value in, and impact on, their communities. They help the company make a case for new market expansion, too, Hayes explained. LimeBike shares its customer satisfaction data for the cities it serves—across the board, on average, the team earns a 93 percent CSAT rating.
“We work closely with cities and city officials when we launch. We ask cities what they want, and many have responded that they want to make sure that citizens will be taken care of, and that they can reach us 24/7. So it’s really, truly, absolutely necessary to have data available by market, and to show our ticket volume in comparison to the global average,” Hayes said. “Having strong customer service is one of our competitive advantages. That is how we have been able to win hearts and markets.”
Communication with customers includes potential customers. This is why LimeBike needed visibility into its prospect pool and chose Connect. Noah Bond, growth marketing manager at LimeBike, runs all of the company’s paid marketing and rider engagement campaigns. He and his team use data from Zendesk to help set up meaningful marketing campaigns, informed with direct insights from Connect.
Bracketing audiences by region has been especially helpful, Bond explained, since each market has different user acquisition and adoption challenges. Meanwhile, customer segmentation helps the company identify users that have downloaded the app, but haven’t taken a ride. Or, for example, those riders that have cycled a certain number of miles. Bond and his team are able to then send more personalized messages that are tailored to the individual’s experience with LimeBike.
“We’re growing really fast, and as a result, our communications with our riders need to drive engagement, activations and attention,” Bond said. “We’re only going to utilize the platform more and more moving forward.”
Both Bond and Hayes have an eye on the long view. “What I look for when I choose a software is, ‘Is it scalable? What would this look like if we had 500 CSRs and 20 managers using it?’” Hayes said. “I would say, without a doubt, that Zendesk will absolutely still work for us when we’re that size.”
Hayes and team are working to integrate LimeBike’s in-house database for even more robust reporting and personalized customer communications. Meanwhile, agents crank through an average of 8 tickets per agent an hour, across channels. Hayes credits her hardworking team, reporting that they meet their KPI of 8 tickets per agent, per hour, across channel, aided by Zendesk’s intuitive and easy to use interface.
“I cannot imagine doing this with information in multiple systems,” Hayes said. “There’s just no way we’d be successful. Having everything centralized is definitely the number-one thing that helps our team.”