As one of our longest-serving team members, Support Team Leader Justin has kept our riders happy through the biggest moments in VanMoof history. Now reflecting on this year’s ups and downs, Justin never loses sight of our rider-focused mission.
I joined back in 2014, when we’d just released the third generation of VanMoof bikes and there were only about 15 people in the office. Back then, we didn’t make bikes with the smart tech we use today – the first Electrified only had two manual speed settings and basic GPS. But it was when we released the next generation e-bikes with app connection in 2016 that things really started to roll. The Electrified S had a much broader appeal and forced us to really step up our game. Our bikes and the brand were becoming more established consumer products, and riders expected a level of service to match.
Skipping forward, the launch of the VanMoof S3 & X3 was the moment we truly entered the big league. That success was far bigger than we could have ever imagined, and we had to scale up quickly. We grew from 12 support agents to over 70 in a matter of months. And with all those new people, we needed to completely rethink our training and internal processes. We’ve just about got on top of things, but it’s been a bumpy ride for sure.
Any new product will have some issues when launching, especially when it’s using new technology. We try to catch these as early as possible, and give the Product team real-time feedback from our riders. Communication with other teams is super-important and we work closely with Operations, the Product team, and our warehouse. That way, we know what to expect and when – and can make sure our agents always have the most up-to-date information.”
We just launched a new chat feature, and we’ve revamped our FAQ portal to give riders better answers faster. We’re always looking for ways to communicate better, and give our riders as much information as possible. But even with all these tools, you always need to listen and sympathize. Honesty and transparency is the best way to go. Even if you can’t solve a problem straight away, our riders will usually understand if you explain the situation and what we’re trying to do as a company.
The moment you have your whole team working from home, you notice how the infrastructure for everyone is so different. We spent a lot of time making sure everyone had the right tools and environment to do the best work possible. Now I think working from home is here to stay, because it just offers more possibilities. We used to only recruit for support in the local area. But In the past year, we've had people working from Australia and London, or Paris and Luxembourg. I don't see why we wouldn’t continue like this into the future.
There have of course been learnings that came from fast growth and working from home. Managing the team’s mental health has become more important than ever. With the team scattered across different locations, picking up signals is more difficult. To make up for that, we’ve organised multiple talks with the team to listen at what they had to say and address issues quickly. It’s all about making a safe environment where the team can talk openly. You can already see the impact that’s making – our team is extremely close and we’ve helped each other get through a lot of difficult times.
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