Article | 3 min read

Getaround: Driving toward fast & furious growth

Last updated March 5, 2015

We love to hear stories about the ways that Zendesk helps our customers accomplish their goals. It’s inspiring to see the creativity behind each implementation, and to hear more about the philosophies and experience that drive great customer service.

Getaround is an on-demand carsharing community, creatively tackling the very real problem of car overpopulation. Since 2010, they’ve launched carsharing in five major U.S. cities, and expansion at this speed has required their Customer Happiness team to scale in step.

In no uncertain terms, Getaround’s Customer Happiness agents are the “deliverers of magical customer experiences.” Last year alone they hired 12 new agents, bringing the total to 24 Customer Happiness agents and managers between San Francisco and the Philippines.

Support breakdown
Getaround is a member of a growing pack of web-based businesses that manage relationships with two distinct client bases. They need to support both the owners who share out their cars, and those who need to rent a vehicle. Pairing renters with owners may be a match made in heaven, but from a customer service perspective, catering to both audiences can be a challenge.

Led by Isaac Wexman, the Customer Happiness team provides 24-hour phone support, as well as email support, and self-service through their help center. Wexman works out of the company’s San Francisco headquarters and is, like much of the company, young, forward-thinking, and customer-focused.

“Phone support is essential to our success because of the nature of our service,” he explained. Due to the risk and liability involved in driving, and considering the physical value of a car, “no one wants to wait for an email” when they have a pressing question or issue. In the event of an accident, emotions on both sides of carsharing can run high.

Why Zendesk Talk?
The company began using Zendesk products back in 2012 because they were looking for a flexible, agile platform, and now use Zendesk across the entire business—in sales, billing, fleet management, and marketing. “Pretty much everyone at the company uses Zendesk products,” said Wexman. In fact, Getaround built their own integration tools on top of the Zendesk API, including one that enables them to see relationships between tickets.

That’s why Zendesk Talk was a natural choice when it came to VoIP phone support. With the team in the Philippines, it was important that agents could take calls from anywhere, and that they didn’t need to invest in additional equipment. Agents only need their laptops.

In addition to Zendesk, agents uses tools like Looker for data analysis, and Flowdock to communicate, which keeps ongoing collaboration between the team simple and efficient.

Which metric matters most?
Life—not to mention the open highway—is full of variables and unknowns, so Getaround’s Customer Happiness team has to plan for the unexpected: acts of weather, mechanical issues, accidents, fallen trees, lost keys, and so on. It can be hard to bake these anomalies into the customer experience—especially while scaling. It’s just not practical to overhire, as their community expands, in anticipation of unknown customer issues.

So while Wexman can plan resources based on volume—the team handles more than 4,250 voice tickets per month—the most important metric for them is call waiting time.

“We can’t have customers waiting on the phone very long, in the event there’s been an incident or emergency,” Wexman shared. So when the call wait time surges, consistently or over time, Wexman knows they need to hire additional agents. So far, as a measuring stick, call wait time has been an effective way to scale the team alongside the business.

Are your customers calling? Should they be? Learn more about Zendesk Talk and other telephony integrations