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Interview: You Are at the Center of Any E-Bike Business and Bosch Knows How To Hook You
In the spirit of EV Month, I've decided to look at a different side of the e-bike industry, the customer. In an e-mail interview with Bosch, we were shown how the big kids do business and what we could all learn from it.

Interview: You Are at the Center of Any E-Bike Business and Bosch Knows How To Hook You

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Let's face it, one essential aspect of a business where something is sold is the end-user experience. One company that seems to know just how to ensure customer satisfaction and retention is Bosch. It makes sense to go to the source to get some answers.

In this spirit, I've conducted a short e-mail interview with Claudia Wasko, Vice President of Bosch eBike Systems Americas, to discover how this manufacturer converts new clients and makes sure they're happy.

autoevolution: People are already being asked to spend over 10,000 USD (9,064 EUR at current exchange rates) on some machines, and Bosch systems factor in that price. How is the team working on bringing prices down?

Claudia Wasko: A new Bosch e-bike – and prices actually start at around 2,000 USD (1,812 EUR at current exchange rates)—will have a higher initial cost than a bike with a low-end or no-name motor system. But when you make the shift to thinking of your e-bike as a vehicle, you need to consider the long-term cost of ownership – just as you would when buying a car.

Based on our modular product portfolio, we ensure a broad price segment can be met. Our OE partners have the choice between many drive units and batteries with different capacity values.

We have target costing processes in place to define our achievable costs based on defined technical specifications.

We are bundling our purchase volumes within the Bosch group (e. g., with Power Tools for battery cells) to decrease material cost and benefit from economies of scale-based cost advantages.

ae: How does Bosch ensure their products are what riders want?

CW: We ensure continuous dialogue with all our OE partners, meeting them on numerous occasions, such as public events (Taichung Bike Week, Taipeh Cycle Show, Eurobike), 1:1 meetings, ride camps. We gather additional dealers' feedback with the help of our tech support team – through shop visits, dealer clinics, and OE dealer camps. Our hotline for dealers and end consumers and the analysis of our social media channels help collect valuable insights.

In addition, we conduct numerous surveys throughout the year – including all customer layers – to capture their feedback. Last but not least, we invest a lot in market research and studies. Our internal meeting and reporting system ensures that the entire "Voice of Customer" (VoC) is fed into the right channels of our organization.

ae:

What are some of the points of focus that Bosch relies on for converting and keeping riders?

CW: Converting: In 2021, we launched our first digital marketing campaign to grow awareness, drive an increase in website traffic, and reach millions of impressions across display ads, YouTube, NPR podcasts, Facebook, Instagram, Outside.com, and Bicycling.com.

Purpose:
  • Interest the unaware (awareness)
  • Educate the curious (consideration)
  • Capture the intenders (decision)
E-bike category communication to eliminate negative prejudices and clarify the benefits of e-bikes, also in relation to other mobility solutions such as cars.

Test ride possibilities to experience the e-bike and expand the quantity of initial touchpoints, not only at bike dealers— attendance of endemic and non-endemic events (e. g., CES, Electrify, …).

Digital consultant to support the decision process and create a consistent brand experience.

Authentic content to build trust, provide inspiration and increase identification, e.g., by using authentic role models and real owners (UGC)

Bike dealers as brand ambassadors to support the decision process and create a consistent brand experience.

Keeping: Focus on all end consumer needs from pre-awareness/predisposition to product usage, including after-sales experience. Keep customers engaged and loyal. Talk about new products and features constantly for a better e-bike experience. Stay in touch with continuous communication.

Connectivity is the key to the new intelligent and seamless biking experience. With digitalized hardware and digital features, you stay connected and inspired during your ride to experience a new level of flow.

Product: Compatible, scalable, upgrades (software/new features thanks to FOTA, batteries, displays)

Service: Certified/trained dealers, expedited warranty processes, spare parts availability, battery recycling, and end consumer hotline.

Final Word:
Thinking about getting into the e-bike business? There's quite a bit to learn from the way Bosch does business with the client. After all, the client is the one that will make or break your business, and this manufacturer of e-bike systems is the same one you should model, especially if you want the same level of success.



Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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