Zero Motorcycles is a Trailblazer

Salesforce opened opportunities for us that we didn’t even know existed.”

Chris Heimbuck, Director of Marketing at Zero Motorcycles

Zero Motorcycles revs up performance with Salesforce

Electric motorcycles are taking off and Zero Motorcycles is leading the pack with a combination of innovative products and state-of-the-art service. Hailed by Forbes as the “Tesla of motorcycles,” Zero has quickly become the industry leader in high-performance electric motorcycles that surpass traditional gas-powered bikes in almost every metric. “Few other motorcycle companies have made bigger strides in a shorter time than Zero,” Cycle World wrote in a recent review. But the road to the top hasn’t come without a few speed bumps. Despite their reputation for technological innovation — and a made-in-America pedigree — in one key area Zero was not firing on all cylinders: customer service, for both owners and dealers. “We knew we had a great product,” says Mike Cunningham, Director of U.S. Sales and Dealer Development. “But we also knew we weren’t delivering the optimum experience for our customers, our dealers, and even prospective buyers taking a first look at Zero. Salesforce helped us change all that.”


Every year we’re looking to grow revenue by 100%. That’s why we need a platform that can grow with us.”

Aaron Cheatham, Director of Customer Experience at Zero Motorcycles

Innovative products deserve an innovative customer experience

For example, before Salesforce, Zero was using three disparate systems that dealers needed to negotiate – one for sales, one for service, and one for marketing. Dealers had to send in paper warranty cards to register new owners. The result? Zero employees would stand around the fax machine waiting for new paperwork to come through. “How can we be a high-tech company and not deliver a high-tech experience?” asks Aaron Cheatham, Director of Customer Experience at Zero. Zero was ready to take a new look at its entire business so they partnered with Salesforce Ignite, a customer-driven innovation program. “Every year we’re looking to grow revenue by 100%,” says Cheatham. “That’s why we need a platform that can grow with us, and we discovered that Salesforce could transform our entire business.” Through the Ignite program, Zero and Salesforce used a human-centered design approach to reimagine the rider and dealer experience. This resulted in a solution powered by Salesforce Customer 360 that delivered a high-touch customer experience surpassing anything available in the industry.

High performance. High touch.

“We hope that everybody who buys our bike has a great experience with the product,” says Richard Walker, CEO. “But to be a world-class brand, everything else has to work, every other touchpoint the customer has with you has to be first class, and that is what Salesforce has enabled us to do.” Today, a prospective customer enjoys a seamless experience from start to finish. It begins with Marketing Cloud, which Zero uses to generate targeted, relevant communications like the latest product news and releases, industry trends, and reviews of bikes. Zero sales managers can track the journey of a lead from the moment a rider clicks on an email to when they visit the website to the moment of truth – when they sign up for a demo. “Once somebody drives one of our bikes, they’re sold,” says Cunningham. “So our #1 priority is to get them into the dealer to demo a bike.”

Birth of the connected motorcycle

Perhaps the most revolutionary aspect of Zero’s new approach is the way they integrated their products into this seamless customer experience by creating connected motorcycles. If an owner ever has a mechanical problem, he can tap the help button in the app and get service advice on the spot because Zero can access key data remotely, diagnose the issue, and schedule an appointment if necessary. The result has been 50% faster response for emergency service and 25% reduction in support tickets. And firmware updates – which are currently rolled out manually and require owners to bring their bikes into a dealer — will soon be pushed out to owners, allowing Zero to update every bike’s software remotely. Using Community Cloud, Zero built a dealer community that enhances communication among dealers, access to a common inventory, and a forum to solve issues that arise. This seamless communication system between owners, dealers, bikes, and manufacturer has virtually eliminated the lag time and miscommunication that hampered Zero in its early days. Salesforce Customer 360 has changed the entire ownership experience for any rider and created a new sense of engagement with the brand and the community. “Salesforce opened opportunities for us that we didn’t even know existed,” says Chris Heimbuck, Director of Marketing.

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