redBus

With the Salesforce platform, we can roll out our playbook in a new country and don’t need to set up from scratch.”

Udit Gupta | Product Manager - Customer Experience and Payments
 

70%

improvement in case resolution time

 

Successful bus ticketing platform redBus goes global with Salesforce

Innovative bus ticketing platform, redBus, is using Salesforce to better serve its 40 million customers in India – and abroad.

redBus has pioneered long-haul bus ticketing in India with an innovative web and mobile app-based platform that customers have used to book more than 180 million bus trips since the company launched in 2006.

The company is also building an impressive global network with operations currently in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Colombia and Peru. Plans are underway to expand that global network to complement ongoing growth in existing markets.

“redBus is the world's largest online bus ticketing platform,” says Udit Gupta, Product Manager – Customer Experience and Payments, at redBus. “We bring convenience to more than 40 million customers around the world, and provide the best customer experience at the lowest price overall.”

In addition to the bus ticketing platform, redBus offers private bus hire and hotel booking portals along with an innovative new eco-smart carpool platform for professionals.

redBus is obviously a company on the rise and one of India’s greatest tech startup success stories. But managing such an incredible volume of customer bookings, both in India and overseas, has been challenging for the company.

Managing the millions

Prior to the Salesforce deployment, redBus used a homegrown CRM system that was soon out of its depth as the company’s customer base rapidly grew into the millions.

Customer queries couldn’t be connected to service cases, customer contact channels were not integrated, and there was no language support built into a system that was intended to serve multiple global markets.

“We were never able to tie up the loose ends when it came to delivering a consistent customer experience,” explains Gupta. “We also needed a better way to talk to bus operators and translate service interruptions back to our customers.”

Another drawback of the homegrown CRM was that DevOps responsibility was placed firmly on the shoulders of the internal IT team.

“Having to do our own development wasn’t ideal,” says Phaneesh Gururaj, Vice President – B2C Engineering at redBus. “It made expansion difficult and slowed our progress in the early years.”

 

With Service Cloud, our agents can proactively understand customer mood and use it to guide their responses without much input from the customer.”

Udit Gupta | Product Manager - Customer Experience and Payments

The Salesforce solution

The solution was a Service Cloud deployment to replace the more cumbersome homegrown CRM system. This enabled redBus to integrate voice, email and chat channels into a single customer service platform that could be used by the main customer success team in India, as well as local service teams in overseas markets.

“Pre- and post-booking customer communication is a very important part of our business,” says Gupta. “Now, with Service Cloud, our customer success team can manage customer queries in the form of voice calls, email and chat, all on a single platform. And our agents can proactively understand customer mood and use it to guide their responses without much input from the customer.”

“They can also conduct other support activities such as talking to bus operations to get an understanding of operational issues and cancellations,” adds Gururaj. “With Service Cloud, these status updates can be pushed out to our customers in real time.”

Bookings also pass from the company’s transaction database to Service Cloud in real-time. So, when a customer logs a service case, the customer service agent can see the payment reference to quickly resolve transactional queries.

redBus has also deployed Sales Cloud for lead management on their bus hire platform, which is integrated with Service Cloud for customer engagement

Leading the global charge

The results have been impressive. In the three years since redBus deployed Service Cloud there has been a 70 per cent improvement in case resolution time and a 13 percentage point increase in the company’s customer satisfaction score (CSAT).

“We’ve also reduced our response times without increasing the number of customer service agents,” says Gururaj. “This demonstrates a huge increase in the productivity and efficiency of our agents.”

The redBus team engaged with Salesforce architects on the Success Services Team in the early stages of their deployment roadmap, and worked with a local integration partner.

Now, an internal team of three to four Salesforce project managers drives system agility. They also attend local events to leverage the knowledge of the vibrant Salesforce community in India. 

And with Salesforce central to the company’s global expansion plans, the future looks bright as the redBus team prepares to tackle new markets outside of its current network. To achieve this, they realised they needed a more robust system to connect local customer service agents in new countries with the customer success team in India.  

“There will be some integration required with local systems, and different countries tend to prefer different communication channels. But with the Salesforce platform already established, we can roll out our playbook in a new country and don’t need to set up from scratch,” says Gupta. “Essentially all we have to do is the turn the lights on in a new market.”

 

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