Meet Will: Customer Service Representative at Nice Ride

Share   |  Posted Aug. 4, 2014 by Emily Wade

“I was supposed to join the military after college,” Will Zager says.  Both Will’s grandfathers were in the military.  A genial young man with bright eyes and a strong jaw, Will looked forward to carrying on the family tradition.  But just a month after he received his ship-out date for basic training, he shattered his elbow.  “They had to replace it with metal,” Will says. “You can’t have metal in your body in the military.”

Will in Customer Service

Pushing the Limits

Will’s active lifestyle leads to many injuries like this one.  An action sports assistant at REI and personal trainer at a local gym, Will enjoys seeing what his body is capable of.  Knowing he prefers to be in motion, I offer to do our interview while going for a bike ride.  Will has to decline due to a stressed knee from a recent ride from Mankato.  “I haven’t ridden in a week,” he sighs.    

A week out of the saddle wouldn’t always have disappointed Will.  A casual cyclist in college, Will began riding more seriously when he moved to the Twin Cities.  Now Will’s main form of transportation is a Surly Pugsley, an all-terrain bike just as hardcore as he is.  Becoming a bike commuter was an easy choice for Will.  With paths like the Greenway and the Hiawatha Trail, Will finds getting around on two wheels easier than driving.  Of course, the physical side of cycling doesn’t hurt.  “The fact that I was being active while going about my day-to-day business was a pretty big draw,” Will adds.     

Mission Control 

Will’s position at Nice Ride is less active, yet no less intriguing.  He begins his shifts as a customer service representative by taking a seat at the front desk of Nice Ride’s office and logging in to a central console that gives him exclusive access to information about the Nice Ride system.  The console is divided into two columns with search tools on the left and a larger pane on the right where Will can view specific information about the system and keep track of any problems that may occur. It’s this system that customer service uses to quickly resolve any issues that might come up, making sure Nice Ride’s members and pass-holders have great experiences. 

When a Nice Ride user calls customer service, Will asks for their member key number or credit card information and pulls up data about their rides.  From here Will can answer any questions the user might have.  On a typical day, the customer service center receives around sixty calls, most of them from casual riders confused about how system usage fees work.  But sometimes the calls are different. 

Minnesota Bikes, Minnesota Nice

People who regularly use Nice Ride know that the bikes belong in motion or docked in a station.  When someone comes across a Nice Ride bike that seems out of place they often alert customer service.  “We almost have our own watch-dog program,” Will says.  “People really want us to do well.” 

Will feels this sense of community when he rides around the cities.  Seeing people on Nice Rides, he often finds himself wanting to say something acknowledging the comradery he feels toward them.  “Would that be weird?”  he asks, “ I think it would be weird.”     

Weird or not, Will’s impulse to reach out to riders is common among Nice Ride employees.  In fact, this mindset is Will’s favorite thing about the office.  Though he has trouble describing it in words, Will says there is a particular culture to Nice Ride that attracts open, creative people.  “Everybody loves what we do,” Will says.  “It just makes you happy to go in to work and see people.”      

According to Will, making an active lifestyle accessible to people in the Twin Cities lies at the core of what it means to work for Nice Ride.  When I ask him how he thinks Nice Ride is doing at promoting this mission, Will grins.  “Last year I would have said ‘we’re doing okay.’  But this year has just exploded.  We’re really kicking butt now.” 

As we both pack up to leave for the day Will decides to see if his knee is strong enough for him to bike home.  Grabbing a green bike from the garage next door, he takes it for a spin around the lot.  “Wanna ride together?” he asks me.  “Of course!”  I reply, thinking Nice Ride’s not the only one kicking butt.  

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From the FAQ

Who can use Nice Ride?

Nice ride is open to anyone over the age of 16. Users under 18 years of age must have their legal guardians purchase a subscription. Online subscription is currently available to those 18 and older. Subscriptions are available to those ages 16 and 17 by calling our office at 1-877-551-6423.