Voices From The Pod: Travis Barth, Sr Manager, Live Operations

At Zeelo, we encourage a culture where people work smart, move fast, and work together. Over the next few months, we are going to hear from some of our team from across all areas of the business.
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We believe that exceptional customer service and support should be at the forefront of any business, and here at Zeelo we are no exception. We sat down with Travis Barth, our Senior Manager for Live Operations at Zeelo to take a look at how we shape, sustain and develop the live ops and support experience for our riders, drivers and operator partners and use this to fuel the growth and evolution of our organization.

Thank you for joining us today, Travis - I was wondering if you might start by telling us a little bit about yourself, how long have you been with Zeelo and what just exactly your role entails?

I live outside of Boston with my wife, son and two dogs. I spent the last decade and a half in private aviation in both flight operations and customer service. I’ve been with Zeelo for 5 months now and as the leader of the Live Operations team, I am responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations by managing the team's rota, developing and improving processes, and fostering collaboration with other departments to ensure seamless and efficient workflows. My role involves supporting the team and making sure that everyone is working together to achieve our shared goals.

What would you say is the biggest challenge facing you and your team at present?

The biggest challenge facing my team at present is effectively scaling our communications, live trip management, and driver/vehicle allocations. As our operations grow and expand, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage the complex network of vehicles, drivers, and passengers. Ensuring that all parties are in sync and have access to the latest information is a constant challenge. We are constantly working on streamlining our processes and developing new technologies to manage the increasing demands of live trip management and driver/vehicle allocations while also ensuring clear and efficient communications with all stakeholders.

Not that such a thing ever exists here at Zeelo, but what does a typical day in the LiveOps team look like?

A day in the LiveOps team at Zeelo is far from typical, as our operations run 24/7, and we are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the service we provide. Our team is responsible for managing both the AM and PM peak periods, which are the busiest times for transportation. During these times, we are constantly monitoring and adjusting the allocation of vehicles and drivers to ensure that every trip runs smoothly and arrives on time.

In addition to managing the peak periods, the LiveOps team is also responsible for allocating day-of and next-day trips. This requires quick and effective decision-making as well as constant communication with drivers, riders, and other stakeholders. Our team must be able to respond quickly to any unexpected events, such as traffic disruptions, and make the necessary adjustments to ensure that every trip runs smoothly.

Despite the fast-paced nature of our work, our team takes great pride in delivering a reliable and efficient service. Every day is a new opportunity for us to improve and provide the best possible experience for our passengers.

Why are the services provided by Zeelo so important for businesses in this day and age?

It's no secret that personal transportation costs and traffic congestion are on the rise, which can really slow down the productivity of employees who have to spend a lot of time commuting. But Zeelo steps in to help by offering a convenient and affordable alternative, which takes away some of the stress and cost of daily commuting.

And then there's the issue of sustainability and combating climate change. It's a big deal, with governments all over the world setting goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. So, businesses are under a lot of pressure to be environmentally friendly. And that's where Zeelo comes in - by providing carbon-neutral transportation, they help businesses meet those sustainability targets and do their part in the fight against climate change.

Why is it so important for both clients and riders that Zeelo trips are monitored/controlled by our live operations team?

The monitoring and control of trips by the live operations team at Zeelo are of utmost importance for clients, operators and riders. With so many moving parts, having a dedicated focus on each trip enables Zeelo to quickly and efficiently communicate any challenges that may arise during a trip. This level of attention and control allows our team to manage the expectations of all stakeholders so that informed decisions about how they get from point A to B can be made.

In a world where time is a precious commodity, being able to rely on the live operations team to monitor and control trips means that clients and riders can trust that their transportation needs are in good hands.

Your team is currently operating remotely around the world, 24/7; how are you sustaining one of Zeelo’s core values; working together, when your team doesn't get to experience the face-to-face interaction that most of our colleagues get to?

Working together is one of Zeelo's core values, and despite the current remote working environment, this value still holds strong. Sustaining a positive and collaborative team culture while operating remotely 24/7 is a challenge, but it can be achieved through effective communication and a focus on team building.

We make sure to have virtual team-building events and more frequent in-person social events for the LiveOps and Customer Care teams. This helps to foster a sense of unity and build relationships despite the physical distance. Additionally, we apply a focus on our process library to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals and objectives.

Technology also plays a big role in our ability to work together, even when we're apart. We utilize virtual office tools that allow us to collaborate and communicate as if we were all in the same room. This way, even though we may be scattered around the world, we can work together seamlessly and maintain a sense of cohesion as a team.

If you had to sell Zeelo to a new client or operator in just one sentence; what would you say?

Zeelo is a turnkey transportation solution that provides complete peace of mind. With its advanced technology, Zeelo ensures that your business or school, riders, operators, and drivers are all in sync, providing a seamless transportation experience. And the best part? Zeelo's transportation solutions not only make your life easier, but they also make a positive impact on the environment.

What gets you most excited about the future of Zeelo and what has been your proudest moment in the business so far?

Expanding on the success of the existing UK and South African operations, I am extremely excited about the prospect of further expansion into the United States. This represents a significant opportunity for growth and will allow us to build upon the strong foundation that has already been established.

In addition to this exciting future development, I am immensely proud of the hard work and dedication demonstrated by our Live Operations and Customer Care Teams. Their ability to work together seamlessly and efficiently, combined with their quick problem-solving skills, has been a key factor in our success thus far. The team's unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional customer service, while also working smart and fast, is a testament to their exceptional skill and professionalism.

Based on employee spotlights of months past, Adele is who most Zeeloites would choose for their go-to karaoke song! Are you going to continue that trend or do you have someone else in mind, Travis!? And with you based in the United States, we have to ask; Deep dish or thin crust pizza?

Quite honestly, everyone would beg me to not sing an Adele song so my go-to artist for a karaoke song would be Zac Brown Band. For pizza, I have to go with deep-dish pizza but not just any deep-dish pizza, Detroit-style pizza! If you’ve never heard of frico cheese crust, look it up and grab a slice at your next opportunity.

Thank you Travis for your time and we thank you for all you do here at Zeelo!

We will continue sharing some of our inspiring team members with you this year. Keep your eyes open for our next employee spotlight next month! Make sure you are following us here and on LinkedIn and Twitter as we continue to celebrate our team.

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