Okawa: Elevating customer service in a maturing industry

Okawa: Elevating customer service in a maturing industry

As the e-bike industry transitions from the early adoption phase to a more mature market, customer service expectations change significantly. Jack Brandsen, European General Manager at Okawa, sat down with us to discuss how his company addresses higher demands and provides support to their customers and dealers.

When a product category becomes more established on the market, it is a natural process that the expectations of the customer base also increase. On the one hand, this applies to the products themselves, which are supposed to become easier accessible, more efficient and, best of all, better and better. On the other hand, however, this development also refers to the expectations regarding the service offerings which should become faster, more streamlined and more customer-friendly.

“This is a typical development that is part of a market’s process of becoming more mature. A process that we can also observe in the e-bike industry,” Jack Brandsen points out. He is the European General Manager at Okawa, an e-mobility start-up focussed on a wide range of e-bike products, including drive units, batteries and displays. “A good comparison is the mobile phone business. Thirty years ago, customers were satisfied with repair times of two to three weeks. Today, they expect immediate solutions. The same will happen with e-bikes,” he explains.

More mature service

For this reason, Okawa wants to offer precisely this more mature service. Founded in 2020, Okawa emerged from a division of the Yadea Group, which is considered a global leader in developing and manufacturing electric 2-wheel vehicles and, with a sales volume of over 14 million e-mobility vehicles per year, the largest of its kind in the world. With the Group’s strong R&D resources, procurement and manufacturing power, Okawa focuses exclusively on the e-bike market.

“In addition to good products, we also aim to offer a correspondingly high level of service. To achieve this, we are going our own way. We want to make it as easy as possible for all parties involved – no matter if it’s customers or dealers,” Brandsen says, referring to Okawa’s approach to service that revolves around three key elements: simplicity, accuracy, and speed.

From diagnosis to settlement

To make things as easy as possible for their dealers and service agents, Okawa has developed an app that allows them to do software updates over the air but also diagnose issues quickly and accurately without the need for additional hardware.

However, the app not only helps with the diagnosis itself but also with the further handling of service cases. Thus, it streamlines the service process by directly sending all relevant information, including the dealer’s details and bank account number, to Okawa. The process is also simplified here: A crucial part of Okawa’s dealer support is their 4 year warranty policy, which covers replacement fees and ensures that dealers don’t bear the cost of repairs. In the event of a service case, the costs are automatically transferred to the dealer.

“Once a diagnosis has been made, it’s all about logistics,” Brandsen says. “Okawa’s primary goal is to minimise downtime for their customers, ensuring that replacement parts are delivered as quickly as possible. That’s why we have a same-day shipping policy: If a dealer submits a repair request before 5 PM, the replacement part is shipped out on the same day,” the European General Manager continues.

With this approach, Brandsen aims to set a new standard for customer service in the maturing e-bike industry. In conclusion, Brandsen summarises: “The e-bike industry is becoming increasingly mature. This development requires not only great products but also great service. With Okawa, we want to contribute to this development.”

This article is sponsored by Okawa.