Inside our collaboration with Yamaha
This month we sat down with Marc de Graaf, Network Development Coordinator, who is working at Yamaha Motor Europe NV since 20 years.
10 September 2020
He agreed to come back on the nascent partnership between Yamaha and Wakam initiated more than a year ago today. He explains to us why Yamaha has decided to turn to Wakam to deploy its offers throughout Europe.
Hi Marc, can you introduce us to Yamaha?
Yamaha was founded in 1955 by Genichi Kawakami in Japan. But it was not until 1968 that Yamaha decided to establish a European subsidiary (in the Netherlands) to meet the high demand. The creation of a European headquarters made it possible to start importing a wide range of Yamaha products, such as motorcycles, outboard engines, snowmobiles, and later scooters.
At Yamaha, we strive to bring Kando to all our customers. Today, Yamaha is present in more than 135 countries around the globe and has more than 55.000 employees worldwide.
What is Kando?
Kando is a Japanese term used to describe a feeling of great satisfaction and excitement that comes from having something of exceptional value, quality, and performance. It is a powerful emotion that adds spice to your life! All of our products and services are designed and developed by people who genuinely love their job and whose goal is to provide you with the best possible experience.
Kando drives the whole company, and our employees strive to pass it on every day to our customers and partners.
Could you tell us about the YOU loyalty program?
We have developed a loyalty program (YOU) to offer a wide range of services to facilitate the purchase and maintenance of a motorcycle. We want to make sure you always have a pleasant experience every time you purchase a Yamaha product. YOU offer our customers a unique experience and peace of mind.
The program is built around several products, such as a financing offer, assistance in case of breakdown or road side assistance. But we wanted to go even further by offering tailor-made insurance packages to provide an additional service to our customers.
And that’s where Wakam comes in?
Exactly! The partnership with Wakam began last year in Spain. There we launched a pilot for two-wheeler products: a European mechanical breakdown insurance for new vehicles, and we plan to launch coverage for second-hand two-wheelers in 2021 subsequently. The aim was to test the market’s appetite before going any further. The test has been conclusive; we decided to extend it to Portugal a few weeks ago.
We are already working on a European roll-out of these two insurances to offer the same experience to our customers all over Europe.
What are the key points to remember about the relationship with Wakam?
We wanted to find a digital partner able to accompany us all over Europe and to offer tailor-made insurances to our customers. For us, it was essential that dealers could use our own dealer system to sell extended warranties and submit claims and we preferred keep in control of claims management. From experience, we understood that we had to keep the same service level as we normally provide to our customers during factory warranty. Without that, we lose all the benefits of the program.
We were looking for a partner who is sufficiently agile and capable of adapting to this need. With Wakam, we were able to meet our requirements and thus ensure our service level to dealers keep our quality standards towards customers. This reinforces the confidence of our distributors with the brand.
Three points to illustrate our partnership
Communication is one of the essential elements of our excellent relationship with the teams at Wakam.
As a pan-European company, Wakam can provide us with comprehensive support in all European countries. This was a condition for our partnership.
Service level and quality, as this is what Yamaha always strives. Not only in products, but also in service.
Finally, what are Yamaha’s next challenges?
We have a strong desire to deploy new product lines in new countries. We wish to continue to enrich our offer for our loyalty program. In particular, we are working on an insurance policy for outboard engines in the event of a mechanical breakdown starting in our Spanish market. This service for our marine customers will be launched very soon in 2020.
Brand Content & Social Media Lead