NEXA Service Centres will offer something new and exclusive
When Maruti Suzuki launched its premium sales channel NEXA back in July 2015 it promised to change the way a customer would experience owning a car.
It was the first time a mass-market player was doing something innovative and unheard in the Indian automobile industry. NEXA brought in the concept of a showroom that looked similar to what you would expect from a premium brand like Mercedes-Benz or BMW. It was all about providing a good hospitality experience as well pampering the customers.
NEXA also came up with a concept of assigning a Relationship Manager (RM), who would be the single point of contact right from the booking to the delivery of the car. The company hired people from different sectors like aviation, hospitality and also roped in people who were already working with premium luxury car brands. It even promised that these RMs would be responsible for providing a hassle free and smooth after sales and ownership experience.
The last part is what didn’t truly meet the expectations of the so-called premium NEXA customers as the cars still had to be serviced at the regular Maruti Suzuki Authorised Service Station. NEXA customers sometimes did get a preferential treatment but the overall experience was similar to what you would get while servicing any other Maruti car. There was nothing so called premium or an exclusive experience as was promised.
It is nothing like that the Maruti Service Centres were not up to the mark. Instead, I have had a wonderful time till date dealing with them. Most of my issues were sorted without any hassle. It was just that the premium experience at the time of buying the car was not available once my Baleno rolled off the showroom floors.
But now all that could change. Maruti is trying to set up new and exclusive NEXA service centres across the country. The company has already started taking feedback from existing customers of cars like the S-Cross and Baleno who have had them for almost a year or more since its launch.
With the introduction of the NEXA Service Centres, Maruti plans to offer a seamless experience to the customers. It will be supported with use of technology and the customer would be able to book and track the service operations with help of an app or through the website, which I think is already present and so NEXA will have to introduce something new. It would be a great idea if NEXA could come up with something like providing a live feed of the car being serviced with notifications of the tasks done, straight to the customer’s smartphone.
It is expected that the NEXA service centres would replicate the ambient of the showrooms and look premium as well. Customers will get a dedicated lounge from where they can monitor the progress of the work done on their car. Just like at the showroom we can look forward to good hospitality being offered along with a delicious cup of coffee.
The concept of having a Relationship Manager when buying the car would be applied to the service station as well. A Service Manager would act as a single point of contact right from taking an appointment and until the time the car is delivered.
The NEXA Service Centres would be equipped with latest technologies and tools. It is also said that Maruti would be hiring passionate and expert people for the job. The company will focus towards providing transparency in terms of jobs and costs and also deliver the car within the committed time frame.
But inorder to setup these new NEXA service centres, with all the added features and the premium experience, there will be a cost, which in the end will come back to the customer. How much more one has to pay for this exclusivity is what we will have to wait and watch.
I am not sure if many customers would be willing to pay a higher price just to get a feel good factor or sit in a premium looking lounge sipping a cup of coffee, when they could get their car serviced from the regular Maruti Service Centres, which already have been doing a great job and in the process save some money.
Unless NEXA Service brings in something really exclusive to the table and worth paying for that is when this concept can succeed. The customers have already paid a premium when buying the cars from NEXA showrooms and asking them to pay more every time they visit for a service which is being done at a lower cost currently, is something I would not agree with.
The NEXA Service Centres when launched will cater to the customers owning S-Cross, Baleno, Baleno RS, Ignis and the new addition to the family the Ciaz. I am wondering, if owners of Ciaz which earlier was retailed by Maruti showrooms will also be allowed to be serviced at the exclusive NEXA outlet. It would also be interesting to see how Maruti is able to implement all these concepts in reality and how customers respond to it.