Maruti launches Nexa Service
Premium cars, premium service: Maruti looks to pamper its customers
So, you've bought yourself a new Maruti Baleno, from a swank Nexa outlet, and are pretty chuffed about receiving chocolates sent by your personal sales advisor. But then it's time to take the car for its first service, and you realise the Nexa flavour doesn't extend to Maruti's service network. Obviously, you don't want to get grease on your Emporio Armani loafers, and Maruti knows that. And so, on to Nexa Service.
Yes, well over two years after it set up a separate dealer chain to impart "premiumness" to the brand, Maruti is now rolling out a new service network that is infused with the monochrome goodness of the Nexa brand.
Here's how it works: you access the Nexa app on your iPhone or iPad (of course you have them), schedule a service according to your time and convenience, and receive a service cost estimate. Once that's done, you drive to the outlet, where the boom barrier, fitted with a sensor, will detect the RFID tag on your car and let you straight through, thus eliminating any wait time (which was a bother to most Nexa customers, Maruti says). A dedicated service manager awaits you, and after an inspection, a digital job card is opened (again, on a tablet).
These outlets will be equipped with a diagnostic bay, which does away with the need for a test drive to be conducted by a service staffer (and also the ambiguity that creeps in with differences in judgement). This test line, which checks the wheel alignment, suspension and brakes and shares a 'Digital Health Card', using which the service advisor will decide what work has to be done on the car. Meanwhile, the owner can move to the lounge area, which, with its large glass wall, provides a clear view of the service area, but is, of course, fitted with premium leather sofas and premium wood tables, where you'll be served premium coffee with premium cookies as you flip through premium lifestyle magazines by a premium-looking staffer. Or you could opt to have the car picked up from your place and save yourself the effort.
In case you do opt for that but still want to keep an eye on your car, there's a Live Feed you can access through your iPhone, but only if your car is at the Express Service bay, which, as the name suggests, gets cars that are coming in for either their first free service or their first paid service cleared in about half an hour. The other bays aren't fitted with a camera, but Maruti says it could extend the feature to other bays if customers demand it. We suspect they will.
Maruti has inaugurated the first Nexa Service point in Gurgaon, and aims to have close to 70 outlets covering all metros by the end of FY17-18. By 2020, Maruti intends to have close to 300 of these up and running, which would be roughly 20 per cent of Maruti's nationwide network.
What you will be surprised to know is that this service chain is not exclusive to Nexa owners. Yes, you could bring in your Dzire to be serviced here as well. Which, if you come to think of it, is a good move. Barring the Alto and the Wagon R, no existing Maruti product is cheap. Someone could be spending good money on a Vitara Brezza and still be a bit put-off by the fact that he isn't eligible for the privileges Nexa car owners enjoy. Now, though, at least the service experience should be a fulfilling one -- provided you're willing to shell out anywhere between 15 to 20 per cent more dough than you'd pay at Maruti's standard service points. Question is, will you?