India’s largest carmaker has gone a step ahead in enhancing its aftersales support, this time for customers of its premium Nexa range of vehicles. Maruti Suzuki India has introduced the new S-Assist self-help platform for owners of the Ignis, Baleno, Ciaz, XL-6 and S-Cross, to troubleshoot problems and learn more about their vehicles in real time.
The virtual assistant, which can be enabled through voice or chat, allows owners to learn more about a specific car function or part, by retrieving knowledge material from the car’s digital owner’s manual.
The S-Assist also allows the customer to connect to the Maruti Suzuki 24x7 customer support centre at the back end to resolve problems remotely. The company has also curated a series of videos on subjects such as ‘how to change a flat tyre’, to empower customers to be able to resolve minor issues on their own in the distress hour.
As per the company, “Customers are looking for more professionalism, and MSIL is focused to give a more digital experience on the aftersales front to customers. We are also seeing a paradigm shift in the way people are consuming content, which is why we taken to the video format and have curated do-it-yourself (DIY) videos.”
According to Partho Banerjee, executive director, Services, MSIL, “We started with the digital initiatives in aftersales three years back, even before Covid, which has only pushed us to implement these initiatives in an accelerated manner.”
“We introduce any such digital-intensive initiative first for Nexa customers. The smart virtual assistant – S-Assist – is presently compatible with English language but we are working on other vernacular languages as well, and will also extend it to our Arena customers,” Banerjee added.
Leveraging start-up power
The company is working with start-ups led by young people to offer the right solutions for its increasingly tech-savvy customers. In January 2019, MSIL had announced its ‘Mobility & Automobile Innovation Lab’ or MAIL programme to invite start-ups with their breakthrough ideas in the areas of new mobility and digital solutions.
MSIL has roped in one of its shortlisted candidates – Delhi-based Xane.AI – which is led by IIT-Delhi graduates, who have developed the S-Assist platform in conjunction with the carmaker’s in-house teams.
“We followed the approach of getting appropriate people for appropriate work with this initiative. It’s a very efficient process doing work in this manner and helps us to go to market faster. Young people have a great bandwidth,” said Banerjee.
The S-Assist will also allow Nexa owners to download a digital copy of their owner’s manual as well as schedule a service only and navigate to at any of MSIL’s 4,120 service outlets across the country.