Yatin Patel is the co-founder of Reservations.com, a website that allows users to seamlessly book hotels and plan their holiday through a single, convenient online portal. Launching in 2014, the website has enjoyed success with the travel community and earned a reputation for offering great deals that can’t be found elsewhere.
Yatin answered some questions about his website.
Why did you decide to start Reservations.com?
The founding principle behind Reservations.com started as: “bring the human touch back to travel”, and that’s exactly what we set out to do. We saw that the online travel booking industry was plagued with nightmare stories of poor customer service and confusing booking systems – so we wanted to offer a high touch alternative.
What do people look for when choosing a hotel?
We know that our customers are chiefly looking for a room that perfectly combines value and the level of luxury they want. People generally have things they are willing to compromise on if they feel they are getting a better deal or a room that’s more conveniently located to tourist activities.
Everyone is different when it comes to what they are willing to spend and where they want to control their budget. This is why we have endeavored to provide the most comprehensive possible range of choices for our customers.
How has the website impacted the online travel industry?
We have had a positive impact in the industry by placing a high value on customer service and satisfaction. With Reservations.com, people are regaining a sense of trust in when booking holidays online and feel more comfortable with the process in general.
Where do you differ from your chief competitors?
We believe we offer a superior level of customer service than our competitors and most of the industry. This is evident in the amount we have invested in our call centre department to ensure that it is as effective as possible in handling any issues our clients have 24-7.
We also offer special concierge services for our most loyal customers, giving them a personalized service that gives them an unrivaled holiday experience.
What’s been the biggest challenge in establishing the website?
Certainly, the biggest challenge was trying to make sure the website was ROI positive from day one. This is because, without outside investment, we did not have anyone to bankroll our starting expenses.
While difficult to overcome, this challenge forced us to build a highly refined business from the ground up, ensuring that it remained profitable at every stage.
What advice would you give others looking to enter the industry?
Identify an area your competitors are lacking in and focus on making yourself stand out. Above all, focus on providing convenience and value to customers, because all they care about is getting the booking finished and out of the way for as little money as possible.