Websites that allow users to compare and book hotel accommodation for their holidays and business trips are nothing new. Yatin Patel, co-founder of Reservations.com, sought to shake up this element of the travel industry when he started his website with his partner 5 years ago.
In the time since, Reservations.com has enjoyed a great deal of success and is highly positioned in the market with the future looking bright. One of the most standout features of Reservations.com is its sleek user interface and outstanding customer support system.
Yatin was able to answer some questions about his website and its journey to success.
What was the catalyst for starting the website?
My partner and I saw a lack of customer service in the industry and saw too many identical websites that didn’t put much effort into retaining customers or giving a good experience. Our goal was simple, create something of a quality that customers deserve.
We know that online booking of accommodation can be a stressful hassle for some people, and this is why we worked hard to make our website as intuitive and streamlined as possible. Even someone who is not very experienced with booking online will find it easy to do with our website.
What have the biggest accomplishments been so far?
Since out start 5 years ago, we have helped people with more than 2.5 million room bookings, telling us that we are doing something right. Since we started with just a domain name and no outside investment, getting to where we are now feels even greater.
What are the positive influences your site has on the travel booking industry?
I believe that our website sets a good example to others on how making the effort to provide real value to customers can go along way in generating trust, especially if the industry is somewhat notorious for its poor quality of customer service. By setting ourselves apart as a sleek and value-focused provider, other sites are forced to follow our lead or fall behind.
What is the major way in which you think that you differ from your competitors?
I think one of the reasons for our success (in spite of no outside investment) was the fact that our competition was doing things so poorly we could exceed them with little effort and go even further as we grew. I think the major difference is that we started the business because we care about giving people a better experience, rather than trying to make quick cash.
What was the most difficult challenge to face when creating the website?
Certainly, the most difficult challenge was (as mentioned) starting out without any investment support. This meant we had a smaller pool of money to work with, meaning that mistakes were far more costly in the short-term. While this caused us to feel pressure, it was healthy in the sense that it motivated us to build a slim and cost-effective business right from the start, rather than bulldozing into the market and auditing at a later point.
Any last-minute travel tips?
Look for value on the things you need (accommodation, flights) but spend big on the things you want (tours, experiences, food). Don’t cheap out on the main purpose of your trip, you will regret it later!
Megan DeGrom was born and raised in New Jersey just outside the Pine Barrons. As a journalist, Megan has contributed to many online publications including Rotten Tomatoes and Variety. In regards to academics, Megan earned a degree in business from St. John’s University. Megan covers economy stories here at Clear Publicist.