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Rating Hotels

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Abhinav Sinha, is the Chief Operating Officer at OYO Rooms. He looks after operations at OYO. He is a chemical engineer from IIT Kharagpur and an MBA from Harvard. Abhinav has more than a decade of experience working with product and services companies. Prior to OYO, he was a Principal with Boston Consulting Group in Dallas, US. In conversation with Dominic Rebello, Abhinav reveals the idea behind hotel rating mechanism and how it will help users to make informed decisions

What is the idea behind launching hotel rating mechanism?
Innovation is hardcoded in OYO’s DNA and we’ve been focused on enhancing our customers experience through various initiatives centred around technology, people and design.

The process of booking a hotel requires a lot of research as everything right from the location of the hotel to affordability of rooms, spotless linens, hygienic rooms, AC and free WiFi impacts the overall customer experience and in this selection, a customer trusts another customer’s experience. The launch of the hotel rating mechanism for all the hotels which are a part of our network was in order to ease the selection process for our customers and thus improving their experience with OYO. This is a platform to record transparent feedback about the hotel and its operations. Through this, a customer can form an opinion about a hotel through the hotel ratings from another customer.

It provides our customers with the right to know and freedom to choose from an array of fabulous, good and excellent hotels. It is also a tool for our partners to understand and identify the areas of improvement and drive the internal teams towards excellence.
How will the hotel ratings help users to make an informed decision?
For a potential customer, hotel ratings help in setting the right expectations vis-à-vis the budget – which is an important lever in the decision making. Having a direct impact on hotel bookings, these ratings build confidence that the stay experience will be good, fabulous or simply spectacular. A user is expected to trust another user to verify the authenticity of accommodation and services before booking a stay.

The ratings that we receive as a result of this mechanism have an impact on the conversions seen by OYO and help the company in enhancing the customer experience by helping them to make a clear winning choice and stay at better- rated hotels.

How do OYO hotel ratings work?
When a user visits the OYO App, Mobile or Desktop Website, hotel ratings are displayed alongside all the properties with essential details on the hotel listing page and hotel details page. If the total number of ratings is less than 10, then a ‘New’ tag appears with the hotel. Upon clicking on a hotel rating, it expands to show a more detailed review and displays a happiness index (out of 100) on amenities and core promises.

Hotel ratings are collected post check-out via mobile app, customer care and emails. Hotel ratings are also available in sorting and filter options as Highest rated OYOs and Guest Ratings respectively.

Tell us about the role of social media in resolving guest issues?
Social Media plays an instrumental role in identifying and reaching out to guests who share queries, challenges, issues and feedback on their experience with OYO. We are extremely focused towards addressing any issues which are raised by a guest via social media and provide immediate redressal for it. OYO is among select companies with the fastest first response time on social media.

We have set standards of responsiveness not only in the hotel industry but also across different industries. There’s a dedicated Online Reputation Management team comprising of 12 OYOpreneurs which works round the clock addressing customer posts received on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram. Today, with a “Very Responsive” Facebook Page and first response time of 2.5 minutes, OYO is one of the most responsive among all new age tech companies in India. We have made sure that our social media is aided by faster issue resolution. This has increased the customer delight, resolved the challenges and issues faced by our guests, as a result of which we are able to provide a top-notch experience to all our guests.

It’s been a year of launching OYO captain, how that has impacted customer service?
OYO Captain, our concierge service, was launched in December 2016 to enable guests to directly reach OYO Captains in their area and get a better solution to queries and issues. Through this, we wanted to provide a personalized touch to the entire stay experience of our guests. Currently, we have over 350 Captains across India who are tirelessly working towards ensuring an exceptional experience for our guests.

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