Yatin Patel is the co-found of Reservations.com and is a man who is highly passionate about providing the best possible customer service and value on his website. He feels that the online travel booking industry has many flaws that his website seeks to address and show that there is a better way.
Yatin answered some queries about his website and how it got to where it is now.
Why did you create Reservations.com to begin with?
We created the website after we saw how awful the current mix of online travel booking sites was. There was little in the way of meaningful customer service on these websites, and we knew that we could do a much better job and provide better value to customers.
While it was not easy to begin with, we believe that we have made a net positive impact on the industry by showing how customer service should be done. The customer is everything, so you need to take care of them at every stage of their interaction with your business.
What has been the achievement you are most proud of with the website?
For me, the proudest achievement is when we passed the milestone of having helped people book more than 2.5 million hotel rooms since our start in 2014. Having been able to achieve this by working from scratch without capital investment is another thing we are proud of considering that we had immense pressure from day 1 to make the site profitable.
What kind of changes do you think your site can influence in the industry?
The travel booking industry could benefit a great deal from a greater focus on customer service and trying to provide real value through their database. We believe that Reservations.com is a good example to others in the industry on how to run a site like this and maintain good faith with customers.
In what major ways do you differ from the competition?
The main thing we do better than our competitors is finding good value deals and providing excellent customer service. If and when someone has an issue using our site, our 24-7 support is there, ready to help in whatever way they can.
Can you name a key challenge you overcame early-on?
The biggest problem for us in starting Reservations.com was that we had no capital investment backing, which meant we had a small treasury to work with. This obviously means every risk we took had a lot more weight because we didn’t have a pool of cash to fall back on.
Do you have any tips for people travelling?
Make sure you get the experience that you truly desire! Be frugal with things you don’t care about but are necessary (such as eating out) but don’t hesitate to splurge on the most memorable things!