Reservations.com was founded in 2014 by Yatin Patel and Mahesh Chaddah, two travel industry veterans who saw an opportunity to create a new online travel agency that filled the gap between traditional travel agencies and large OTAs like Expedia and Priceline.
“Travel has gone through massive changes over the last 30 years. Travellers used to meet face-to-face with travel agents to discuss travel preferences and arrange trips. When the internet became more ubiquitous, travel moved online,” says Yatin Patel, Co-Founder.
What was once defined by personalized relationships with travel agents became a highly commoditized online product. Under the new paradigm, customers generally don’t interact with a human during the reservation process. Reservations.com realized that there was an unmet middle-ground between traditional travel agents and low-touch internet alternatives. The company wanted to bring the human touch back into the world of online travel. Thus, Reservations.com invested heavily in a 24/7 call centre to give customers the option to call a travel expert at any stage of their travel booking process to ask questions, get ideas, or finalize a reservation.
The biggest challenge for the modern-day traveller is accessing a wide selection of accommodation options in an easy-to-use, intuitive platform. The second-largest issue is the ability to tap into higher-touch service when needed. Reservations.com focused on addressing both of these pain points. The company offered some of the widest inventory available at any OTA. Irrespective of the customers’ desired price point, room type, or location, Reservations.com has a solution for every travel planning process. Reservations.com offers its customers with unobtrusive call centre service to speak with a travel expert who can assist them in finalizing their decision and even help secure a cheaper, non-published rate.
Reservations.com will continue to invest in this technological backbone to power the success of the entire company.
The company believes that artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions will completely redefine the way it interacts with its customers. With such technologies, it can leverage solutions that present smart choices to customers based on the type of travel they like to do and what price point they prefer, recreating the current one-size-fits-all travel paradigm. Asking questions like, “Do you like adventure travel?” or “Is this a romantic trip?” can proactively trim search results to only display the most relevant properties for each customer. Moreover, this can serve as a lead generation tool, sparking travel ideas for customers rather than just reactively displaying results based on manual search queries. Younger consumers prefer to interact with brands through chat features rather than phone calls. As chat intelligence increases and technology improves, these solutions will serve as a more common medium for customer interaction.
Reservations.com will continue to invest in this technological backbone to power the success of the entire company. This will enable it to add new supply partners and inventory types like cruises, flights, tours, and other experiences. Also, it will enable Reservations.com to enter new geographies, especially outside of its core North American market. As it expands and localizes the website to different languages, Reservations.com can easily market its global inventory of hotel rooms to customers in Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East.
As of 2020, Reservations.com has powered over 3m unique hotel reservations and 7.2m room nights. It has also been recognized as a leading growth-stage business by third-party organizations such as Inc., Deloitte, Comparably, Best in Biz, and the Stevies among others.
Reservations.com is continually thinking about ways in which it can better assist its customers in planning and reserving their dream trip, whether these be front-end tools that help customers brainstorm or uncover travel ideas or solutions that customer can interface with during their trip to power unforgettable experiences.