Reservations.com plans to bring human touch back to the travel industry - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Reservations.com plans to bring human touch back to the travel industry

A new disruptive travel platform seeks to deliver what price-driven platforms failed to deliver: human touch and personalization on a global scale.

The days when large travel aggregators and marketplaces were able to differentiate and grow through low prices and low value might be numbered. Reservations.com is a company with a vision, which understood well that consumer sentiment has shifted. Consumers want human touch and personalization, away from the mass approach where “one size fits all”.  The market is gravitating more towards special experiences that elevates the individual to a higher level than what they experience in everyday life, whether that be their social environment, level of luxury or other elements as perceived by human senses.

Delivering personalization at scale:

The challenge the travel industry faced with personalization has always been how to deploy it at scale, which meant that consumers were either left to buy impersonal travel services from price-driven platforms, or pay rather high fees to be served by niche travel agents.

Now, Reservations.com seeks to change this by delivering a disruptive solution to the rapidly growing global travel industry. By delivering a high-touch model that is customer-centric and powered by the latest technology and AI, both consumers and suppliers will be able to benefit from a new supportive environment where customer experience comes first.

In a world where AI improves multiple industries, the company believes that through a “technology, process, people” approach, it can leverage the latest technology in such a way that it is combined with other critical elements of human touch, that will ultimately lead to a better, more memorable travel experience which will, in turn, create more loyalty for the platform.

Why consumers might love it:

The idea of a platform that knows your style and preferences, that can provide a personalized experience without the high fees charged by niche travel agents is rather appealing. Adding to this a loyalty program where preferential rates kick in for repeat customers, may just be the optimal balance between price and comfort. The fact is that we have not seen many innovative models like this in the travel industry for years: in the case of Reservations.com, it delivers a unique value proposition to users.

Why suppliers might love it:

Suppliers are so used to being squeezed for price, that there is nothing else to their experience except for coming in at the best price. The concept of ranking on a CMS due to low prices, is rather outdated and particularly invalid where bookings in peak season are concerned. Now suppliers can shift towards value creation and personalization, to focus more on customer needs and redefine the relationship it has with a travel platform. The fact that the CRM of the travel platform provides advanced capabilities, renders the platform an indispensable partner to suppliers.

Game-changing elements:

Delivering customer delight and a unique value proposition in a mature industry such as travel, required the involvement of a visionary. Deep consumer insight and an understanding for all those missing elements on both the supplier and client side – and the determination to deliver a better solution is what led to this breakthrough in the market.

Leadership is the first element: Yatin Patel of Orlando is the CEO and co-founder. As a renowned tech entrepreneur who founded and invested in several success stories, is the man who bravely stepped forward to redefine the industry with a new concept. His vision of bringing human touch back into the travel industry was realized by embracing technology and AI, whilst at the same time developing the human aspect that often lacks in this industry. With 20 years of experience in various start-ups that relate to travel, he had an intricate understanding of how to combine all the right elements to deliver what the market actually want at this point in time.

Technology is the second element: Where cloud-based CRM and AI converges, is precisely where Reservations.com positioned itself. The rapid learning that occurs in an AI-powered environment, is directly passed onto service agents in order to improve the experience.

People, is the third element: Experience-advisors is actually a new role that the industry has never seen before. By creating a more exciting and rewarding role, the level of motivation and professionalism will increase, without necessarily increasing cost or reducing profitability. This, coupled with company culture, is likely to be much stronger than the impact of strategy itself.

There are other factors too that will differentiate Reservations.com. This includes a unique user-experience on site, with a highly informative travel blog that aligns content marketing with the best available options and that which customers may desire specifically. The supplier relationship will also be key to differentiation.

Final scoop – watch this space:

Booking.com (Priceline) and Airbnb crafted their own value propositions in the market, but that does not necessarily mean they are leaders on human touch and personalization. As the global travel industry inches towards new records in annual revenue, a new, very special segment of consumers will provide a share of the market to a company that identified a unique way of solving their needs. Reservations.com is certainly an innovative travel platform to watch.


About the author

Avi Ben Ezra

Avi Ben Ezra is the CTO of SnatchBot Contact the author.
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