November - 2015 - issue > Company of the Year-2015: Hospitality

ZO Rooms: Wholeheartedly Striving to Enhance Consumer Experience

si Team
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
si Team
Technology has changed the way we looked at our trips, both personal and professional. The proliferating breed of tech savvy middle class travellers filled with aplomb books the hotels barely eight hours before travel (as compared to weeks ago) and expects to stay at a comfortable hotel nearby their destination within their budget. You'd think this is not too much to ask for. Wrong. There is only one budget room available for every five star room in India vis-a-vis abroad where it is 1:7. Also the upcoming budget hotels are shedding their spotlight on tier-1 cities, while the unbranded hotels in other areas are grappling with technology. ZO Rooms, a premium budget hotel chain, is a boon for these budget travellers and hotels, since this extremely hyper-local chain spread across even tier-2 and tier-3 cities all around India, allows people to view available standardized budget rooms within two kilometres radius and book them with a single click on their smartphones. "We have 650 standardized partners across the whole budget chain in 45 cities. We manage their online presence and help them improve their service with regular feedback checking mechanisms," explains Dharamveer Singh Chouhan, CEO & Co-Founder, ZO Rooms.

Ensuring Superior Quality
Although thousands of hotels avail online booking, people are unable to choose effectively between them since it is impossible to figure out whether they are being honest about the promised facilities and the photos uploaded are recent and not merely photo shopped. ZO addresses this problem with a detailed checklist encompassing 200 points to ensure that all the hotels under its umbrella are friendly, affordable, secure and hygienic with necessary modern comforts. After meticulously studying diverse consumers to cover a gamut of options required by both corporate as well as leisure consumers, essential facilities such as free Wi-Fi, 24 hours hot water, complimentary breakfast and freshly laundered linens were incorporated to the list, and futile facilities that don't add any value to consumers were excluded.

Besides periodic and surprise audits every week, ZO pioneered the concept of installing tablets at each property to take instant feedbacks and realize a far superior quality. "Using our app, within 20 minutes each and every room in the hotel can be evaluated to check whether everything is up to mark. This will automatically trigger the hotel owners and vendors to upgrade their services," explains Dharamveer.

The Secret Springboard
"In the hospitality industry, the key factor that sets you apart is the level of hospitality you offer with sheer focus on service and guests. We genuinely care for them and we let them know that," Dharamveer reveals the secret springboard that propelled the company to grow in leap and bounds. "And we are doing it efficiently with technology in our arsenal," he further adds. The company remembers customers' habits, likes and dislikes to constantly enhance their experience with small gestures. For instance, if a guest checked-in at 2 PM during his last stay, ZO remembers it and offers to book a cab for him. Amidst the 10,000 bookings ZO has been handling per month, around 5,000 comes through its app, which is available on Android and iOS. The company has raised millions thus far for technology and services expansion, and when asked about any future fundraising, Dharamveer cites, "It's just a small piece of bigger puzzle. If you are solving a real problem right, with efficient people without losing focus, money won't be a problem. We now have enough money to sustain ourselves and innovate".

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