OYO Rooms strives to provide toits customers the same amenities and the same awesome experience across all itsrooms. The main USP of OYO rooms is that it provides hotel rooms at prices thatno other player in the budget segment offers today.The OYO Promise consists of threemain elements- Availability, Predictability and Affordability.Availability- OYO rooms has afootprint in over 230 cities in India and with multiple properties in everycity. Customers will have the option to choose properties in various localitiesof a city as per their convenience.Predictability- Booking an OYOgives a customer a predictable experience which includes but is not limited toa comfortable stay, air-conditioned room, flat screen television, complimentarybreakfast, free Wi-Fi and 24×7 service support. The OYO business model is builton the guarantee of a highly predictable experience and every hotel under theOYO brand follows a 90 point checklist.
Affordability- OYO rooms promisesthe lowest rates in the budget hotel segment in India. OYO deliversstandardized budget rooms at affordable prices to customers. Deconstructing the OYO PromiseAvailability:Though OYO promises roomavailability to its customers, this promise does not always hold true.
Ø OYOoperates hotels in two ways- for half their hotels, they get margin on the topline from the hotels based on the business and for the other half, theypre-purchase inventory(hotel rooms) by paying upfront. Due to the first model,there is a practice prevalent among the hotels to show the rooms as sold out onthe Oyo platform and then selling them elsewhere during the weekends andfestive periods. So Oyo customers will not have the promised availabilityduring weekends and festive periods.
Ø OYOuses its own branding for the hotels and does not disclose the hotel name andaddress to the customers until they book the room. Even after booking therooms, Oyo gives out half written address and this has led to thousands ofcomplaints by customers that they were not able to locate the Oyo properties.Ø About95 % of all Oyo hotels, including the one we studied have a 12 PM Check-In andan 11 AM check-out.
Early check-ins are either not allowed or are charged 100 %of a day’s tariff. This poses grave inconvenience to the customers. In about 5% of its properties, Oyo started Sunrise Check-In wherein guests can check-inafter 6 AM paying a reasonable 30 % of a day’s tariff.
Predictability:Oyo promises its customer ahighly predictable and standardized experience but falls short of the promise.Ø Therehas been numerous cases of clients complaining on the quality of the roomsonline on review sites and even Oyo website and Facebook pages. In many cases,Oyo reneges on its promise to provide even the basic amenities with many guestsfinding fault with the cleanliness of the room, bathrooms, Wi-Fi, complimentarybreakfast, room standards and even the bookings.Ø Mostof the problems in providing a predictable experience stems from scalingissues. Oyo has scaled up at a very fast rate, and is facing problems inensuring quality of all the rooms because of this.Ø Oneof the most common complaints was the shifting of rooms. In an in-house survey,the management of Oyo found that close to 3.
8 per cent of the total customerbase had been shifted to another room, or had got one that wasn’t standardisedas per OYO’s requirements.Affordability:Oyo promises its guests the mostaffordable budget stays without any hidden prices but there are a few caveats.Ø Oyojacks up its weekend prices and festive/season prices to an insane 300 % ormore of its regular prices and customers can easily find cheaper and moresuitable alternatives.Ø Thereis also the issue of early check-ins where the hotel charges 100 % of the day’stariff for a few hours of stay.Recommendations for better upholding the Oyo promiseØ Ensurethat there are rooms available during weekends and festive periods and thathotels do not show sold out and then sell those rooms elsewhere.
Ø Givea clear and proper address to the customers once booking is done so as to notunnecessarily inconvenience the customers.Ø Ensurethat all the rooms in all their properties across the country are standardizedin accordance with the Oyo promise and keep tabs on the hotels to see if theyare in compliance with this directive. To achieve this, Oyo can start a programon similar lines to their competitor Treebo wherein customers can conduct amystery audit and give feedback to the Oyo team and get discounts/rewards inreturn. This sort of crowd-sourced audits will help in maintaining standardquality across all of Oyo’s properties.Ø Arriveat a good formula for the weekend prices of their properties which keeps boththe bottom line (profits) and the customers in mind.Ø Havesunrise check-in policy in most, if not all of their hotels as this willimprove customer experience.