Customer experience is everything in the hospitality industry and for those that deliver a superior, seamless experience to its users, the rewards are clear. However, the recent COVID-19 outbreak has struck a blow to the sector, with large and small hotels witnessing widespread cancellations of room booking. Hotel aggregation and booking platform OYO Hotels and Homes that currently operates in 800 cities across 80 countries, and swears by offering comfortable accommodation at affordable prices was also facing a unique business challenge in these difficult times.
The challenge of a seamless customer experience
OYO decided to personalize its user experience, using advanced segmentation and customization techniques to send hotel recommendations and price offers via channels like emails, SMS, and push notifications.
However, like most companies that operate in emerging economies, OYO faced a major hurdle. The delivery rate of their push notifications was abysmally low, especially on Chinese OEMs like MI devices. Given that 17-20% of OYO users have Xiaomi devices was really bad news because overall delivery for active users was now less than 30%.
Arjya Nathvani, AVP – Head of Growth Marketing – International, OYO, explained that as a result of a sudden downfall in demand, the hotel and hospitality industry has been among the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic. With operations in 800 cities across 80 countries, our priority is to deliver a superior experience to our users with a seamless communications strategy. But the low delivery rates we were seeing on specific OEMs and the lack of personalization capabilities were all hindering this.
“In times like these, engaging customers and rebuilding trust becomes a top priority for all brands. We have to ensure our communication is empathetic, personalized and relevant for our users at all times. This was our key challenge. We needed a solution that would help us better understand our user’s needs and reach them at the right time with recommendations tailored for them,” said Nathvani.
This would mean that OYO had a two-step challenge. For starters, they needed to increase the delivery rate of push notifications so that they could build user retention while scaling up quickly. And then they had to find ways of delivering a more personalized user experience through relevant recommendations.
Driving personalization at scale
While there were bigger players in the market such as Salesforce, IBM, and Oracle, OYO decided to partner with MoEngage, an integrated customer engagement platform, who can drive personalization at scale and solve the current problem. MoEngage has been featured on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for two consecutive years and is also the highest-rated mobile marketing platform in 2019 Gartner Peer Insights and Voice of the Customer’s Report.
“As an intelligent customer engagement platform, MoEngage helps us orchestrate campaigns across channels like push, email, in-app messaging, web push, and SMS, with auto-optimization towards higher conversions. Among the various platforms we evaluated, their Push Amplification feature demonstrated the best potential to significantly improve the low delivery rates we were seeing on specific platforms,” said Nathvani.
“MoEngage’s Push Amplification maximized our delivery rates as they offer a unique fallback mechanism to deliver notifications at a later time whenever Firebase Cloud Messaging fails. This not only helped us reach more users, but also ensured our users didn’t miss any of our updates.
The visible gains
Using this feature, the brand was able to deliver its push notifications to users who owned a Xiaomi or any other Chinese smartphone. The results were impressive as Nathvani said, “our push notification delivery rates jumped by 44% for Xiaomi devices.
“This way, we were able to reach more users and send the right push notifications also helped in converting more users in the long run,” he said, adding that OYO also increased overall campaign notification delivery by a whopping 25%.
Once the delivery was sorted, OYO decided to focus on a personalized user experience. Nathvani said “Once push notifications were getting delivered, we leveraged MoEngage’s Dynamic Product Messaging (DPM) to scale personalization. This allowed us to engage active as well as dormant users by delivering contextual recommendations at the right time based on their previous transactions and activities on the app.” He informed that the company saw a 2X increase in CTRs (Click through Rates) by using personalized notifications.
“Overall, MoEngage helped us realize our communications strategy by stitching together all channels seamlessly and complements them with features like DPM, advanced analytics, intelligent delay optimization, and push amplification. That has really helped us serve the right message to the right people at the right time—at scale,” signed off Nathvani.