Sunday, January 13, 2013

OpenTable has a business case for BPM

Like many others, I mostly use OpenTable to book a restaurant reservation. It provides the convenience of booking most restaurants that accept online reservations from the comfort of my home or office in just few clicks and also gives me double the points on my credit card. A convenient reservation experience till this point.

The overall process goes for a toss when you get a call from an unrecognized number few hours before the scheduled appointment and it hits your voice mail. It turns out that restaurant was calling to confirm your reservation. The host leaves a voice message leaving a different number than from where he called. For guests it is potentially an additional task of jotting down the call back number and then calling to confirm the booking. However at times this small break in the process could mean unutilized table and therefore opportunity lost for the restaurant.

A simpler change in the overall process can not only increase the probability of restaurant getting my business but also provide a great customer experience. Since I booked my reservation online, OpenTable can generate a simple email  (or text) asking me to click the link and confirm. This minor process change  will help restaurants save hours of phone calls to guests, can give higher response rate as compared to phone calls and voice mails. For me, it gives a better experience and streamlines the overall reservation process. Even OpenTable can use this additional confirmation opportunity to take the guests to their website.

Is this not a Win Win for all the 3 parties? Your comments please!


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