The COVID-19 crisis has created radical changes in consumer behavior, especially in terms of travel and hospitality. People will primarily look for higher hygiene standards, minimal contact service, and enhanced credibility when they plan to travel after the lockdown. Oyo, one of the world’s leading hotel chains, is taking strict measures to meet higher standards of innovation, travel, and hospitality experience.
They are working to diminish the impact caused and navigate their way through the circumstances that we now call the ‘new normal’. These involve customer, asset partners, and employee-centric initiatives, to identify challenges and function in the post-lockdown hospitality sector.
Initially, Oyo plans to enforce these measures in 1000 hotels within the next 10 days, then later in 18,000 hotels as the lockdown eases. Since customer needs will undergo drastic changes post lockdown, Oyo has established certain measures to improve people’s safety and expectations.
Social distancing and sanitization measures
Some of the measures taken by OYO to maintain sanitization are as follows:
– The hotel chain is awaiting the approval for uploading guest IDs, using QR codes, etc, to complete the formalities during check-in and check-out.
– Ensuring social distancing, use of safety gear, and training their staff to deliver minimum contact service.
– Making sanitizers available to everyone throughout the premises.
– Use of ‘sanitized stays’ tags displayed on the booking page for hotels, to show the level of sanitization. Regular background and guest audits will be conducted to maintain the sanitization, hygiene, and ensure continuity of the ‘Sanitised Stays’ tag
– New training modules and SOPs will be established, along with the health screening of guests and staff.
– Guests will be advised to order in-room dining and handle their luggage as far as possible (unless the guest is a senior citizen or has a physical impediment).
– Ensuring outside contractors and suppliers adhere to health advisories and government regulations.
COVID-19 related helpline numbers and awareness material will be displayed at the reception and all prominent places along with emergency contact numbers and details of the nearest hospitals. OYO will regularly communicate with customers on the do’s and don’ts through the app, email confirmation, WhatsApp message / Text messaging.
OYO is also informing asset partners and creating awareness through detailed written/visual instructions of post-lockdown initiatives. OYO has also established a ‘COVID-19 War Room’ to take extraordinary measures for new cases during the crisis. ‘Corona Concierge’ has been created to assist and guide everyone through COVID-19 related issues and queries.
OYO team working towards innovation to ensure safety
Rohit Kapoor, CEO, OYO India & South Asia, while elucidating OYO’s post-lockdown preparations, states, “Customer behavior is seeing changes across the hospitality industry with hygiene, safety standards and minimal-touch SOPs soon to become the norm.”
He added: “As a responsible hospitality chain, we at OYO, are working towards welcoming guests, post-lockdown, and maintaining health, hygiene & well-being as our topmost priorities for all our stakeholders including our guests, partners & OYOpreneurs. Given the situation, our teams across the length and breadth of the organization are innovating new ways to ensure safety and hygiene to welcome all our guests. We would like to especially thank our asset owners who have joined forces with us to boost sanitized stays across properties to welcome our guests.”
Furthermore, Vice President of Global Operations and Customer Experience, Shreerang Godbole said, “We are in the process of implementing minimal-touch SOPs for services while focussing on creating awareness through clear and transparent communication, during times like these. We are leveraging our technology toolkit to reach out to our large network of asset partners to conduct training programs and enhance their preparedness. Furthermore, in the next couple of days, we are set to display a ‘Sanitised Stays’ tag for properties that clear background audit checks for sanitization, hygiene, and protective equipment. We are also in the process of building a crowd-sourced capability to capture consumer feedback. With such proactive preventive measures, we hope to not only provide safe and secure accommodation for every guest when they are ready to travel again but also offer a stress-free and pleasant atmosphere.”