Zostel

zostel
About Zostel
Zostel is India’s first chain of hostels for backpackers. It is revolutionising the way travellers experience India. It is the home-ground for people who love to travel, experience the world, exchange stories and want to have the experience of a lifetime.
Zostel – The background
Started in 2013 by four IIT & IIM graduates, Zostel is India’s first chain of backpackers’ hostels. Zostel is the ideal place to meet travellers from all over the world, chill, exchange stories and have the experience of a lifetime! They currently have Zostels in 14 cities, each one offering a unique experience to the traveller.

Zostel Hospitality Pvt. Ltd, the parent company of Zostel, are backed by Tiger Global in India. In March 2015, Zostel launched their first international hostel at Dalat in Vietnam. They plan to start more hostels in Nepal & Sri Lanka soon. In February 2016, Zostel got acquired by Oyo Rooms in an all-stock deal.

Zostel’s motto – To scale & yet not compromise on customer experience
For folks who are used to backpacking in other parts of the world, a hostel is their best bet. It is the best options to stay without burning a hole in their pocket and meet other interesting travellers.

But in India, there are only 2 options for travellers – high-end hotels or seedy lodges. Zostel aims to break this.

We spoke to Kshitiz Bansal , the reservation and customer experience manager at Zostel. Kshtiz has been working on making the entire booking process simple for their customers.

The challenge
“In the early days, I would take care of all the reservations on my own, manually noting them down. Subsequently, we shifted to a franchise model. We would make the bookings & pass them on to the individual Zostel owners”, said  Kshitiz.
“As we started scaling, & setting up new Zostels across the country, we realised we were in desperate need of a solution that would help us monitor & track the entire booking process – right from the first call to the booking being done”, he added.
14 Zostels = 14 Different Numbers = 1 Big Headache
Initially, they had a separate number for each Zostel, which would make tracking these calls & managing the overall process tough. It was also an expensive method, to say the least.
Single number for Zostel powered by Exotel
Exotel’s unique multi-level IVR system helps them use one customer facing number & provide an IVR menu which helps the caller connect with the Zostel they want to go to.

“Whether it is Agra or Goa, we can route the call to the respective Zostel instantaneously, connect them with their respective Zostel, & yet be in control of the overall customer experience”, said Kshitiz.

On-call experience & regular quality checks are critical at Zostel. Exotel’s easy to use dashboard helps them track & filter out individual calls as well as identify & listen to any call conversation they want so that we are always in control of the customer experience & can provide quality customer service consistently.

The Exotel Experience
“We are a startup, so the budget was the most important buying factor for us. Exotel helped us avoid the cost of setting up PRI Lines, facing STD call rates & taking 14 different numbers with the help of their unique & customizable cloud telephony solution”, said Kshitiz.

“Another thing we liked about Exotel, was the user friendliness of the product. I could easily set up or change our call flows at any moment of time. Exotel essentially provided us with a platform to build a customised solution”, added Kshitiz.

Impact of Exotel
Implementing Exotel’s solution has given Zostel better control of the on-call experience & a central system to track bookings, queries & calls across the 14 Zostels. Exotel’s solution takes care of the problems they face as they scale up & yet makes sure that they don’t compromise on the customer experience.

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