How VoIP Can Help Grow Your Hotel
VoIP systems have been growing in popularity for several decades, but there are still many business and hotel owners who haven’t adopted this new technology. Unfortunately, the longer hoteliers wait, the farther they’ll fall behind.
Consumers are used to accelerating technology — they do everything online or from their smartphones, and they expect the businesses they visit to offer the same level of service and innovation, including hotels. If you can accommodate the growing needs of your customers, you can accelerate your business and attract new guests better than ever before. Here’s how VoIP can help.
VoIP phone systems use the same internet infrastructure as your other internet service, which means you don’t pay two separate utility bills. In addition, VoIP phones don’t require the same hardware that a traditional telephone line does, so you can add or remove lines you’re not using on the fly, purely with the software interface from your VoIP provider. You don’t even need a physical handset — you could create a new phone number and set it to ring your manager’s cell phone, so the added cost is literally zero.
VoIP also adds versatility that can save you money. Since long-distance calls are routed through the internet rather than the PSTN, they’re much cheaper than analog calls to other countries — a vital feature for many hotels with international guests. And since VoIP systems can be seamlessly integrated with your computer system, paper faxing can be all but eliminated.
One of the most important aspects of hotel management is face-to-face interaction with guests, but your staff can’t offer guests the best service if they’re tethered to a desk. With a VoIP system, you can install software on a smartphone or tablet that links to a Bluetooth headset, allowing your staff to roam freely and talk to guests without ever being away from the phones. Better yet, a phone call doesn’t have to interrupt a guest interaction. With seamless forwarding, the staff member answering the call can simply forward it to a less busy employee and give your guests the attention they deserve.
This increased mobility is a boon to managers, too. Since you can walk around freely, you can respond to the issues that require your personal attention, keeping an eye on the inner workings of the hotel without missing a call. Best of all, no one needs to keep track of the manager’s cell phone number — simply designate a “manager” number through your VoIP system and set it to automatically forward depending on who’s working at that time.
Hotels often run on very thin margins, so anything you can do to improve your efficiency is welcome. The advanced features of a VoIP telephone system can be a huge help in this department.
Not only can you integrate your phones with your computer system, allowing for innovations like online check-in, automated wake-up calls, and individual voicemail in each room. The more features like this you can incorporate, the better your guest experience will be, and the more you can grow.
There are many tasks in the day-to-day operation of a hotel that are repetitive and mundane to your staff — scheduling wake-up calls, printing room keys, and answering basic questions about restaurant hours, for example. With a sophisticated VoIP system and digital PBX, many of these tasks can be automated much more efficiently.
This will free up your staff for the much more important task of creating positive guest experiences. In-person interaction is the cornerstone of any hotel stay, but your employees don’t have time to talk to guests if they’re also tied to a desk. If they can walk around the hotel, helping guests in person, your staff will be more productive and satisfied with their work, and your hotel will benefit.