The Changing Needs of a Hotel Phone System
As technology continues to evolve, the hotel industry is rapidly changing. Because the rest of the world has altered its expectations in terms of communications, hoteliers must work to meet consumer demands in order to make guests feel comfortable and happy throughout their stay. How does your business stack up against the competition? By taking a look at the changes that industry leaders are making to their hotel’s phone systems, you can take measures to bring your establishment up to speed.
Internet-Based Phone Systems
First and foremost, if your hotel is still utilizing a landline system, it’s time to cut the cord. Traditional phone systems are quickly being phased out in favor of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony, which enables users to transmit data via an Internet connection. Not only is this extremely affordable and reliable, but it also improves the communications experience – both for hotel administrators and guests.
VoIP phone systems are ideal for hotels for several reasons. First, you can take advantage of auto attendants, ensuring that you never miss a call from a current or future guest. Secondly, VoIP phone consoles interface with the internet, making it easy for attendants to check guests in and out via the phone system, and to make alterations or notes about their stay. A detailed caller ID readout prevents nuisance calls and improves professionalism. And of course, guests benefit as they are able to take advantage of features like voicemail, customized wake-up calls, and checking out of the hotel from their room.
Changes to Calling Rates
Because VoIP phone systems help to significantly cut down on hotel expenses, a growing number of businesses have made the decision to reduce the calling rates applied to guests. This can greatly improve a guest’s opinion of your establishment, make them happier about their stay, and more inclined to return or recommend your hotel to others. You may consider offering free local calling to all of your guests, for example. If you find that your savings are substantial enough, you may also decide to extend decreased long-distance calling rates to your patrons, making it more affordable for them to communicate with business correspondents and family. Even when you charge less to your guests for calls made, you will still benefit, as your overall costs are reduced by Internet calling, and the popularity of your hotel will increase as word spreads about what you offer.
Any practical hotelier understands that many guests will choose to make use of cell phones and other mobile devices before, during, and after their stay. Because of this, it’s also important to touch on this aspect of the market in order to meet customer needs. Many of the more prominent hotel groups, such as Hilton, Best Western, IGH, Four Seasons, etc. are making use of mobile apps as a means of improving the overall convenience factor for loyal guests, and boosting customer opinions.
In order to keep your hotel relevant, it’s a good idea to consider introducing smartphone apps to your guests. It’s possible to develop apps that enable customers to book a stay at your hotel, enroll in customer loyalty programs, view loyalty point balances, redeem points, select customized billing preferences or room preferences, etc. Guests can even take advantage of click-to-call front desk apps for your hotel, making it very easy for them to reach an attendant, as needed.
The times are a-changin’, but that doesn’t mean that your hotel should be left in the dust. By making just a few changes to the way that your facility handles communications, you can significantly improve your guest’s impressions of your hotel.