The New Hotel Phone System
For years, the standard for hotel phone systems did not change very much. Though most facilities made use of the most advanced touch-tone, land-line systems, there weren’t any significant leaps in the evolution of hotel communications until very recently. Now, with the explosion of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), those in the hospitality industry can expect big changes from their phone systems. Here’s what it looks like.
A More Personalized Guest Experience The more personalized a guest feels his or her experience is, the more positive their view of your facility will be. Technological advancements make it possible for hotel phone systems to respond to a guest’s individual needs in several key ways. Guests have the power to establish individual credit limits with an auto shut-off on their telephones, so as to avoid any overspending or unwanted charges. Also, since VoIP is all run over the internet, nine times out of ten the cost for local and long-distance calls are significantly less than traditional lines, allowing you to pass the savings on to the guest – or even give domestic long distance calls as a free amenity. Guests may also choose to have the front desk set up a wake-up call for them, or customize one for themselves with a slew of different features and functionality, like having the call be in their native language, providing weather updates, automatically connect to room service, and much more – allowing you to personalize their morning. It also allows you to see different calls depending on the day of the week.
Because VoIP hotel phone systems enable attendants to see more details about each individual guest, like view each caller’s name, room, VIP status, and native language, each patron will receive the highest quality service possible, every time they phone the front desk, concierge or restaurant. VoIP enables you to reach out to the guest in new ways as well, like through SMS, giving you the added edge of making communication easier for your guests. The bonus – all settings for each guest are retained at check out, so when they come back all of their preferences can be restored, an added benefit for business travelers.
Gone are the days when the PBX and voicemail were separate systems and you need to coordinate to delete everything when the guest checks out. New hotel VoIP phone systems make the task easier than ever before. As soon as a guest checks out, the phone system automatically readies for the next visitor who stays in that room. This guarantees guest privacy and complete discretion. Plus, if a guest wants to change rooms, all of their messages and personal settings move with them automatically when they are “moved” in the Property Management System.
When the hotel is busy, the last thing you want is for the calls of your future or current guests to be missed. VoIP phone systems not only allow for auto attendants to respond, so that all calls are acknowledged and no one falls through the cracks, but now you can also start to bring in additional phones through cascading ringing. For example, the first and second rings go to the front desk, the third ring adds in the concierge and by the fourth it’s ringing the manager’s phone as well. Options that allow callers to be transferred to a central reservation office are also available, and hoteliers can use the auto attendant to play recorded information, like directions or any special announcements. During any busy period, calling can be routed to a central reservations center without having the guest even know they were transferred or have to make a selection.
These features open up a wide range of possibilities for groups, as you can have the day’s itinerary sent to the guest or a welcome message from the group. You can also have custom wakeup calls for different groups with meeting schedule and welcome messages. VoIP based systems also give you the ability to utilize ACD without purchasing additional software or hardware. During busy times, calls can be routed to central reservations center without having the guest even know they were transferred or have to make a selection.
The browser console coupled with VoIP gives so much more power to anyone who has a computer tablet or mobile device than the traditional phone system. With hardware that you already own, your phone system is wired in to your device, significantly improving efficiency by enabling desk attendants to instantly bring up crucial information while on a call or on the go – all without the need for bulky consoles or moving to a different screen. This saves space and time, and creates a cleaner and more professional look for your front desk.
VoIP technology also allows you to connect your hotel phone system directly into your Property Management System more easily than with older voice technology. This allows information to flow freely between the two systems, saving your staff time operationally and decreasing the amount of time a guest has to spend waiting during encounters like check in.
Voicemail to email forwarding, no matter what email client you are using, enables staff to quickly be notified of any messages and allows them to respond from any phone or straight from their computer or mobile device. This functionality is great for managers and anyone who is not tied to their desk for an extended period of time. Hotel management, executives and administration on the road can also use the “find me – follow me” feature to have calls forwarded to any phone that they designate when they are at home or on the road.
As our world grows increasingly aware of the environment, everyone is banding together in an effort to “go green” and live responsibly. In order to minimize the carbon footprint of the hotel industry, many facilities are realizing the need to cut back on energy consumption. In response, some new hotel phone systems can be greener and more energy efficient than ever before. For example, all of PhoneSuite’s hotel phone systems are well under power consumption standards for the industry.
Is your facility ready to experience the future of hotel phone systems today? Take the next step and watch this short video on the Power of VoIP Technology.