a male hotel employee handing a man a hotel key card from behind the desk

Why You Should Switch Your Hotel To A VoIP System

In today’s digital world, customers are more and more accustomed to interacting with the world through their smartphones. From work projects to social media, shopping to ride-sharing, the convenience and ease of technology has never been better.

With the rise of digital interactions, guests are starting to expect the same level of convenience from their hotels. They’re booking online, reading reviews online, and looking at photos online. They’re even unlocking their rooms with their smartphones in a growing number of hotels.

One of the ways to meet the increasing demand for convenience is to transition your phone system to an interactive, feature-rich protocol that will increase ease of use and efficiency for all your operations. We’re talking, of course, about Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

VoIP (pronounced “voyp”) is a term you’ve probably heard before. It’s an improvement on the older Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) systems that lots of hotels, hospitals, and other large businesses already use.

What a lot of hotel owners aren’t aware of is that most PBX systems already support the new technology — the transition to VoIP isn’t nearly as complicated or as expensive as you might think! In addition to the ease of transition, you’ll be able to use the new technology for new revenue streams.

For example, if your hotel hosts a lot of group events, you can offer a way for group organizers to talk to their attendees through personal messages that welcome them to the event, leave them daily agendas, distribute meeting notes, and so on for a small extra fee. You can even allow conference calls between cell phones and hotel phones.

Cloud-Based PBX Offers Advanced Phone Features

One of the biggest advantages of a PBX VoIP system is the advanced features you can set up at your hotel. Check in and check out calls can be automated, guests can set up wake-up calls automatically, and room status and call billing can be run through your computers systems quickly and easily.

Some of the other features you can set up include:

  • Applying your guests’ names to room extensions, allowing outside callers to find people by name without having to go through the front desk
  • Setting up guest extension voicemails
  • Logging calls from each room to break down call costs individually
  • A Do Not Disturb mode so that guests can ask for calls to be held indefinitely via a call system, phone app, or website
  • Allowing housekeeping to update room availability status on the fly, the moment they’re finished with a given room
  • Automating room service through a web interface or phone tree

Saving Your Receptionists’ Time For What Matters

There’s no replacement for human interaction when it comes to keeping your guests happy, but telling people when check-in starts or when breakfast is served may not be the best use of your staff’s time. They should be saving their time for more complicated tasks like helping guests book and taking care of guests’ more complicated needs.

With the virtual receptionist systems afforded by a VoIP system, someone calling in to book a room wouldn’t have to wait on hold if your employees are busy with other calls. They can instantly be directed to someone at a third-party location to handle their call, or run their call through a computerized system that can help them a book.

Online Faxing Can Help Cut Costs

Running a hotel takes a lot of paperwork, from credit card payments and statements to scanning passports for international customers. Hotels can spend a lot of time and money on paper, ink, and printer maintenance, but online faxing can eliminate those costs almost entirely.

Online faxing is similar to traditional faxing, in that it allows you to send scanned documents to other users, but with a digital VoIP system, you don’t need paper and ink. You simply run a document through the scanner and it’s emailed to the right destination so it can be read or printed as needed. It supports multiple document formats and doesn’t tie up a phone like a traditional fax machine.

Future-Proofing Your Hotel

The best thing about a VoIP system isn’t the features it offers now — it’s the features it can offer in the future. Since a VoIP system isn’t limited by the number of employees or physical phone lines you offer in your hotel, the possibilities for future expansion are practically unlimited. You can add and remove lines as you want or assign new lines to facilities like the bar, restaurant, conference centers, and event spaces.

The world has gone digital, and hoteliers that don’t keep up will be left behind. Contact us for a consultation and a quote today, and embrace the future of the hospitality business!