The hotel business is starting to revive again. A huge number of tourists and business travelers who were previously unable to travel outside their country due to coronavirus restrictions are now returning to comfortable travel conditions. Thus, hotels from small hostels to large five-star hotels and resorts try to please their customers in every way.
It is now more important than ever for the hospitality industry to offer its customers the perfect service, as they have faced huge financial losses in a few years. In this regard, effective communication, both with potential clients and guests, is essential.
Achieving effective communication through old-fashioned methods is now quite difficult. Most of both large hotels and small ones are switching to using the phone service, which works via an Internet connection. This is the most reasonable and cost-effective solution for both internal and external calls.
We’ll talk about why this is by far the most effective solution, as well as how to choose the best system for your business.
How Phone Communications Improve Hotel Operations
While away from home, guests want the same satisfaction and comfort. This is the job of every hotel, whether small or large.
Each hotel receives dozens and hundreds of calls every day. Your task is not only to improve communication with guests, but it is also essential for you to ensure effective communication between your employees, as well as other persons in contact with your hotel. These can be suppliers as well as your business partners.
In terms of communication, you don’t want to rely on traditional phone systems that can no longer offer the functionality that today’s solutions offer. Here’s how modern telephone communications can improve your hotel operations:
In the past, to establish telephone communication in your hotel, you needed to build a perfect infrastructure so that guests could call the staff, employees could talk to each other, and you could both receive and make calls outside your premises. Now you don’t have to worry about figuring out how to do it right.
When paying bills, you may have seen strange small fees that increased your phone bill. Checking every such fee is a waste of time. Using a modern telephone system, you get a transparent payment system. In addition, if necessary, you can easily scale telephone services.
No system is perfect. In the past, you might often experience rare or frequent problems with your phone system. In such cases, you had to call in specialists who could troubleshoot and fix the physical hardware.
Having a modern telephone system means that you won’t have to deal with any problems yourself. Firstly, problems do not occur so often, since you only need an Internet connection. Secondly, you just need to contact your provider, who will fix any problems in a short time. Moreover, you will not need to bear additional costs.
Fast call forwarding
The majority of calls go to the front desk. Callers call the front desk so a specialist can direct them to the appropriate department. However, during the high tourist season, you cannot guarantee that every call will be answered by a specialist. Because of a busy line, you can simply miss a call from a potential client or your supplier.
This is no longer a problem if you use modern phone systems. Providers offer the opportunity to use the IVR function, thanks to which callers can select the desired department for communication using an interactive menu.
Integration with CRM
An individual approach is what every business should put a priority on now. Integration with the CRM allows you to succeed in this. When you receive a call from a regular guest, you will see all the necessary information about the person on your computer screen and will be able to address a person by name. When you receive calls from new clients, you can easily fill out a new client card and later update it with new information so that you offer the guest exactly what he needs.
Improving internal communication
Using such a modern solution, you can improve communication not only with your guests but also between employees. In any situation, hotel staff can call each other to receive important information. The front desk manager can quickly receive information from cleaning specialists about the status of a particular hotel room.
In the same way, each specialist will be able to easily connect with the right person, whether it be a restaurant or bar administrator, a plumber, or other specialists. Employees will be aware of everything that is going on and this will allow you to take your business to a new level.
Must-have Phone Features for the Hospitality Industry
When considering different providers, you may notice that the list of features they provide may vary. Some features may be most useful for one industry, while slightly different features may be effective for another industry.
When choosing the best provider for your hotel business, you should make sure that the provider offers you the following features:
- Automated answering service. When you receive a lot of calls, you risk losing customers if your phone line is busy. With this feature, each caller can easily get through to the desired department or specialist. To do this, they will only need to use the interactive menu to find the necessary department;
- Phone extensions. Without leaving their hotel room, guests can order a huge number of services. To do this, they need to call the manager at the front desk to select one or another service. As part of improving the hotel service, you can make it so that each guest can directly contact a specialist to order a specific service. From their hotel room, guests can order food from the restaurant, massage services, replenishment of the minibar, housekeeping, and much more;
- Digital Enhanced Cordless Communication. Sometimes staff has difficulties in internal communication. With a standard telephone system, radio signals may not reach certain rooms well. Using a modern telephone system, all your employees will always be in touch, regardless of their location on the territory of your hotel. In addition, you will enjoy high-quality communication;
- Virtual voicemail. Since employees work in shifts, communication between them is also crucial. Often, employees use various instant messengers to transfer certain tasks or information. If you do not want to experience inconvenience and remember forgotten messages in instant messengers, you can use voice mail. All recorded messages will be stored on servers and employees will be able to listen to them when they come to work;
- MoH. Even with the call forwarding feature, your guests may need to wait for a specialist to become available. It is in your interest to make sure that you do not lose a single client. Thus, many businesses are coming to use the Music on Hold feature. Phone system providers offer you to use not just default music, but your custom music. In addition, from time to time you can download a new ringtone for a change. According to statistics, over 70 percent of buyers are willing to wait a little longer if music plays while waiting.
How Much Does a Hotel Phone System Cost?
Most providers offer hotels affordable rates. Moreover, providers offer different plans, both business plans and plans for different organizations. It all depends on the number of users you need.
Small hostels where the number of staff is small can find prices from $15 per user. You will get access to a huge number of features that your provider offers. However, you should be aware that the number of minutes and texts may be limited.
If you are looking for a solution for a large hotel or resort, then you should pay attention to the Enterprise plan, which includes an unlimited number of users. On average, such a plan starts at $150 per month.
Before deciding to work with a specific provider, you should familiarize yourself with the feature set that each provider offers. Beyond that, you should look at their customer reviews to determine if this is the best solution for you.
In addition, you should pay attention to the possibility of a free trial. Typically, providers offer the opportunity to use the services for seven days for free, but with a limited number of features. During this period, you can independently verify the quality of services, as well as take your time to decide on using the phone service.
How to Choose
Regardless of the size of your hospitality business, you need to choose the best provider available. The best solution is to research every available provider and use the free trial. After this period, you will be able to decide if this is the best solution for you, or if you need to switch to another provider.
The number of users
You can manage both a small hostel and a large hotel with many employees. It is important for you that you can connect the number of people you need to the system. Different providers offer different solutions, depending on the number of users. Some provider plans require you to pay extra for each additional user. If you run a large hotel, you should choose a plan that can be used by an unlimited number of users.
You should first decide what features are important for your hotel, after which you can start researching each provider. Be sure to pay attention when choosing a plan that the features that are important to you are included.
You can’t be sure that you won’t run into some issues with your phone system. Therefore, provider support is crucial. Since hotels are open 24/7 and employees will use the phone system all the time, you should look for providers that offer live support regardless of the time of day. In the event of a breakdown, your hotel can suffer significant losses, so 24/7 support is a must-have.
You should make sure that your employees know how they can use all the features of the service. Your team may have employees of different ages, so it is important that training is provided for your employees. Not all employees may need absolutely all available features.
In this regard, you should make sure that providers can provide training for staff and tell everyone how to use certain features.
If you want to improve both the external and internal communication in your hotel, you should give preference to a phone service based on an Internet connection. Telephonic communication is one of the crucial customer touch points in the hospitality industry. You can reap many benefits, including cost savings, CRM integrations, fast problem resolution, call forwarding, and more.
You can find a large list of features that providers offer today. However, you should make sure that you are partnering with a provider that offers the most appropriate features for your business. You should pay attention to such features as a virtual receptionist, virtual voicemail, music on hold, phone extensions, and others.
Providers offer various plans that can be ideal for your hotel. To choose the best provider, you can use the free trial to ensure the quality of services.