Hotel Phone Systems: Is It Time to Upgrade Your Phones?

August 15, 2019 Donald Jensen
Today’s guests have high expectations. They demand a frictionless guest experience in exchange for their loyalty. The booking process is an early and significant aspect of the guest experience. Guests are looking to quickly and easily book their stay – and they want to do it via their preferred communication channel.
 
 
Many hotels still rely on a “phone system” to power the reservations contact center. The basic function of taking a call, processing a reservation and posting to PMS are no longer cutting it. Plus, peak periods can leave your “phone system” lagging behind, not being able to keep up with the demand. In order to leave a lasting impression during this initial guest encounter, you need to provide a simple and unique booking experience with no glitches. Remember, the guest experience begins now, not when the guest arrives on-property.
 
Hospitality digital transformation
 
The hospitality industry must move past primarily communicating via voice or email. Guests now expect real-time communication that is available over a host of channels (voice, email, chat, text, etc.). Many properties find themselves band-aiding together multiple cumbersome applications in an effort to meet these communications demands. It feels disjointed to your staff, and it ultimately feels disjointed to the guest as well.
 
Delivering guest interactions that are simple and mobile friendly require a digital transformation strategy.  This may be as simple as providing a “Contact Us” button on your website that allows guests to interface with your property via voice, email, chat or SMS text, or it may be as “new-age” as interacting with them on social media platforms.
 
To maintain the loyalty of customers and gain the loyalty of new guests, we must not only allow guests to communicate via their preferred channel, but also be privy to the path they took to get there. Have they communicated with your call center before? What channel did they use? Were their questions answered or issues resolved? What are their loyalty program preferences and purchasing tendencies? Having this background information available to your reservations team personalizes the booking experience and leaves a favorable impression with the guest.
 
Empowering your staff and delivering a multi-channel guest journey can be accomplished with relative ease by deploying cloud-based contact center applications. These applications provide all the tools needed for agents to be knowledgeable and helpful while providing the digital interactions that will suit the preferences of a wide range of guests.
 
These Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) options not only satisfy the primary concerns of hotel CROs but improve them significantly:
  • Agent productivity
  • ROI or yield equivalents focused on getting the most REVPAR per guest interaction
  • Fostering a healthy “co-opetition” with the OTAs
  • Harnessing big data and applying the right level of personalization
  • Property-level vs. centralized reservations
  • Integrating mobile apps, social media, live chat and other digital communications into the guest reservation experience
  • Maintaining a CRM distinguishing loyalty tiers
A well-versed hospitality partner like Windstream Enterprise can help you improve your guest interactions with the latest in CCaaS technology. Our Hospitality Contact Center experts will be at HITEC on June 19-20 at booth #1427. Stop by with questions about your contact center and learn more about our for the hospitality industry.
 

About the Author

Donald Jensen

As Vice President of Hospitality at Windstream Enterprise, Don Jensen leads the organization’s focus on delivering customized network and technology solutions to the lodging industry

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