With more than 700,000 hotels worldwide, travelers have infinite possibilities when booking their travel destination. And, technology is playing a large role in how guests are booking their hotels. From booking a room to checking out, technology can enhance the hotel/resort experience and turn new customers into loyal patrons by increasing the convenience and comfort of staying in a hotel. In 2021 alone, 82% of travelers have booked their hotel stay via mobile device, app, or website.
Hotels that use a modern cloud communications platform to manage phone calls, messaging, and customer interactions already have a leg up when it comes to staying relevant with customers. By operating on the cloud, you can help your hotel or resort keep track of guest communications across multiple channels while keeping staff informed about account or customer needs. This simple investment can increase your hotel’s growth while decreasing long-term communication costs.
As someone who’s responsible for managing your hotel’s international communications, it’s vitally important that your phone system has the reach, uptime, and call quality needed to connect with your guests around the world. Let’s review the benefits of modernizing your hotel or resort’s communications onto a VoIP platform.
The Benefits of Moving Hotel Communications to the Cloud
1. Communication Cost Savings
Because who doesn’t love to save money, right? First and foremost, moving to a cloud PBX system (also called a virtual or VoIP phone system) can significantly help you cut costs. How does it work? Simple… moving to the cloud eliminates the need to host costly communications server equipment on site. This translates to cost savings in other areas as well, including:
- Subscription, usage-based, or a hybrid bill strategy that are cheaper than maintaining your own PBX
- Market-leading call rates and business phone numbers that reduce total cost of ownership
- Less time your IT support needs to maintain an old on-premise system
- Less money spent on expensive trunk lines
A cloud PBX system allows hotels to be more cost-efficient and flexible, while still providing staff with access to all of the business communication services they need to create seamless guest experiences. With VoIP softphones, call forwarding and Microsoft Teams direct routing capabilities, you can maximize your communications budget by reducing the amount of on-premise equipment needed to carry out sales and support calls and reallocate those resources elsewhere.
Additionally, when it comes to the cost savings of a cloud-based VoIP system, it’s not just your hotel that saves money. Long-distance international calls on a cloud-enabled network often cost less than those through a PBX system alone – SIP trunking can help with this! Let your guests know they can stay in touch with business associates and loved ones across the globe for less while they’re traveling thanks to your modern, efficient phone system.
2. Easier Maintenance
Your cloud services provider automatically takes care of all system maintenance and upgrades. If there’s an issue with your system, most cloud communication providers have support teams on standby 24/7 to help. Plus, cloud-based PBX systems are always backed up by failsafe servers in multiple locations which means your hotel’s communications won’t go down while your provider resolves the local problem.
3. Access to More Robust Business Communication Services
Some analog PBX systems offer business services such as call recording and call routing. But when you move your hotel PBX system into the cloud, you get those services plus:
- Call analytics: To improve your customer service KPIs in an industry that is all about service.
- Call queueing: To line up (queue) inbound callers as they wait their turn to be connected with an agent.
- Call routing: To get your guests to the person that can support them the fastest and most effectively.
- IVR/Auto-attendant: To help callers quickly solve requests or issues while freeing up your staff’s time to help other guests, or to guide customers to the right department for more complex requests.
- Call coaching: To train new staff members on your hotel’s service standards, and to offer veteran staffers a refresher on hotel operations.
- Call transfers: To transfer a caller to a department or manager who can better resolve a customer’s issue.
- Software integrations: This is a huge advantage over analog PBX! Cloud-based VoIP phone systems use software to automatically send call and customer data to your CRM, helpdesk, or other productivity tools. This integration between phones and databases helps you personalize guest interactions and ensures the appropriate call details are being automatically logged post-call.
- Vanity phone numbers: To brand your main lines with numbers related to your property’s name and reputation.
In short, modernizing your hotel’s international communications by moving to the cloud unlocks a portfolio of business services that your hotel should be using to thrive and improve your customer experience.
4. Improved Personalization Opportunities
When you integrate your phone system with your databases, you gain the capability to personalize a guest’s stay further than their extra towels request. A vast majority (84%) of customers say being treated like a person, and not a number, is important to winning their business.
A modern cloud-hosted PBX lets your hotel share data about guests across your departments to anticipate guest needs. Hotels and resorts that collect guest data from phone conversations, app usage, or website behavior can use that data to create personalized experiences that set their property apart from others. Not to mention, sharing guest history across databases and departments offers your hotel the ability to present upgrade scenarios those guests are likely to take advantage of. When guests feel like you’ve personalized their stay to their needs, they’ll be more likely to return.
5. Better System Interoperability
Switching to cloud communications offers flexibility that most analog systems don’t. Most VoIP systems integrate with many software or voicemail systems. So, your resort doesn’t have to completely overhaul its preferred voicemail, call accounting, or PMS systems to upgrade to the cloud. Furthermore, most cloud-based PBX systems operate on a standards-based platform, meaning they will interoperate with existing radio and messaging systems in a given locality.
6. Services Consolidation
As modern hotels and resorts become larger and offer more services to differentiate themselves from the competition, they’re relying upon more vendors to fulfill their offerings. But working with multiple vendors makes for complex operations. Moving their communications to the cloud is one way they’re consolidating vendors. Hotels often use more than one local provider to ensure communications reliability and to have backups in case of outages. With cloud-hosted PBX systems, hotels liaise with just one provider while still getting all the benefits of technical support and service reliability.
Furthermore, a unified communications (UC) platform such as UCaaS or CPaaS improves employee productivity. When your databases and communication systems are all interconnected, you empower employees to solve problems and satisfy customers by giving them all the data they need about a guest. When an employee has a 360-degree view of a guest, their history with your hotel, and their request, they’re more likely to find a solution that satisfies the customer and encourages them to visit your hotel again.
7. Top-Notch Service
Cloud communication systems offer crystal-clear connections that rarely drop calls because they’re backed up by multiple servers across regions. Resorts in more remote locations are especially conscious of the fact that analog PBX systems are sometimes at the mercy of the age and quality of local infrastructure. They’re moving to the cloud so their guests are never disconnected from the rest of the world for business or emergency purposes. Even for hotels in more populous regions, knowing your Internet-based phone system will rarely, if ever, fail means you can reassure guests that they’ll never be out of the loop about dinner reservations or booked excursion changes.
8. Fast Deployment
Setting up a cloud communications system is easy and quick whether you’re an individual boutique hotel or an international hotel chain. Once you’ve decided on a VoIP provider, you’ll begin to set up your communications platform online.
- You’ll start by installing the software needed to activate the number of softphones required by the number of computers. If you plan to use equipment you’ve already invested in, you’ll work with your provider to connect those handsets to your cloud PBX account.
- Once your equipment is in place, you’ll transfer or purchase your phone numbers.
- Next, you’ll register your phones and their unique numbers to your cloud PBX.
- This is an important step: Enable emergency calling so that any hotel guests in need of local emergency services can access it quickly.
- Now you’re ready to make and receive calls!
While virtual communications deployment is much faster compared to a traditional phone system, not all VoIP providers offer the same type of speed. When you use the AVOXI platform, you can purchase and instantly activate numbers within minutes. You’ll work with an account manager to ensure all of your needs are met.
9. Improved Scalability
If you need to scale the number of lines in your hotel network, you can easily do so with a cloud PBX system. Your VoIP hotel communications provider can add phone lines to expand your services or properties with just a few clicks within the supporting software. If you’re converting rooms for other purposes, the process of “rewiring” phones is equally quick. Cloud communication systems can support hundreds to thousands of phone lines at minimal cost.
10. A Healthier, Touchless Experience
Due to the pandemic, hotels and resorts are leading the charge in providing safe traveling options for their guests. Whether it’s offering smartphone apps for everything from digital room keys to concierge services, hotels are meeting their guests where they need them. Apps provide a level of comfort and convenience for your guests while also promoting your hotel as a healthy, safe place to stay.
In addition, savvy hotels are marketing their higher cleaning standards to their patrons through their IVR. When patrons phone the hotel, set up your interactive voice response (IVR) software to deliver a voice message to your customers and let them know of the strict hygiene and cleanliness practices your hotel staff is observing.
11. Improved Overall Guest Experience
Whether your guests are calling to reserve a room or event space at your hotel, or your agents are making outbound calls to see how they enjoyed their stay, improving the guest experience starts with reliable virtual numbers that reach your guests’ resident location. Cloud communications support two-way calling with PSTN replacement services, which provide clear connectivity and uptime that guests expect. The redundant backups and easy scalability a cloud PBX can offer your hotel mean guests won’t have to worry about sudden outages that interrupt the conversation.
As you continue upgrading the guest experience at your hotel or resort to meet the demands of modern travel, remember to include your property communication systems in those upgrades. A cloud-hosted PBX or VoIP phone system offers benefits for both your staff and guests. Cloud-based communications offer a robust portfolio of services to help your hotel better know your customers and meet their expectations. The reliability of service and ease of integrating with other communication systems and apps makes cloud-based communications a smart choice on behalf of guests as well.
Meanwhile, the costs of cloud-based UC platforms are favorable compared to traditional PBX systems. In a year when hospitality businesses have struggled to survive, any cost savings are significant.
Choosing the Right Cloud Communications System for Your Hotel
If you’re a hotel or resort manager in charge of your property’s communications, check out AVOXI’s cloud PBX systems. AVOXI can set up your hotel with a reliable cloud-based PBX service in a few easy steps. There are no setup fees or minimum contracts. AVOXI’s virtual PBX services include more than 20 VoIP features like call recording, voicemail, auto-attendant, and voicemail-to-email at no extra cost. With AVOXI, you’ll be able to expand your reach across 170+ countries while benefiting from our competitive rates and flexible, pay-as-you-go packages. Easily purchase and deploy new numbers to support your multiple properties within minutes.