By Rene Mallari
Customer service is always the bottom line.
For hotel owners and operators, providing excellent customer service is constantly the main priority. For one, guests having remarkable and memorable experiences will make them come back to the place should they have the opportunity again.
Some hotels provide personalized services and turn their areas into an extension of one’s living room. Others focus on developing the property with exclusive design and materials as well as offering music and culture for a unique customer experience.
But maintaining high-quality customer service comes with the challenge of controlling rising costs. With stiff competition in the hospitality industry, keeping your guests satisfied throughout their stay will entail additional investments in technology, human resources, and physical infrastructure, to name a few. One such investment is in the latest phone systems.
How hotels use phone systems
An article on the Unity Communications website says spending resources on the modern communication infrastructure and how to make your latest phone systems work to your advantage is essential. An advanced phone network will enable your employees to improve collaboration and take customer experience to a higher level.
Latest studies show that sales go up by almost one-fourth or 20 percent when staff is regularly engaged with customers. The sales increase translates to an about 21 percent rise in profitability.
Additionally, equipping your establishment with the latest phone platform provides you with a better call flow process that streamlines the call procedures in the organization, according to Call Flow Solution. This process essentially shows you the communication sequence between your customer service staff and your guest. Call flows will guide your employees on how to properly ask, act, or say in a phone conversation.
Nowadays, many guests opt to use their mobile devices instead of an in-room phone. Despite this trend, there’s no better way for your employees to contact each other and the outside world than using regular telephone handsets.
Online media platform Hotel Tech Report says hotels use modern PBX phone systems that serve as the communication backbone – from the front desk and back office to the guest rooms. Short for Private Branch Exchange, the PBX system is a telephone network that allows both internal and external calls.
With this system, the front desk acts as the communications hub that assists guests with their hotel-related needs while the back office uses the network to handle non-core tasks, such as faxes, booking confirmations, and sales.
How do phone systems help customers at hotels?
Hotel Tech Report adds that phone systems enhance the guest experience. One benefit is that the latest networks provide not only in-room phones that route a direct line to the front desk but also feature multilingual messaging.
Another way is integration. Modern phone platforms offer functionalities that support guest preference. For example, hotel operators have the option to expand the property’s communication infrastructure to accommodate guest mobile devices, including smartphones, laptops, and tablets. With integration, you can also punch in the property management system code from the guest room to check information such as room status and availability.
How do phone systems make work easier?
TechAdvisory.org, a technology advice website for small businesses, says technology such as the LATEST phones systems boosts business productivity, making work easier and being done with less cost and time.
To make tasks simpler, an organization needs to properly implement telecommunication technology. The effective rollout includes changing to the latest office communication app (instant messaging), installing video conferencing, upgrading workstations, and setting up business process management software.
5 strategies to control rising costs
Cvent Diagramming (formerly Social Tables), an event platform for planners and hotel professionals, lists ways to reduce hotel costs. Here are some:
1. Be aware of maintenance.
Maintaining systems will decrease energy usage, prolong equipment life, and minimize the chances of a major breakdown. Unattended or unresolved maintenance issues will result in inconvenience to guests and give your hotel an undesirable image.
The US Department of Energy says that clogged HVAC filters for cooling and heating systems can raise energy consumption by 15 percent. Filter replacement every six months at the most as well as regular inspection and cleaning is recommended.
2. Maximize staff training
The labor expense is a major part of a hotel’s operating expenses, not less than 50 percent for the most part. Estimating staffing requirements is one way of improving labor scheduling to reduce costs. Remember to group your forecasts based on room types. Smaller rooms and stay-overs take a shorter time to clean than luxury suites and check-outs.
3. Equip customer service staff with best-practice processes
SpiceCSM, an integration platform provider, says that employees should be provided with the best practice approach and subject matter expertise, enabling them to handle and route calls efficiently. The procedure will minimize errors and allow each employee to become skilled in resolving customers’ issues.
Another way to route calls is by using interactive voice response routing that provides callers the freedom to select from a programmed list the hotel department to which they would like to connect.
4. Enhance staff onboarding experience
Cvent Diagramming notes that staff turnover is high and costs a hotel operator about 33 percent of an employee’s salary to recruit a replacement. Streamlining the onboarding process will help new hires understand expectations and feel welcome. Using checklists to monitor onboarding activities, personalizing their training, and appointing a mentor are among the steps that you should consider for effective in-house training.
5. Buy in bulk
An article on the Commercial Construction and Renovation website says that hotels buying everything in bulk will help decrease operating costs. From purchasing in volume small soaps to foods used in hotel meals will make a difference in cost control. It is recommended that buy in large amounts things that will not expire or have long expiration dates.
For smaller hotels, buying food and other perishables in bulk should be done after reviewing their reservations. If experiencing a high number of reservations, then buying wholesale is practical. But if a slow period is expected, then buying only what it is needed for a specific time will be sensible.