As the hospitality industry recovers from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re faced with new challenges - one that the US Chamber of Commerce is calling “a national economic emergency.” The hospitality workforce was cut substantially during the past year, and many of those furloughed and laid-off employees have found work in other businesses or want to continue working from home, making them reluctant to return to hotels.
We’re confident that the hospitality workforce will rebound, but in the meantime, there has been a significant rebound in demand for travel and hotels as vaccination rates rise and people want to get out of their houses and resume their travel habits. As a result, many hotels are short-staffed and struggling to keep up.
A voice over internet protocol (VoIP) system can help. By automating specific systems in your hotel and increasing the efficiency of your staff, you can run a full-service experience for your guests with a fraction of the staff to which you were previously accustomed. Here’s how.
Handling Small Requests
Your hotel staff fields a lot of calls that, frankly, could be answered with a quick web search. People call you to ask the address of the hotel, how late the restaurant is open, whether you have a pool, whether you have vacancy, and other simple questions. Any time a front desk team member has to field a call like this, they’re spending time that might be better spent on a guest who’s actually in the building.
A VoIP system allows you to set up an automated phone tree that can handle these kinds of questions with recorded audio clips or redirect them off-site so that your on-site staff aren’t occupied by this kind of call.
Hotel System Automation
Many hotels get calls from all over the world, but you can’t stay awake 24 hours a day to field them. In order to provide the best possible service to your guests and potential guests, you need to automate the routing of incoming calls to a team member that is available to assist them.
There are also tasks that can be automated through a VoIP phone system to free up your staff’s time. Wake-up calls, for example, can be booked with the keypad on your room phones or using voice recognition, without any input from staff. Room service orders, housekeeping and maintenance requests, and even checking in and out can be handled in the same way.
Increasing Efficiency in Other Departments
The classic model of a hotel housekeeping department is a staff member with a cart, walking down hallways and knocking on every door. Not only is this annoying to guests who want to sleep in, but it’s extremely inefficient.
With a VoIP system, integrated with a networked housekeeping software tool, you can make this inefficiency a thing of the past. Guests can set a “do not disturb” status online or on their phone, and your VoIP system will automatically track which rooms are vacant and need to be turned down so that new guests can check-in. Rather than knocking on doors, your housekeeping staff can simply check room status on a mobile device and avoid wasting time walking down hallways that don’t need to be serviced.
The same is true of maintenance. Broken HVAC hardware, burnt-out lightbulbs, and other issues can be reported on the phone through an automated system and added to your ticketing system. If you add advanced features like occupancy sensors to your rooms, you can even fix issues as soon as your guests leave for the day without interrupting their stay at all.
Talk to Phonesuite
A VoIP system is the foundation of any modern hotel, unifying your communications systems with all of your other software and hardware to make a more connected and efficient hotel. If you’re ready to start taking your hotel’s communications capabilities seriously, get in touch with Phonesuite today. We’ll examine every aspect of your hotel and your goals to provide you with the system that fits your needs.