Technology has come a long way in almost every industry, including the hospitality industry. TVs are thinner, the internet is faster, physical keys have been replaced with wireless keys that only need to be tapped against the lock, and bookings are handled quickly and easily online.
Modern consumers have self-check options at grocery stores, kiosks to check in at the airport, and apps on their phone to access anything they want. From a ride downtown to a hand-delivered dinner, convenience is at everyone’s fingertips.
And yet, when they come into a hotel room, they’re confronted by a corded phone with a list of extensions and a sign that says “dial 9 to reach an outside line.” So how is it that despite all the advances in hotel technology, many hotel phone systems haven’t progressed since the 1990s?
So how is it that despite all the advances in hotel technology, many hotel phone systems haven’t progressed since the 1990s?
In 2015, Mariah Summers wrote an article for BuzzFeed News entitled “The Hotel Industry's Race To Escape The Dinosaur Age.” In it, she sums up the problem succinctly.
“The experience, familiar to even moderate travelers who frequent chains like Sheraton, Westin, Holiday Inn, Marriott, and others, is emblematic of an industry whose customers' relationship with technology has moved far beyond what its product can offer, leaving multibillion-dollar holding companies scrambling to stay relevant.”
Updating your technology isn’t always a quick process, but a VoIP system is a low-cost, easy update to make that will bring your hotel into the 21st century. And all you need is access to the internet, which is a given in today’s hotels.
So how do you know if you’re ready to upgrade to a VoIP system? And why should you consider it? We’ve got the information you need before you upgrade.
Make Sure Your Connection Is Up To Speed
One of the major advantages of a VoIP system over a traditional landline is that you’re not hampered by the amount of physical wiring in your building. That said, you are going to need a quality internet connection. Without a reliable internet service, your VoIP service — and your customers — will suffer.
Luckily, high-speed internet is getting cheaper and easier to obtain and install every year. In many cities, you can even buy fiber-optic internet that will give you upload/download speeds above and beyond what your phone system needs. Just to avoid interference, though, lots of businesses set up a separate internet connection just for their VoIP lines.
Check On All Your Network Components
The internet speed coming into your building won’t make any difference if your infrastructure isn’t ready to handle it. Often times, simply upgrading key network components can make a huge difference in the speed and reliability of your VoIP setup.
Switches are used to distribute internet connections from the main modem to the various machines that use it, but low-quality or low-bandwidth switches can ruin an otherwise high-quality connection. Getting your network hardware up to date and prepared for your hotel’s needs will save you a lot of hassle in the long run. Before you go through with installation, get a site survey done by a qualified expert.
The Advantages Of A VoIP System
So you’ve confirmed that your infrastructure is ready to handle a VoIP system. But why should you consider one? Is it really that big an improvement? The answer is an emphatic yes, and here’s why.
According to Tech.co, businesses save between 50 and 75 percent on their phone services when they switch to VoIP systems
- Save money on phone service - According to Tech.co, businesses save between 50 and 75 percent on their phone services when they switch to VoIP systems, with those savings amplified even further when it comes to small businesses. When it comes to telecommuting and international calling, the savings are even greater.
- Endless scalability - With traditional hardware phone lines, your expansion is hampered by the wiring in your building. With a VoIP phone system, you don’t need specialized phone lines — you’re only limited by your bandwidth and the number of handsets you want to buy.
- You can add or remove users and numbers at will, creating numbers for new employees or new departments whenever you need it without having to inform your customers that anything has changed.
- Convenience - Your numbers can be forwarded to any handset in the hotel or be picked up by conference phones, computers, or cell phones. They can be forwarded to third-party locations or routed through automated phone trees without inconveniencing any of your customers. They’ll only need to know one number — with the right setup, that number will always get to the right destination.
The Phone System of the Future
You may not need to switch your hotel locks to a phone app instead of keycards, but there’s no excuse for having an outdated phone system any more. VoIP systems are simple and easy to install, offer an enormous number of new features, and can be expanded almost infinitely as your business grows. For a consultation and a quote, contact Phonesuite today!