What does a luxe over-the-water bungalow have in common with a roadside motel? They both have an in-room telephone.
While these days most guests use their own device to make outside calls, they still rely on the guestroom phone to communicate with hotel staff—whether ordering room service, requesting a wake-up call or checking to see if late checkout is available.
Most hotels still rely on traditional analog phones—after all, landlines may be old-school, but they’re reliable. So if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
While analog phones are reliable, they’re also costly to maintain, repair and upgrade, and cabling requirements limit the ability to make structural changes during remodeling or renovations. And a landline doesn’t have the benefits of scalability or the ability to add advanced features such as video chat.
There are a number of reasons why it might be time for an upgrade to your hotel’s phone systems.
Improving the guest experience
Many hoteliers are switching to a cloud-based hotel phone system when their legacy system has reached its end of life. This is often driven by cost savings, but also scalability and advanced features that can help a brand differentiate itself in a highly competitive market.
In a pre-pandemic world, there may have been some hesitation to move away from landlines, which some guests had a preference for. But that’s rarely the case anymore. Out of necessity, people of all ages started using digital communications during the pandemic, whether for virtual work meetings or to connect with friends and family.
Now digital communications is the norm. And in the hospitality industry it can greatly improve and differentiate the overall guest experience.
For example, you can create an easy-to-navigate interactive menu on a mobile device or in-room tablet—no more binders in the room with paper-based directories, amenity descriptions or in-room dining menus. Guests can also receive push notifications when, for example, their room service order is on its way.
In future, guests could use video chat or voice controls to communicate with hotel staff. And artificial intelligence could answer commonly asked questions and requests, or automatically route calls to staff members—regardless of their location.
Improving the staff experience
This improves the guest experience, but it’s also good for hotel staff and management, too. For example, Allstream’s cloud hospitality solutions allow you to seamlessly manage multiple properties and choose the communication option that works best for each. And twin extensions to external numbers or mobile phones enable remote working capabilities for staff.
It also means there’s much less upkeep (which translates to lower costs). Aging legacy telephone systems are expensive to repair, maintain and upgrade. Cabling also limits room design, which is a consideration when making any structural changes to the hotel during remodeling or renovations.
With a cloud-based hotel phone system, upkeep is as simple as downloading a software update or connecting new hardware to Wi-Fi. Cloud-based hotel phone systems also allow devices to be supported at further distances, which can save on infrastructure costs.
Of course, any digital phone system needs to be just as reliable as a good old-fashioned landline. A cloud-based hotel phone system can integrate with your property management system (and other applications), which not only ensures guests always remain connected, but can also enhance staff and guests safety.
That includes emergency response. For example, Allstream deploys and manages 911 solutions that connect users to 911—but also provide notification if and when someone dials 911 on the system.
For hoteliers that aren’t ready to go all-in with a cloud hospitality phone solution, there are hybrid solutions on the market that allow you to integrate your existing analog devices with cloud apps. This can help to ease the transition while making use of your investment in on-premise infrastructure.
Find out more about Allstream’s Hospitality Cloud Voice solution powered by Mitel.