Hotels Adopting Unified Communications to Improve Customer Engagement
Unified communications (UC) have had a profound impact on many vertical markets and the hospitality industry is taking full advantage of their efficiencies and cost savings. Hotels in particular are discovering that their customers would prefer to use UC and mobile devices and are transforming their operations to accommodate customer demand.
According to the 2015 Customer Engagement Technology Study from Hospitality Technology, nearly half of all hotels will use tablets to check-in customers by the end of the year. The research found that mobility and cloud-based UC are becoming the standard throughout the hospitality industry, with 71 percent of hotels adopting mobile and UC technologies to enhance customer experience and satisfaction.
Improving the overall guest experience is one of the main reasons UC is a great fit for the hotel market. Because offerings are lightweight and mobile, hotel staff members can maintain portable extensions so that they may be reached anywhere, on any device and at any time. UC offerings also enable ad hoc videoconferencing for planning and mitigating staff and customer issues. Videoconferencing may also be offered to customers as a value-added business service. Additional features that provide better customer engagement include the ability to assign a guest’s name to their phone extension so staff members can address customers by name. Personalized information and promotions may also be displayed on room IP phones using a UC system.
Additional guest benefits include the ability to check in and out of rooms using a mobile device or IP phone, which can also push real-time notifications to the housekeeping staff about which rooms need to be serviced. According to a study from Software Advice, 60 percent of guests are more likely to choose a hotel that offers technology and mobility features they deem important.
Cloud-based PBX platforms are becoming an increasingly popular UC choice for hotels as they deliver rich communications services for an affordable price. Cloud models integrate costs for maintenance management and support as well as installation, training and any on-site equipment costs. Hotels can count these systems as an ongoing operating expenditure and are freed from the cost and hassle of maintaining expensive and complex legacy equipment.
As hotels look for ways to upgrade their communications systems while better meeting customer demand and expectations, UC is an ideal choice. With its myriad features and functionality, scalability and attractive price point, UC offers compelling benefits for hotel operations while improving customer engagement and satisfaction.