The success of a hotel/hospitality business is mainly dependent on the quality of relationships it builds with its guests, and this can be quite challenging to achieve in today’s digital age.
Meeting the expectations of customers can often be quite demanding. For example, if a customer prefers to manage his/her reservations across different channels, you have to comply as much as you can because a dissatisfied customer adds up with the churn. Failing to meet all customer expectations and not delivering personalized treatment to each customer is going to be the quickest way you lose a customer.
Amidst these unhappy customers, if your hotel management system is not equipped with a modern business phone system or an IP PBX, chances are unlikely that you will have many good customers. So, to avoid these situations, SIP Trunking technology is used to enhance the customer experience with your hotel or property. SIP trunking is an efficient yet cost-effective solution to enhance the efficiency and productivity of communication systems. The following sections of this article contain everything you need to know about PBX and SIP Trunking in Hospitality and/or Property Management Systems.
What is a Hotel PBX?
A hotel PBX (Private Branch Exchange) is a phone system specifically designed for the hospitality industry, used by hotels to manage their internal and external communication needs. The system enables guests to make and receive calls within the hotel and outside it. It is a feature-rich system and includes functions such as call routing, call queues, and automated navigational menus to improve user experience. In this way, you can use PBX within your hotel management systems to deal with queries coming from inbound visitors or currently hosted visitors.
For example, you can create a navigational menu for all the callers looking to talk to the reservations department. You can configure your PBX in a way that when a caller presses 1, he should be automatically redirected to the reservations department. In this way, you improved not only the caller’s journey but also saved time and increased the efficiency of your customer support and reception agents.
Similarly, you can also improve the customer experience for visitors already occupying a room by configuring the phone system available inside the room. Who wouldn’t appreciate using a phone system to deal with all the many requests ranging from ordering room service, setting up a wake-up service, or needing to get on a call with a specific department of the hotel?
SIP Trunks in PMS Systems
SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. Essentially, it is a method by which hotels send all communication signals (such as voice and media) to the Internet through a VoIP service provider. Instead of using traditional phone lines, SIP Trunking allows hospitality businesses to use their internet connection to make and receive phone calls, video calls, and instant messages.
SIP Trunking provides your hotel with a new, efficient and yet cheaper alternative to traditional telephone systems. SIP Trunking offers the potential for your hotel to enhance the customer experience and stay ahead of the competition by staying up top with rising digital expectations.
In conclusion, PBX and SIP Trunks function together to deliver a customized and time-effective treatment to all types of your hotel customers and queries. By routing inbound and outbound phone calls over the Internet, SIP Trunking facilitates connections between your hotel and other possible branches, customers, HQs, and regional offices.
Now that you have understood how PBX and SIP Trunking technology works in increasing the efficiency and customer interaction with your hotel, we can discuss the benefits they have to offer.
Benefits of SIP Trunks in the Hospitality Industry
Some of the widely utilized benefits of integrating the phone system with hospitality or PMS are:
Streamlined Check-in/Entry Operations
For check-in operations, a hotel PBX can be integrated with a customer relationship management (CRM) system to ensure that guest information is up-to-date and easily accessible. By automatically pulling up guest profiles upon check-in, hotel staff can quickly and efficiently retrieve guest information and preferences, such as room preferences or special requests. This not only enhances the guest experience by providing personalized service but also expedites the check-in process, reducing wait times and improving overall efficiency. Additionally, SIP Trunking can be used to set up automated check-in processes, enabling guests to check in remotely, further reducing wait times and enhancing convenience.
Automated Call Handling
With this feature, calls are automatically answered and routed to the appropriate department or individual, such as the front desk, reservations, housekeeping, or maintenance.
In a hospitality business, automated call handling can enhance the customer experience by providing quick and efficient service, especially during peak periods when call volumes are high. With automated call handling, callers are greeted with a personalized message and given navigation options to direct their call to the appropriate department or individual, reducing wait times and minimizing the need for customers to be placed on hold. This can help to improve customer satisfaction, as customers are able to receive timely and efficient service.
Moreover, automated call handling can also benefit hotel staff by freeing up their time to focus on other tasks. By automatically routing calls to the appropriate department or individual, staff members can prioritize their workload and attend to other important tasks, which can improve overall productivity and efficiency.
Automated Wake-up Calls
In the hospitality industry, offering wake-up calls is a common practice to ensure that guests wake up on time for their scheduled activities, such as flights, business meetings, or tours. Wake-up calls can be easily automated with SIP Trunking, allowing guests to receive personalized wake-up calls at their desired time without requiring staff intervention. Moreover, wake-up calls can be integrated with guest profiles to ensure that guests receive wake-up calls according to their preferred time and time zone, improving the overall guest experience.
Room Status/Maid Codes Update
Maid codes are used in the hospitality industry to ensure the safety and security of guests and hotel staff. Maid codes are unique numbers assigned to each room and are used by housekeeping staff to indicate that they have entered the room for cleaning or other services. With SIP Trunking, maid codes can be easily integrated into the hotel PBX system, allowing housekeeping staff to update the status of each room in real time. This can enhance the overall guest experience by providing more accurate information on room availability and status, reducing wait times and minimizing guest frustration. Additionally, by improving the efficiency of housekeeping operations, hotel staff can dedicate more time to other tasks, such as guest services and maintenance, improving the overall quality of the guest experience.
Efficient Check-out/Billing Operations
For check-out operations, a hotel PBX can be integrated with a property management system (PMS) to enable seamless billing and payment processing. By integrating the PBX with the PMS, charges can be automatically added to the guest’s bill, eliminating the need for manual billing and reducing errors. Additionally, SIP Trunking can be used to provide guests with the option to check out remotely, either through an automated phone system or a mobile app, further enhancing convenience and efficiency. By streamlining the check-out process, hotel staff can dedicate more time to other tasks, such as housekeeping or guest services, ultimately improving the overall guest experience.
In conclusion, the use of PBX and SIP Trunking can significantly improve the customer experience in the hospitality industry. With the growing digital expectations of guests, hotels need to keep up by providing personalized, efficient, and secure communication channels. By integrating PBX and SIP Trunking into their communication infrastructure, hotels can streamline check-in and check-out processes, automate call handling, and provide personalized wake-up calls and maid codes. These features not only enhance the overall guest experience but also improve staff efficiency and reduce errors. Therefore, investing in cloud phone systems such as RingOffice 3CX solutions can help hotels to stay competitive and meet the evolving needs of their guests in today’s digital age.