Remote and hybrid work is likely to be a permanent staffing model for many employers—including those in the hospitality industry. Gartner reports that 82% of companies will allow their employees to work remotely in some capacity from now on while 47% will allow them to work remotely full time.
Even as companies become better equipped to facilitate working remotely for their workforce, enabling efficient communication and collaboration continues to be a challenge. Inefficient communication can hinder collaboration, productivity and the patron experience.
In fact, nearly half of organizations say their greatest collaboration challenge is ineffective communication between team members. For example, different departments or teams will buy programs to support their needs, which creates silos in the company.
Communications silos can be challenging to identify but it’s critical to address them to ensure that distributed teams remain productive and effective. Below are some common examples of silos and tips for addressing them in your company.
What are communications silos?
A communication silo happens in the workplace when teams are isolated from one another and don’t have the right resources to collaborate or communicate. Without the ability to connect, teams lose their effectiveness. This can make it more difficult for colleagues to align on priorities and secure status updates, which can result in duplicated work. Not only do silos prevent teams from performing well, but they can also cause general frustration and lower overall morale.
What causes communication silos?
Common culprits behind communication silos are company culture and technology. Technology incongruencies can be a significant driver of communications silos in the hospitality sector. Without the ability for some teams to access information owned by others, providing excellent service and meeting guests’ needs becomes a tougher challenge.
For example, the front desk staff at a hotel often has the most face time with guests. To best serve guests and deliver top-notch experiences, front desk teams will need access to information about the guests that other hotel teams are responsible for—such as booking information, details about previous stays at the hotel or others owned by the same company, loyalty program information or other lodging and communication preferences.
Without access to this kind of information, front desk staff may have a harder time serving customers in a timely manner. Broader visibility into guest interactions can also help support agents reduce the time that guests spend bouncing around a phone tree. As a result, staff can answer guests’ questions quickly and mitigate frustration and negative customer experiences.
While communication silos can be detrimental to business success, companies do have some options for taking a preventative approach.
How to prevent communication silos?
Eliminating silos starts with prevention. It’s harder to bridge silos once they’re created, so working to prevent them can go a long way and ensure teams can remain productive. One of the simplest ways to bridge silos begins with the tools in a company’s technology stack. More specifically, hospitality businesses can overcome communication silos with cloud-based telecom.
Hosted telephony solutions and collaboration platforms that facilitate PSTN integrations can help decision makers link systems and connect in a cost-effective, efficient and secure way. In addition, they can also elevate the customer experience and overall satisfaction since customers won’t also get tied up in the confusion or challenges that have resulted from the silo.
VoIP (voice over internet protocol) solutions allow all hospitality staff to become more efficient since VoIP enables integration across systems and features. Hosted solutions allow communications capabilities such as chat, email virtual meetings and phone calls to be handled through one application. An all-in-one approach can boost productivity, streamline tasks and ultimately drive customer satisfaction.
Having detailed information about guests’ contact with the business is another way for hospitality groups to improve customer experience. Telecom APIs are one way to gain this detailed information. For background, telecom APIs (or Application Programming Interfaces) help businesses tweak and tailor telephony offerings to better meet their customers’ needs. APIs create scalability of services without adding technical complexity. Leveraging APIs can support enterprises that desire more control and flexibility over their communication offerings. For example, with some VoIP applications, users can search and download Call Detail Records (CDR) using an API, allowing support agents to see recent interactions using call tracking without needing an external call log. This process gives service representatives rapid, real-time access to critical information to serve customers.
Supporting internal collaboration is also essential for productivity. Platforms like Microsoft Teams (Teams) give hospitality groups an opportunity to eliminate communications silos. Microsoft offers multiple calling options to facilitate seamless calling within the solution. In addition, hospitality leaders can layer on their preferred collaboration tools within the platform—reducing the need to rely on more than one application to meet internal and external communications needs.
Communication silos are a tough obstacle for companies to overcome. And in our modern working world, it will become more important for organizations to ensure that employees have the tools and resources they need to communicate and collaborate effectively with each other and with customers. Armed with cloud-based telecom resources, hospitality groups can implement the right tools that serve the needs of dispersed workforces and ensure that the company can reach its goals and continue providing top-notch service to customers.