How a Simple Tech Upgrade Can Make Hotels More Customer Friendly
The hospitality industry is constantly evolving and with new technology, hotels are drastically different than what they were even five or ten years ago. Both new entrants into hospitality and also legacy hotels need to understand how technology is changing the space and how to introduce and use these new tools in their business.
While email and social media have risen dramatically in recent years, all hoteliers know that there are certain tasks which should only be done in person or over the phone. When we first started Hotel 32 | 32, our reservation system was only available at our hotel and we did not have access to it through our business center where most of the employees worked. This was not an ideal scenario and we began the search for a phone system that would be both flexible and easy to use.
After researching the available options, we decided to go with Ooma Office. Ooma was installed quickly in our business office and took our legacy technology – the telephone – and redesigned it to have an innovative touch.
Ooma Office is a cloud-based business phone system that is available 24/7 to answer calls and ensure that a business is always present. It has advanced business phone features that help to run a business with efficiency, all while saving money compared to other more traditional phone systems. Hotel 32 | 32 replaced its legacy phone system with Ooma Office to gain the advanced features it offers such as a virtual receptionist, ring groups, a mobile app, extension dialing, conferencing, and music on hold. Instead of having customers call a standard office or mobile phone and simply getting transferred to an answering machine, Ooma provides services that allow small businesses to be seen as large enterprises.
As the system is cloud-based, the entire operation is simple and clean. We did not have to waste time training our staff on how to use a complicated phone system. Instead, we were able to plug it in and get started answering and making calls immediately. This quick set up, combined with the lack of hardware issues and no service fees have greatly helped our bottom line and increased overall employee productivity. Our employees don’t need to worry about following 10 steps to make a simple phone call. With Ooma, they’re able to do so intuitively.
With the rise of technology, all consumers expect immediate and smooth communications from any business they interact with. If you are not available to your customers, then your business will not succeed. This rings true particularly in the hospitality space where customer relations and communications are the basis of the business and not having smooth communication systems can make or break a hotel.
From creating a more enjoyable booking experience both online and via phone to having a phone system like Ooma that is always and immediately available, hotels can greatly improve their communications with their travelers.
Technology has created an environment where companies, including hotels, are able to focus less on the smaller aspects and rather, spend more time growing their business and ensuring positive experiences for their customers. Through the implementation of various technologies including innovative phone systems, smooth communication platforms, and cloud technology the hospitality industry is poised for dramatic growth in the future.
Matthew is the GM of Hotel 32 | 32, a luxury boutique hotel located in the heart of the Flatiron-Murray Hill area of Manhattan.