Among the industries hit hardest by COVID-19, hospitality and tourism remain the most impacted as borders closed, airports emptied, and hotel rooms remained vacant. Now, with safety protocols and precautionary practices firmly in place, travelers across the country are cautiously embracing safe tourism. This shift is made possible in part because many hospitality establishments are shifting to modern cloud-based communication tools that provide easy ways for hospitality groups to connect with guests before, during and after their stays.
Transitioning communications and collaboration tools to the cloud has helped these companies improve interactions with teams and customers while also navigating government mandated regulations about the pandemic that impact their business. With the holiday season and associated travel around the corner, IT decision makers in the hospitality industry may be interested in deepening their IT telecom investments to secure the best return.
For those companies that have started transitioning workflows to the cloud, the Be-or Bring-Your-Own-Carrier (BYOC) model is an attractive telecom option because it allows IT teams to build and customize their communications using telecom APIs. It’s important to note that BYOC can be defined as either “Be Your Own Carrier” or “Bring Your Own Carrier.” The Be Your Own Carrier Model allows businesses to take control of their telecom by letting them deploy the specific services they want to offer to their customers. Whereas the Bring Your Own Carrier model lets IT leaders choose the carrier they want to power their communications platforms.
Both BYOC options provide an added level of autonomy by allowing the company to play a critical role in designing its own communication services. Creating tailored communication services through existing applications offers carrier-level control of phone numbers and network security (made possible through BYOC). At the same time, this model also provides a safe and easy way for travel and hospitality organizations to seamlessly connect with guests and customers when in-person interactions are not as safe.
Below I’ve summarized a few of the ways the BYOC model can benefit hospitality groups as they continue to navigate the challenges posed by COVID-19 and as they enter the holiday travel season.
Being able to customize communications offerings through API integration creates opportunities for the hospitality industry to meet the evolving needs of their guests. In addition, BYOC models can help them build a loyal base of customers and generate positive reviews. Legacy carriers and the associated models simply don’t offer the level of customization that’s needed—especially as hospitality companies look to better serve guests and improve hotel operations.
BYOC adoption is also creating new ways for hospitality companies to set themselves apart by delivering better customer service. By offering customer service options that customers can use to quickly make reservations, modify their plans or get their questions answered, the business will demonstrate their focus on positive user experience—an important driver of overall satisfaction.
Flexibility to Scale
Customers’ evolving preferences paired with the need for different communication tools are also making BYOC models more appealing for hospitality companies. The BYOC model makes it easier for IT teams to make swift changes without investing in new equipment or engaging with a new service provider. For example, if data shows customers prefer texting vs. calling when communicating with a hotel or the front desk team, the group can adjust offerings to ensure they’re meeting customers’ demands by providing communication tools that are more convenient for them.
With new opportunities to tailor customer support, scale networks and manage call volumes, BYOC models will continue to transform the way that businesses in the hospitality industry engage and retain customers. Before adopting a BYOC approach, hospitality companies should have a firm grasp of their customer’s engagement preferences and how these might change in the future. Solutions that bring together a variety of telecom APIs create the most attractive BYOC models because they are customizable and enable developers to easily scale services.
Ultimately, a BYOC approach can be a key element to help the hospitality industry stay one step ahead of customer demands and remain competitive as the industry evolves in the face of uncertainties.
About the Author
Darach Beirne is vice president of customer success at Flowroute, now part of Intrado. With more than 25 years of experience building and leading B2B customer success, Darach leads Flowroute’s dedicated customer support team, driving strategy for customer success and improved customer satisfaction. Prior to joining Flowroute, Darach lead professional service and sales engineering teams for providers such as Contenix, Huawei/3Leafsytems, InQuira, Siebel/Scopus and Ingres. He also has assisted high-tech companies develop strategies to improve the customer experience and increase scalability.