A complete guide to hotel telephony
Although your guests do not know what a PBX is and what equipment you use in your hotel, they benefit from this equipment every time they visit the hotel. They can use the room phone to call the reception, order room service or wake-up call.
Today fewer, and fewer guests use a room phone to make calls to the public network, yet the phone is still indispensable to provide a positive experience while staying at your hotel. The hotel PBX is the main element that allows your guests to easily communicate within the hotel and order additional services. Services include the aforementioned room service, wake-up service, and a very important emergency call functionality (which is also required by law in many countries).
Given the high staff fluctuation and other staffing challenges, hotels are forced to perform all services with less and less employees. The PBX can provide features such as an interactive voice answering machine (IVR), automatic attendant, call queues or call centre functionality and at least partially relieve your staff.
What telephones to choose?
You need to be very careful when choosing guestroom telephones. Room telephones must meet some basic requirements:
- Large faceplates with basic instructions and hotel information
- Guest service keys for direct access to the most important services
- Signal light to notify new messages
- The phone must be designed for easy maintenance (including cleaning and disinfection)
- Compliance with GDPR requirements (automatic deletion of redial number, no call list or automatic deletion of call list)
And don’t forget that your guests appreciate simple technology. Even in cases where your hotel is equipped with other state-of-the-art communication equipment, such as apps on smartphones or room TVs, a regular classic room phone is still the most commonly used device for communication within the hotel. In most cases, this phone will be the main sales channel for additional services, as evidenced by measurable data from many hotels.
More information about choosing the right telephones for the hotel offices you can find from PBX vendors.
How to reduce the cost of hotel telephony and related technologies?
The cost of labour is always one of the most important in the hotel business. One of the key points (as described in an article published on Hospitality.net) is the outsourcing of some services. You can also get in touch with our partners in order to discuss this topic.
An important element is also the choice of operator, which can significantly affect your operating costs. Remember here that you also need a reliable Internet connection and a sufficient set of TV programs for your hotel. The easiest way to master this area might be single operator for all services.
IP or hybrid technology?
Today, in most greenfield installations, we can assume that a fully integrated IP infrastructure greatly reduces communication costs, integrates more easily with your existing PMS system, and provides the possibility for better staff mobility.
What if you are renovating an existing hotel?
At that time, the use of hybrid technology is often a more sensible choice. Hybrid technology can provide you with most of the benefits of IP technology and at the same time save you the cost of upgrading your existing passive infrastructure (here you will be able to use your existing copper cables to connect your phones).
Integration with the hotel information system (PMS)
The PBX must provide interfaces for connection to the PMS system. Make sure the PBX supports interfaces to connect to major PMS systems, including Oracle Opera, Protel, OnQ, EMMA, Hotelinco, Fidelity, Laserline, to name a few. If you change your PMS system in the future, you will definitely want to keep at least the PBX system.
The integration between the PBX and the PMS system must include the following functions:
- Check-in/check-out with class-of-service changeover
- Entry of name for caller identification
- Determining call costs
- Wake-up service
- Room status service
- Use of the minibar
- Receiving a message (Message Waiting lamp)
- Administering virtual directory Numbers
Contact us for more information on hotel telephony and related solutions. Our partners offer you complete support in the process of equipment selection and integration into your business.