Good customer service is essential for any business to grow and prosper but is of critical importance for the hospitality sector where the new-age customers expect much more than the basic levels of services. They are looking for greater value for money and refuse to accept mediocrity in services.
The industry being extremely dynamic, providing good customer experience will not just help in creating new customers but would also help in keeping loyal customers and developing future customers. Rather than just making a sale, the service providers need to focus on developing a long-term relationship with their guests. Agility and responsiveness are the lifelines for hospitality sector to sustain in the highly competitive market and meet the soared expectations of customers.
In order to cater to the guest’s needs and enhance the productivity and efficiency of the staff, there is a need for businesses in the industry to embrace the ever- evolving technologies and create a difference. Switching to cloud telephony systems for improved communication will be one such step towards offering a superior level of guest experience. Till today, customers prefer to make a reservation through phone rather than making an online booking. Therefore, it is critical for businesses to keep their communication system including phone lines to be up and running at all times.
Let’s have a glance how implementing cloud telephony system can improve customer service in the hospitality industry –
Cloud telephony ensures that the phone lines are always available and there is no room for an outage. A phone system based on cloud communicates with multiple backup networks that help in overcoming any critical crashes or outages, thus making the services reliable.
Rise in Customer Acquisitions with Omni-channel Communication Facility
Cloud telephony supports unified communication feature and makes it possible for businesses to communicate with their customers and prospects via their preferred channel of communication- chat, phone call, IVR or SMS. Efficient call routing and forwarding assure that the callers get appropriate service or information and also improve employee’s productivity on the other hand. This will definitely lead to a surge in the number of bookings and customer acquisitions.
Never Miss a Call
Sometimes, high call volumes lead to unanswered calls which in turn lead to lost businesses. Cloud telephony offers advanced features such as call forwarding, music on hold, conference calls and voicemail to make sure that none of the callers get ignored. Abandoned call alert feature enables agents or hotel staff to follow-up later on the calls that they have missed.
Cloud telephony guarantees that the customers are attended round-the-clock and even if an agent is not available, the data is saved for future communication.
Enhance Inbound Communication by Allowing Free Access to Customers
A customer when charged for his call would always be in a hurry to wrap up the call and would only be interested in the information which he wants. He loses interest quickly when vendors try to pitch anything else. So, instead of making them pay for expensive phone calls, the hotels should get a toll-free or vanity number from their respective cloud telephony providers. This will allow callers to reach businesses without being charged for the call. Also, a toll free number gives you a more professional appearance. The calls made to a toll free number can be patched to any phone anywhere. The agents would be able to attend the call even after office hours, thus increasing the potential to increase sales.
Easy Communication within Teams across Locations
For hotel chains with multiple locations, there is a need for facilities such as web or video conferencing to communicate with employees located at different geographies. This will ensure that any issues or emergency situations are taken care of immediately, thereby enhancing the brand image.
Improve Professionalism with Cloud-based IVR
The IVR, answers all callers, greets them politely, and gives them a menu of pre-programmed options to choose from. It empowers businesses to sound more courteous and professional when the guests call. It can help hotels to improve customer service in many ways without any human intervention required. An IVR can assist callers with many relevant information including-
- Information about the hotel and its amenities
- Bookings and Confirmation
- Schedule Change Notifications
- Departure and Billing Reminders
- Assisting foreign guests in their preferred language
- Guiding guests with directions to reach the venue
- Conducting customer satisfaction survey
An IVR system gels well with the new-age customers who prefer self-service and enables a smooth communication experience thereby reducing call handling pressure on the staff. It helps in lowering operational expenses and boosts revenues considerably.
Communicate Promptly and Update the Customers Regularly
Offering incentives such as mobile coupons via SMS is easy for the hotel or resort to distribute, and easy for consumers to redeem. Let the customers know about off-season discount rates so that they are drawn towards the offer. Providing prior information about on-site events, as well as dining and entertainment options through SMS can boost revenue for the properties.
On the other hand, it is imperative to keep the customers well informed if there is any delay or you are not able to satisfy their needs. For example if there is any delay in transport or the hotel is undergoing renovation and hence will not be able to offer services for a certain period of time, send an SMS or email instantly. It helps in building loyalty and creating customer relationships that stick.
Receiving a text message now and then keeps the hotel or resort top of mind, and could be the difference between a consumer deciding to remain loyal to that brand or stray to a competitor.
Cloud telephony is a cost-effective solution and enables the hospitality industry to be better connected, work smarter and offer a superior level of guest service.