The pandemic accelerated digital transformation by 10 years (McKinsey & Company); changing the business landscape forever. Even the traditionally technology-averse hospitality industry is investing in the cloud, applications, and digital innovation to meet the evolving expectations of today’s tech-savvy travel consumers.
According to STR’s latest technology spending data, adoption of contactless technology, including self-service check-in, in-room technology, mobile keys, and digital payments increased by 66 percent during the pandemic and are projected to increase further during 2022.
UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) solutions have played an important role in the hospitality industry’s technological transformation. By meeting customers where they are, using the communications channels guests are most comfortable with, hospitality companies are enhancing guest services, increasing productivity, and saving money.
Furthermore, hospitality companies with a holistic system of communications in place, have a competitive edge in the crowded marketplace and are able to upgrade operations, create efficiencies, and most importantly, empower lasting connections between employees and guests.
What is UCaaS?
UCaaS stands for Unified Communications as a Service. Unified Communications models support a few different business functions, including audio, video, web conferencing, telephony, and any other communications-enabled business processes.
The foundational goals of unifying business communications are twofold: to centralize IT management and oversight and to enhance collaboration with applications and services.
In addition to the more generally understood use cases for UCaaS — crystal clear voice, phones, webinars, virtual meetings — there are also some more specific functions, such as presence technology. This tech allows teams to communicate their whereabouts, setting “present” or “away” messages to make work-life more transparent and efficient.
How Do Hospitality Companies Leverage UCaaS?
Employee-centric, tech-heavy operations are in play in every industry, especially as more data emerges on how those components impact revenues. As the adoption of digital guest service solutions continues to increase in hospitality companies, IT leaders are prioritizing cloud-delivered applications, as well as novel IT approaches like the deployment of UCaaS.
With UCaaS solutions, hospitality companies can unify their communication systems, integrate with existing Hotel Management Systems, adapt quickly to customer preferences, and even reduce costs. From webchat to social interactions to intelligent virtual agents, hotels using UCaaS solutions ensure the ultimate in customer satisfaction.
In fact, according to FinancesOnline, by the hospitality industry implementing new technologies, there has been a 135% increase in online revenue, a 71% reduction in guest complaints, and a 19% increase in customer service ratings.
Deployment and Management
With UCaaS, traditional location-based telephony is replaced by cloud-based solutions. When a guest dials the front desk, they may not be contacting a person at the front desk. In the UCaaS environment, hospitality companies can allow multiple employees to access softphones through their smartphones, tablets, and laptops, wherever they are. Business leaders can create automated routing systems that send calls through to mobile agents when a front-desk professional isn’t available This makes it easier to manage customer queries and quickly handle requests.
Unified Communications platforms provide remote workers with the ability to video conference, screen share, file share, live chat, and more. Having an integrated suite of solutions means that remote workers can operate in the cloud, gleaning many of the benefits of a normal workday, without needing to be in the office.
An aligned communication environment also fuels collaboration by enabling team members on property or working remotely to seamlessly share information on upcoming stays, guest preferences, service tickets, and more. This allows the hotel to personalize experiences and customize guest interactions.
Hospitality employees, like employees in many industries, are the most important drivers of happy clients and repeat business – the ultimate measure of success. With integrated collaboration solutions such as UCaaS, hospitality companies can enable inter and intra-hotel teamwork and facilitate the kind of superior communication that results in greater productivity and satisfied guests.
If a hotel is part of a chain of hotels, a UCaaS solution can enable extension dialing between locations utilizing HD voice quality calling from hotel to hotel, or hotel to headquarters. There are many benefits for hotels moving to the cloud, which include the ability to centralize key services or overflow calls from one hotel to the next during business periods. Each staff member can have more than one device to receive or make calls at their desk or mobile around the hotel to ensure they never miss a call.
A UCaaS environment will also allow hospitality leaders to keep track of employees and customers across multiple channels, managing everything from instant chat environments to calls in one place.
With more businesses allowing remote workers to continue virtual work arrangements, the average tech stack now features several systems that rely on artificial intelligence, and more emphasis than ever is being placed on security.
An aligned communication environment isn’t just transformative for hotel staff, it can also be a vital tool for business leaders and IT administrators. Unified Communications as a Service can make it easier for IT team leaders to track and troubleshoot potential privacy and security problems in their hospitality communication system through a single pane of glass regardless of the location and type of end-user environment.
UCaaS providers may also offer fraud management as part of their solution, which monitors and reports suspicious activities, enabling hotels to identify and thwart attacks on their telecom systems.
From Hong Kong to Italy to the United States, the world’s most well-known and respected hotels have selected Evolve IP’s hospitality solution to ensure a complete, end-to-end, connected guest experience, all while increasing staff productivity and improving the customer journey on all hotel services.
Our hosted Unified Communications as a Service has been deployed in 37 countries and over 75,000 hotel rooms and suites, making Evolve IP one of the world's largest providers of enterprise-quality hosted communications for the hospitality industry.
Once a hotel has migrated to Evolve IP’s UCaaS solution, all staff members will have the ability to collaborate by voice and with unified communications features, such as instant messaging, presence, and HD video calling. In addition, staff members can screen-share documents to increase productivity, save time, and avoid unnecessary travel time.
Contact us today to learn how we are making the future of work better for the hospitality sector and beyond.