The following is the first of two guest post from our partner, www.phonesuite.com, the premier manufacturer of hospitality phone systems. Though written for their industry, the lessons learned are easily applied to any business transitioning to a new VoIP phone system.
Change is inevitable, but so is resistance to it. After years of doing things the same way, your hotel’s employees may be hesitant to embrace a switch a new VoIP communications system. While you’re likely excited about all of the potential for cost and time savings, improved guest relations, and increased productivity, your staff may have concerns about learning how to utilize new technology and what the change will mean for them on a personal basis.
The key to overcoming these obstacles is to understand the driving force behind them and take measures to address them before you trade in your old phone system for the new one. This two-part series will walk you through the process of identifying common concerns and assuring your staff that the transition is well worth it.
Concern #1: VoIP Call Quality
One of the biggest fears your staff will need to overcome has to do with the overall quality of VoIP calls. They likely feel that your legacy phone system has proven itself to be reliable time and again, so why would you ever see the need to change things up? Employees will worry that VoIP will lack this reliability and consistency, and that they may be forced to deal with the many problems associated with echoes, feedback, jitter, latency, and worst of all, dropped calls. Not only is this extremely frustrating to the employee, but it can also create tension with guests. Front desk attendants will fret about being blamed by callers for any quality issues that occur during a call.
The Fix: Selecting the Right Network Provider and Educating Staff
Taking the time to weigh your options and select a network provider that is able to fully guarantee quality of service (QoS) will make your life much simpler in the long run. Going with an established, respected, and well-trusted provider will ensure that you’re getting the best services possible so that you, your team, and your guests can reap the full benefits of using a VoIP phone system. Before installing your new system, it’s wise to have a meeting with your staff. Use this time to highlight the advantages to VoIP, as well as the facts and statistics about its reliability. You might also introduce your employees to the network provider in order to offer up the peace of mind that you’ll be working with the very best.
Concern #2: Learning Curves – Staff Side
Everyone knows how to operate a traditional telephone system. Your staff has grown accustomed to using legacy phones throughout their entire lives, and trying something new may seem absolutely ludicrous. You may find that your team is resistant to the idea because they fear that they will not have the technological background or “smarts” required to understand how to correctly use VoIP phones and that this could cause them to under-perform or even lose their jobs.
The Fix: Educate and Train
Fortunately, this concern is one that’s pretty simple to overcome. First, it’s your job to familiarize your team with VoIP technology. By investing just a little bit of time on this type of informational and training seminar, you can quickly alleviate all employee fears. Your staff will quickly realize that, while much more technologically advanced, VoIP is extremely easy to use, and that telephone operation is virtually the same as with a legacy system. From here, be sure to provide your staff with hands-on training and practice to ensure that they understand what features are available, why they should bother to learn how to use them (employee benefit), and how they work. This will leave your team feeling empowered rather than fearful of change.