The following blog entry was first posted by our great friends at Phonesuite.com. Their website is definitely worth a look. While geared toward the hospitality industry, the lessons learned are easily applicable to any business.
Thanks to advances in the emerging technology, the hotel industry is seeing a huge shift away from legacy phone systems to Voice over Internet Protocol. Hoteliers find the technology to be more robust, useful, and cost-effective than their old phone systems, and are singing its praises.
Whenever you decide to make the change yourself, you’re going to need a VoIP provider that can provide the service that your hotel deserves. To make sure that you start off on the right foot, we’ve compiled six mistakes for you to avoid when choosing one:
Mistake #1: Choosing a Provider Without Expertise in Your Industry
If a provider doesn’t fully understand the industry you’re in — the hotel industry, in this case — it will be more difficult for them to get a real handle on your business needs. The more experience your provider has with hotel clients, the more effective your new VoIP communications system will turn out to be.
Mistake #2: Not Anticipating All the Costs Involved
It is a tried and true fact that VoIP has a bunch of monetary advantages linked to it, especially when a provider like PhoneSuite is hosting the system. However, there are certain additional costs that could be incurred in the beginning, depending on your current network and phones. There are ways to avoid some of the these fees, though if a network upgrade is needed, it can’t be avoided. Luckily, a prospective provider can provide you with assistance in making these types of decisions.
Mistake #3: Choosing a Provider Without a Plan B
The last thing any business wants is to have their system go down for any length of time. This is especially true for the hotel industry, where a loss of communication can make current guests unhappy and prompt guests attempting to call the hotel to switch to a different location. To avoid this problem, be sure that the VoIP provider you do business with has enacted a Plan B in case there is a power outrage or other problem either at your facility or theirs.
Mistake #4: Failing to Purchase Appropriate Add-On Features
When you upgrade your hotel’s phone system to VoIP, you will be presented with both standard features and special add-ons. The very reason why many types of business find VoIP so attractive is because of the opportunity for features like teleconferencing, software integration, chat, mobility connectivity, and more. You may not even be aware of everything VoIP has to offer, so be sure to discuss all of the options with your chosen VoIP provider.
Mistake #5: Not Knowing Your Traffic Needs
We touched on this above, but it bears to have its own section. One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make when upgrading to VoIP is not anticipating how much traffic they’re likely to have, which determines how much network equipment you’ll need. A good rule of thumb is to analyze your traffic from the busiest days of the previous years, then upgrade your network to meet a bit above that demand. If in doubt, your new VoIP provider can help you make that determination.
Choosing your VoIP provider is the first step in the process of switching your hotel from its standard phone system to VoIP. The professionals at PhoneSuite
and CSM South can go over all the details and answer any questions you might have. Give them a call today and get started on the road to better communication!