Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP for short, allows for the real-time transmission of voices over the Internet, and has been rising in popularity over the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PTSN). VoIP’s versatility and cost-effectiveness make it an attractive solution for an increasing number of industries.

Here’s how VoIP is specifically benefiting the hospitality industry, though the lessons learned here can be applied to other service-based industries as well.

Increased Use By Customers
As a rule, many hotel customers avoid using hotel room phones due to the prohibitive cost. Many are the customers who have experienced sticker shock when they received their bill and saw how they were being nickel and dimed simply by using the room’s phone a few times. That’s the sort of lesson that sticks with guests, and they make sure that they don’t repeat that mistake again. However, by using a cheaper VoIP system, the hotel can pass those savings on to the guests, making the hotel phones a more attractive option again.

Providing Business-Class Service
Any hotel worth its salt wants to cater not only to vacationing guests, but to professionals on business trips. It’s all part of being all things to all people. VoIP Wi-Fi provides business guests with perks like video conferencing and call bridging, but without the hotel making a huge financial investment. Such an arrangement can turn a modest little hotel into a competitive, world-class facility with minimal monetary outlay.

The article “The Modern Business Traveler” gives some additional insights into business travelers, who they are, and what sort of devices they use. Fortunately, VoIP has these people covered, and that’s an advantage for your establishment.

Those Nice Little Extras
When it comes to communications, VoIP brings benefits like voice mail, call hold, and call forwarding to every customer, and once again, at tremendous savings. The more niceties a hotel can provide at little expense, the more customers it will attract.

But those nice little touches aren’t just limited to business travelers. VoIP allows all guests easy access to amenities such as valet and food services, in addition to restaurant or resort bookings.

Labor Cost Savings
A VoIP system is far easier to manage than the old-fashioned PSTN. This decreases labor costs while increasing productivity, as fielding incoming calls becomes less of a chore. Also, VoIP offers benefits such as auto attendant, which will make sure that no call is missed, even during off-hours when there is little to no staff on hand. Fewer missed calls mean fewer missed opportunities for a new booking.

That’s The Fax!
Despite all of the advances in telecommunications and mobile computing, the business world is not ready to give up on faxes quite yet. Sometimes, you just have to have that document in your hands. Fortunately, VoIP supports this older technology courtesy of virtual faxing, also known as IP faxing. It becomes a simple matter to send a fax via e-mail and then print it out as needed. Again, this is a convenience that many business professionals appreciate.

The bottom line is that any business involved in hospitality must be able to offer their customers a plethora of world-class benefits, but in such a way as to not break the company’s budget. VoIP offers even the smallest, humblest business the means of running with the big dogs.

Author Bio: This article was contributed by John Terra. He’s a confirmed believer in VoIP, although he enjoys regaling his children with tales of rotary dial phones and phone booths.