The hospitality business can be tricky. On the one hand, you need to be a people person. On the other hand, you need to be a business person. Prioritizing your guests’ comfort over the business side of things can backfire because the two are intertwined. One easy way to simplify the nuts and bolts aspect of the enterprise is by hiring a professional answering service.
How an Answering Service Helps Small Operations
If you run a mom-and-pop business, such as a small inn, bed and breakfast or spa, a professional reception service can serve as a full-time phone operator and appointment setter. This frees you up for the day-to-day hospitality side of things. Knowing that all incoming calls to your business phone will be answered live, no matter how busy things are on-site, gives you peace of mind. Your clients are important and they deserve to be greeted right away when they call. Even if they have to leave a message, leaving it with a person instead of on a machine is a more pleasant experience.
How an Answering Service Helps Large Operations
The world of hospitality is notoriously feast or famine. Due to the seasonality of many resorts and hotels, things such as unseasonably warm weather can suddenly boost business when you are understaffed. Even during the high season, call volume can sometimes overwhelm even a well-staffed front desk. In this case, having an answering service set up to handle overflow can be a life saver. Off-site operators can help with reservations and general information and can take messages if a caller’s issue needs to be escalated.
If you run the type of hospitality business where guests book long-term stays, you may want to consider making use of an answering service for 24-hour maintenance calls. You can specify how maintenance and other calls should be directed based on the issue being reported and the time of day the call comes in.
How Guests Benefit
Guests like to feel that their comfort matters to the people in charge. What better way to set this tone than to make sure each and every phone call is answered by a live operator? Because many calls are simple inquiries about hours and dates of operation, driving directions and the like, having people on hand to answer these questions is a simple way to ensure customer satisfaction.
Another area in which having an answering service comes in handy for hospitality businesses is with reservations and appointment setting. Even if you have an online reservation system, there are some guests who would rather make arrangements over the phone for whatever reason. Hearing the phone ring for several minutes without being answered or being redirected to voicemail saps the excitement out of planning a weekend away and sets an expectation of poor service.
How You Benefit
In addition to the benefit of increased customer satisfaction, you will have less stress knowing that your incoming calls are being answered in a timely and friendly way. You won’t have to worry about scheduling hospitality staff to sit by a phone that may or may not ring during the slow season, or about missing important calls during the busy season when everyone is swamped. If you run a very small operation, you can rest assured that callers are being greeted even while you give your full attention to your current guests.
How It All Works
Setting up a professional answering service is simple and fast. Flexible plans mean that you can start out small if you need to and add services as you grow. Setting up an account is easy to do online. First, you pick your plan. How many minutes do you anticipate needing each month for your hospitality business? Will you need the operators to patch calls through to you or your maintenance staff, or do you only need them to take messages? What about appointments, reservations or online ordering? Virtual fax is another feature you might find helpful. This service eliminates the need for a fax machine and allows you to both send and receive faxes on your computer.
Sometimes it really is hard to find good help. However, when it comes to your business phone line, it is easy to get the assistance you need. VoiceNation is here to help!