By Adam McMullen
Hotel guests have increasingly rigorous standards when choosing a place to stay during travel. In fact, with the advent of alternative lodging options, today's traveler may have even higher expectations when they are choosing a hotel. Both business and personal travelers have come to expect that even the most inexpensive hotels should offer what they consider standard amenities like free wifi. Many also expect the guest room décor and technology to be as current as possible. Knowing this, most hotels have equipped their rooms with flat screen tvs, modern furniture, and updated appliances, but have often skipped updating the room phone. But room phones should also be viewed as a décor piece and updated just as often, if not more often than other in-room appliances. And because guest room phones are required for emergencies, enhance guest services, and provide a convenient communications tool for the guest that does not have (or chooses not to use) a cell phone, updating the room phone is good business. Yes, it may be tough to decide when is the right time to update the room phone, but hopefully 6 Signs Your Guest Room Phone is Out-Of-Date can help highlight early trouble signs, and help prevent guest complaints and dissatisfaction that could lead to decreased bookings. Click on the each sign below to read a quick summary:
Sign #1: Discoloration – Is your guest room telephone the oldest thing in the room? If not, does it still look like the oldest thing in the room? Over time the phone can begin to change colors due to oxidation, repeated use, cleaning, and sun damage. Discoloration never happens in a uniform manner, so you can end up with a multi-colored telephone showing every bit of its’ age. But this shouldn’t matter as long as the telephone works right? Wrong! The room phone is a guest convenience that is simple, fast, and — most of all – expected. It is also often perceived by guests to be one of the dirtiest devices in the room, deterring some guests from using it, and lowering guest satisfaction. Don’t let an out-of-date phone kill the vibe. Click here to request information on updating your guest room and common area phones.
Sign #2: Tangled Cords – From cell phone chargers, laptop adaptors, and head phone cords, most of us have had to deal with tangled cords during our travels. Unfortunately the hotel phone handset cord can become tangled as well. Due to repeated use, the spiral cord may get stretched out, tangled, and difficult to use over time. And because tangling tends to shorten the length of the cord, the guest is inconvenienced, or worse yet, annoyed. But perhaps you’re thinking, “Can’t I just buy a new cord?". You may, but it will probably not match the phone, nor anything else in the room, since handset cords are also known to become discolored from spills and repeated use. The conclusion? A dirty, discolored old room phone with a tangled handset cord is bound to lead to frustrated guests, and perhaps a failed inspection, and negative social reviews. But the Cetis team can help. Click here to arrange a consultation, and let us help you assure a positive guest experience. We can show you how to replace a few phones at a time, or renovate and save on faceplates, programming, and shipping!
Sign #3: Malfunctioning LED Lamps – Manufacturers have been using light emitting Diodes or LEDs for more than 50 years. The primary purpose of a small LED in technology is to indicate that a certain feature or setting is engaged. Cetis incorporates LEDs in telephones to indicate that the Line 1, Line 2, hold, mute, or speakerphone features are being used. Whether they stop lighting up completely, or stop turning off when the indicated feature is deactivated, a malfunctioning LED light in the guest room is an inconvenience to the guest as well as the hotel staff. This can result in repeated calls to the front desk complaining about a "broken phone", guests loosing sleep due to constant illumination of the light broken in the “On" position, or even negative guest reviews on room equipment failures. Train your housekeeping staff to recognize when telephone features are not working right. The quicker you get the phone repaired or replaced, the quicker you can avoid negative guest satisfaction comments in person or via social media. Click here to request information on updating your broken or out-of-date room phones.
Sign #4: Worn Buttons – Due to repeated use and cleaning, printed numerical buttons on a room phone may begin to wear over time. The 9 button, for example, typically incurs more wear because the guest is normally required to press “9” before every call. While most guests may intuitively know which is the 9 button, even if the number is worn off, worn buttons represent another sign that guests may negatively associate with a lack of room maintenance or cleanliness. Guests do expect amenities to be clean, and easy to use, so it’s important to recognize when phones are wearing out, and replace them immediately in order to maintain a positive guest experience. Click here to share information on your current phones and learn how to purchase spares, or upgrade to a newer phone model.
Sign #5: Faceplate Corrections or Edits – Having to make updates and edits to your guest room telephone faceplate is not a definite sign that your phone is out-of-date, however in my experience the two often go hand-in-hand. Most properties use the telephone faceplate to communicate information about the hotel and instructions on dialing out. If the information is no longer correct or the faceplate has been defaced, your guest could be required to waste a trip down to the front desk with questions or complaints. Click here to requests information on updating faceplates, and don’t forget to ask about the National Accounts Package that can get you free faceplates with a minimum order quantity of phones.
Sign #6: Stains – Have you ever spilled coffee on your shirt in the morning and had to walk around with a stain for the rest of the day? Your co-workers pretend not to notice, but everyone knows that shirt stains stick out like a sore thumb. This is not only the case for shirt stains, but also for stains on your hotel guest room phone. These phones get spilled on, sneezed on, and even colored on by guests…making them stick out as the most unsanitary thing in the room. It is important to recognize when phone stains are beginning to stand out, and negatively effect guest satisfaction. Click here to request information on your current hotel phones and how to purchase spares, or upgrade to a newer phone model without stains.