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How To Choose A Hotel PBX System

There are has been a rapid growth in technological advancements in the hospitality industry which includes hotels.

Hotel PBX systems have been a critical component in this growth because the ability to communicate effectively is a game changer in the hospitality industry.

First, what is a PBX system?

A PBX (Private Branch Exchange) is a telephone system within a structured enterprise.

It enables the switching of phone calls between users on local lines while allowing them the opportunity to share external phone lines.

A PBX system is owned and operated by an enterprise as opposed by a telephone service provider. Its main purpose is to save costs that would have been used to purchase communication equipment for each individual user requiring a dedicated phone line.

Features of A PBX 

  • A telephone trunk consisting of multiple phones that terminate at the PBX
  • A standard computer equipped with the relevant software to manage the switching of calls for incoming and outgoing calls.
  • It may or may not have a console or switchboard for a human operator.

Different Types Of Hotel PBX Systems

Hotel phone systems are chosen based on the communication needs and budgetary allocations for each individual hotel.

I have outlined the common Hotel PBX systems that are currently available in the market.

I usually recommend that you take a careful look at each of the phone systems capabilities before making the final decision of purchasing any of them.

  • Key Service Unit (KSU) Telephones

These are specialist phone systems that require a professional installation. This is because they are hard-wired into your business network.

They are connected to an on-premise central system and usually support between 5 – 40 lines.

These systems also require regular maintenance by telecommunication companies with the necessary technical expertise.

  • Non-KSU Telephone Systems

These phone systems are ideal for businesses with basic communication needs and with a limited budget. They usually support about 5 lines.

  • Private Branch Exchange (PBX) Telephone

Similar in nature to KSU phones, PBX telephone systems are connected to a network and must be professionally installed.

Businesses are only required to install a single system which can then be connected to multiple business locations or over 40 lines.

  • VoIP Phone System

VoIP phone systems allow businesses to make and receive telephone calls through an internet connection as opposed to using a traditional telephone line.

VoIP phone systems are cost-effective because they operate using internet technologies, therefore, bypassing the traditional expensive telephone tariffs.

Benefits of Hotel PBX Systems

Hotel PBX systems are developed to provide hotels with improved telecommunication services.

Below are some of additional benefits a hotel gets when they implement a PBX system.

  • Automate Call Monitoring

The automation of the call monitoring process which includes incoming and outgoing phone calls enables hotels to reduce on expenses which would have been used in a manual call monitoring process such as hiring staff.

This automation process goes a long way in improving guest experiences.

A human operator or receptionist is an additional expense to the hotel.

Many medium-sized hotels don’t have the necessary budget to hire a couple of telephone operators to man the switchboard 24 hours. It is also extremely difficult for a single telephone operator to handle a sudden call surge of phone calls.

An Automated attendant allows hotels to answer all phone calls and provides routing capabilities that enable the routing of call traffic to other departments. This reduces the number of voicemails and misses calls, translating to better conversion rates for the hotel.

  • Call Routing

Hotel PBX systems are able to integrate the entire hotel telephone number database into a single call directory, allowing internal transfers between different locations.

A front desk attendant can easily transfer a call request to a different location eliminating the hassle of looking for direct numbers to those locations.

  • Integration With Existing Hotel Management System

Hotel PBX systems can easily be integrated with your hotel management system.

By integrating your existing hotel management system with a hosted PBX system, your hotel will be able to manage and co-ordinate all your hotel operations from a single environment.

This reduces manpower requirements and improves guest customer services.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hotel PBX System

Your hotel communication requirements and budget allocation for your communication hub will greatly influence your decision of which Hotel PBX system you will implement.

I have outlined a number of considerations that should be taken into account when choosing the most appropriate hotel PBX system for your hotel.

  • Number of Phone Calls

You should have an idea of the busiest times of your hotel so that you can choose a hotel PBX system that will be able to handle your estimated call traffic.

  • Business Expansion

If you’re planning to expand in future then it is recommened that you chose a hotel PBX system that is scalabe that doesn’t incur any additional costs.

  • Staff Training

You need to consider whether the installation of the hotel PBX system will require staff training.

In case training will be provided to your staff, then you should inquire if the cost of the hotel PBX system includes the training fee and the expected downtime during the training.

  • Equipment Maintenance 

Hardware equipment will require regular maintenance in order to keep them optimal working conditions. Enquire on the equipment maintenance schedule, associated costs and who will be responsible for that once the systems are installed.

  • Cost

Choose a hotel PBX system that fits within your budget taking into account the current and all future anticipated expenses.

Conclusion

A hotel PBX system is among the essential components required by a hotel to effectively deliver quality telecommunication services to its guests.

The choice of your hotel PBX system will ultimately depend on your telecommunication needs and budgetary allocation.

It is advisable that you choose a PBX system that is able to effectively serve your current needs while providing you with the capability of scaling when your hotel expands.

Author: Yazz

Yazz is a trained telecommunications engineer with a diploma in telecommunications. He has spent the last 15 years working for Telefonica, one of the largest telephone operators and mobile network providers in the world.