The Mobile Hotelephone – Do Guests Still Use Them?

You’ll find it in every hotel room, sometimes more than one. Some hotels put one in the bath room, one in the “living room area” and one next to your bed. Some hotels have installed them wireless, with an on and an off button. Some of them are really fancy, they even have touch screens almost as big as an iPad, and besides the numeric keyboard they have a large number of other buttons. When they are that fancy, they can be intimidating and difficult to use, when they ring… how on earth do you pick up, or how do get the annoying voicemail light to stop blinking? You guessed it… yes…. the in room hotel phone. Or for this blog post the “Hotelephone”.

If you are a guest, how often do you use it? Probably not very often. When opening the question in a discussion group on LinkedIn earlier this week, everyone responded they were rarely/sometimes using it to set a wakeup call, or to order room service, on occasion it would be used to call the front desk. A few mentioned the phone needs to remain in place as hotels are required to enable guests to call 911 in case of an emergency. Okay, I get that!

All phones in each room are connected to the hotels main switchboard and PBX system, a costly investment for most hotels, and for those hotels that fitted each room with touch screen phones, they are installed with no hope for RIO. The guest does not do much with a fancy Hotelephone, which means, the vendor promised up sell opportunities will remain a promise.

According to Google, more than 70% of the travelers is now using a Smartphone, combine this with the Hotelephones limited usage, now is the perfect time to define and implement a hotel room smartphone strategy. Rather than putting a bulky and difficult to use Hotelephone in each room, hotels should increase their wifi bandwidth, offer it for free and use it to promote smartphone apps. When the guest can use his or her own phone to connect with the front desk, order room service or set a wake up call, up sell opportunities become a reality. Enable the guests smartphone to become the Hotelephone of the future…. today!


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