Tag Archives: VOIP

Improve Your Hotel Operations With VoIP

Hotel guest and receptionist using VoIP

Improve your phone system for communicating with customers and prospects

If you are operating a hotel, you have already discovered that there are various costs that you have to be responsible for. With the demand of customers increasing on a daily basis, we expect that this trend will continue. Today, it can be very difficult to get away with operating a hotel that is not equipped with the right technology and capabilities that will improve a customer’s stay. You will need to learn how you can keep up with all the latest and greatest trends in the hospitality industry, as well as all of the expected benefits. If you are not able to keep up with the trends and expectations, you will find yourself on the outside looking in when it comes to expectations.

There are several things you will be able to do through the use of technology that will keep your guests happy, in addition to lowering the overall costs of your hotel operations. If you do not mind putting in a little extra work or pay more attention to all of the tasks that you will be responsible for, there should be no reason why you should fall behind when it comes to competition.

There are various things you can do to use technology to cut your costs while still impressing all of your guests, including the following:

VoIP(Voice over Internet Protocol)

One of the most important aspects of your hotel system is its phone system. If your guests ever have any problems communicating with their loved ones, clients, employees, or anyone else, they will be more likely to stay at another hotel the next time they are in the area. If that guest shares his or her experience with someone else or on a review website, your hotel’s reputation can be damaged. Voice over Internet Protocol(VoIP) is an incredible alternative that will provide a lower cost to your hotel, in addition to greater flexibility and an overall improvement in the service. Your employees and your guests will find great pleasure in the improvements in communication.

A communication system is a key part of all of the daily operations that will take place in your hotel, regardless of how big or small the hotel may be. This is why it is important to have the right VoIP phone system. When you make the right choice, you will be able to provide your guests and your employees with the comprehensive communication system you need for now and in the future.

What Can VoIP Bring To Your Hotel?

Many businesses may not realize why so many businesses are using VoIP to fulfill their communication needs. While businesses can appreciate the benefits and the ability to save money, using VoIP is also about clarity and control. Many people do not care how a system actually functions, many of them only care that it is simple to use and it works like it is supposed to. VoIP brings clarity and simplicity to all of its users while making the overall experience better.

Your users will not have to worry about using a complex system that will frustrate them every time they try to use it. Your VoIP’s hotel system can run in the cloud, users can bring their own devices, and they will be able to use functions they are familiar with. Technology also creates an improved and increased level of control for your hotel. You will no longer have to worry about training your users on the VoIP system because they will be familiar with the functions. VoIP will also come with a variety of options that will allow your employees to have more control when it comes to addressing questions guests may have and providing better service.

We are not surprised that hotels and other businesses are using VoIP systems to improve their business. Contact us today for more information on VoIP phone systems and how they can be an asset to your business.

6 Ways to Reduce Background Noise in Office VOIP Calls

Smiling handsome customer support operator agent making VOIP calls on a nice headset with a good quality microphone with hands-free device working in call center

The quality and clarity of VoIP calls, along with the features available makes the service a viable solution compared to traditional phone lines.

The incredible sound quality provided by modern VOIP calls has been commented on many times. The internet is now capable of conveying sound at as high or higher quality than landline telephones with no loss in detail along the way. However, just as HD tv allows you to see the pores of actors, high-quality phone calls suddenly reveal just how noisy your office really is.

Surely, you’ve heard the hum of fans and the murmur of coworkers on a call when another caller opens their mic to speak. No doubt, that same kind of office background noise can be heard on many professional calls. The good news is that there are several ways to reduce the background noise in VOIP calls without making the office a ‘quiet zone’. Here’s how:

1) Hand Out Quality Headsets

First, get every employee who makes VOIP calls on a nice headset with a good quality microphone. The headsets will ensure two things. First, that employees aren’t using their speakers to hear calls, adding to the noise and potential for call-echo. Second, a good quality microphone will be better at picking up only the speaker’s voice without picking up every rustle of paper or keyboard clack in a shared office space.

2) Reduce Fan Noise

Fan noise is a serious problem in office, big or small. The sound of your HVAC or the box fans you use to keep cool in spite of the HVAC can have a hugely negative effect on your call audio quality. That hum and rattle can be heard on an open mic and can make an entire conference call less pleasant. Do everything you can to reduce the noise fans make in rooms where calls occur.

This might involve repairing or updating your HVAC fans, replacing or cleaning your floor fans, or replacing noisy fans with modern quieter versions of same. Loud printers fall under the same rule.

3) Make Use of Noise Reduction Panels

Noise reduction panels are attractive pieces of wall art or subtly integrated pieces of furniture designed for offices to soak up that ambient sound. noise reduction uses a combination of foam and fabric to ‘catch’ noises as they pass and muffle them so that they cannot be heard at a distance. They can be used to create privacy, quiet spots, and simply to reduce the amount of noise that travels from one section of the office to the other. The more you decorate or build with noise reduction panels, the quieter your office can potentially become.

4) Hold Calls in Quiet Offices

If calls are an occasional but not constant feature in your office, then providing quiet offices may be enough. Allow employees to book or borrow the spare quiet rooms available in your office so that they can hold their occasional calls and conferences in audio privacy. This way, the murmur of coworkers or the hum of big-room HVAC vents will not reduce the quality of their calls.

5) Provide ‘Cone of Silence’ Desk Hutches

If you have an open workspace full of employees who are constantly making calls (or don’t have spare quiet offices) then an interesting alternative is to build sound-privacy hutches out of noise reduction panels. These hutches can even fold away and then be brought out when it’s time to make a call. Essentially, these hutches act as portable ‘cones of silence’ so that when an employee pops their head into the hutch, suddenly office noise is reduced and they are audibly alone with the call.

6) Fluffy Plantlife

Finally, never discount the value of fluffy plants. Cubicle hedgerows, walls of flowering vines, and other office greenery are great ways to absorb sound. Plants not only make people happy and improve the air quality, the fluffy leaves also catch sound and prevent it from wandering too far across the room. In combination with noise reduction panels, you might be surprised how quiet an open workspace can become.

Improving the audio quality of VOIP calls is about much more than bandwidth. By mastering the ambient noise in your office, you can ensure that every employee can make crystal-clear calls with their new VOIP numbers without offending or deafening their contacts with background sounds. For more VOIP insights on how to optimize unified communications for your business, contact us today!

How to Build a VOIP Kit for High-Quality Remote Calls

Close up of a business woman using a VOIP kit to connect to her team

Having a phone system with the right tools and features is key to a mobile workforce

When you work remotely, occasionally or every day, nothing matters more than communication. Staying in touch with your distant colleagues is the key to completing projects, attending meetings, and successfully collaborating. Fortunately, connecting is easier than it has ever been before. Between mobile devices and VOIP, you can connect to your team from almost anywhere in the world. But it’s a lot easier to do if you’re prepared.

Making your home office or favorite shared working space is a part of the course, but the true challenge is achieving easy calls when outside your comfort zone. How do you ensure good sound quality in a hotel room, on-site with your client, or on the road? The key is a well-packed VOIP kit that has everything you need to connect, hear, and be heard from almost anywhere in the world.

Here’s how to build one:

High-Speed Mobile Hotspot

The first thing you need is a mobile hotspot you can rely on. These transform cellphone network signal into a wifi network your devices can connect to. Not only does it ensure that you can connect from nearly anywhere, it also keeps you safe from honey-pot traps hackers set with free wifi networks. You won’t have to rely on hotel wifi, and you can connect anywhere your cellphone gets signal. With varying degrees of connection speed.

Soft Can Headphones or High-Quality Earbuds?

If you’re not in a sound-studio quality office prepared to filter audio, you’ll need some headphones so you can hear the conference without your mic sending feedback or echo. But the choice of headphones is highly personal. Some swear that large pillowy can-style headphones are the only way to hear the call clearly while many of us live with a pair of earbuds seemingly permanently attached.

For your kit, the difference matters only to you. Get a spare pair of your favorite type of headphones and pack them as part of your VOIP call travel kit.

Integral Microphone Headset

With a headset, you can transform any modern mobile device into a VOIP phone. All you need is earphones to hear and a microphone to be heard. That said, the microphone quality is important. Many can make do with a webcam or laptop that has an integral microphone, but the quality of how you sound is significantly improved with a real microphone on a headset positioned near your mouth. Be sure your headphones have a built-in mic that transmits in decent quality.

Camera-Bearing Laptop

VOIP platforms often include an option to make video calls, which can become popular depending on the team. If there’s a chance you’ll be called on to appear on video, you’ll want a laptop that has video capability. This is your first or last line solution to the video calls, giving you a place to start or a fall-back position if you choose to use additional cameras instead.

Separate Web Camera

You will probably also want to pack an external web camera, and don’t be shy about investing in some quality here. Your webcam will enable video call options that a laptop camera cannot. You can point it at items, paperwork, and other people without pointing your laptop. You can also upgrade your image or sound quality by choosing a camera with better capabilities than your laptop.

The separate web camera also gives you an alternative to the laptop camera should one or the other fail at an inopportune moment.

Mobile Charging Battery

Next, think about power SNAFUs you’ve experienced in the past. Sometimes, your best friend when telecommuting on the road is a portable charging battery. Something you can charge up at home or in a hotel room, then bring life back to a phone or laptop that has died right when you need it most. Or it can be used to keep your laptop alive longer off-grid when you have to hold a meeting from a place with no outlets. Just one portable battery in your go-bag can make a big difference when it’s needed.

For the truly rugged remote professionals, consider a solar-recharging portable battery. No outlets required.

Charging & Data Cables

Finally, don’t forget all the accouterments for all this mobile tech. You’ll need at least one charging cable for each one of your devices. At least these days, they can all share a few USB power ports instead of each having an individual power adapter. So remember your USB power strip just in case. Take your laptop power adapter, and whatever you need to charge the portable battery. We all know what it feels like to have everything you need but a power cord.

If you enjoy working remotely using the tools of today’s mobile workforce, you might as well the best tools for the job. By packing an effective VOIP call kit, you can optimize sound and signal quality no matter where you’re working from. For more on how to get the best VOIP performance possible, contact us today!

How VoIP Helps You Manage Remote Employees

Business people using VOIP to manage remote employees

Having a phone service that works whether you’re in the office or on the road is key in today’s work anywhere workforce

Remote work is not just a fad or a way to draw in new talent, it’s a new way of doing business. Many businesses who already had remote workers are now celebrating the mobile technology that is making remote work so much easier and more efficient. Many more businesses are taking advantage of mobile technology to offer new remote positions or offer once office-bound jobs to remote candidates. But managing remote employees can still be a challenge for the supervisors and team leaders set to the task. Fortunately, there are tools for that, too.

VoIP is one of the best tools any remote-team manager can have, uniting the entire team through a shared communication system that works no matter where or how your team members are connecting. Let’s take a look at how VoIP solves classic remote management challenges and makes remote work management easier than ever.

Find Me, Follow Me

Nearly every modern VoIP system comes with a feature known as “Find me, follow me”. This sounds like something a pet dog might do, but it’s really a highly useful way to keep in touch in the multi-device world we live in. Once, a manager trying to get in touch with a remote employee would have to call three or four different numbers, send an email, and leave voicemails if the employee isn’t at their desk. Not anymore.

With VoIP, you call one number and the find/follow feature does all that extra checking. The VoIP number then rings the employee’s desk phone. If they don’t pick up, it rings their home office phone, then their cell phone, then their home phone. It can then call the VOIP app on their laptop, then their tablet, then leave a message in email about a missed all. VoIP does all the tedious phone-tag of chasing down someone on the device or phone closest to the remote employee in question.

Scheduled Availability

VOIP can also know where your remote employees should be during the day and which device they are most likely to answer. Let’s say a remote employee works at home but also takes lunch, meets clients, or occasionally takes their children to after-school activities. By filling out their calendar and schedule properly, they can ensure the closest device to them is always the one that rings first.

As the manager, you simply call their VoIP number and the system does the rest. If the schedule says your employee is scheduled to be at lunch, it rings their cell. If they’re working, it rings their desk phone. If they’re traveling, it rings their laptop app phone instead. The schedule can save hours of time each year by calling the right device first.

Call Forwarding To/From Anywhere

VoIP’s device flexibility also makes it easier for managers and remote employees to connect from anywhere on either end. It doesn’t matter if you’re calling from your cell, computer, or desk phone. It doesn’t matter if your remote employee is on their laptop, cell, in a hotel, or at their home office. The VoIP number can connect to any device or computer running the app and to any phone number that has been connected. This enables the ultimate in mobile workforce so that managers and employees can both be remote, office-bound, traveling, or any combination at all.

Pings, Alarms, and Messages

VoIP an also enable managers to send small pings, alerts, alarms, and messages to their remote employees without a complicated hassle. Many VoIP systems connect to SMS messaging, allowing managers and employees to trade texts and live chat messages as well as audio phone calls. The VoIP app installed on any computer or mobile device can also be used as a cloud management platform, allowing managers to build schedules for their employees including alarms, alerts, and messages. You can even call your employee’s voicemail directly to use the voicemail-to-email feature as a way to dictate memos to team members.

Emergency Device Flexibility

Finally, VoIP is not bound specifically to the devices and numbers that the team sets up on purpose. Let’s say a remote employee’s laptop dies, their toddler drops their cell in the toilet, and their dog chews their home internet lines. They can still be reached via their VoIP number on a borrowed, public, or emergency device simply by installing and logging into the platform app. At home, on the road, or on business trips your team will can always get back in contact no matter how many of their own devices are out of commission because VoIP is cloud, not network.

As the manager, even you can take advantage of this flexibility. If the office power goes out, if you’re away on a business trip, or if you suddenly need to connect while on a no-phones vacation: any computer or borrowed device can become an extension of your VoIP number by installing the app.

VoIP is one of the best things that has ever happened to remote work and managing remote employees. If you need to be a communication hub between team members who do not always share an office, VoIP is the best possible way to keep track of your team and provide a universal way to stay in touch. For more information about how VoIP can improve your business’ communication efficiency, contact us today!