Ask TrueGuest: PBX Basics

Dear TrueGuest,

I was recently promoted to PBX Manager at a 4 diamond hotel.  Our service scores in PBX have been awful.  Can you help?

Thanks,

April


phone

We can help.  Good phone skills are a lost art.  If you are experiencing poor scores when it comes to handling phone calls, focus on the basics.  The secret to PBX is consistency.  Here are some basic tips:

1.  Make it your goal to have every single phone call answered within 3 rings.  Test to make sure that it is happening.  Call the hotel during different times of the day and score each shift.  Don’t forget night audit.  We often call night audit and don’t get an answer even after 20 rings.

2.  Place a small mirror by every phone in the PBX office and teach every operator to answer every call with a smile in their voice.  If they have a smile in their voice, they also have a smile on their face…  hence the mirror.

Basics on answering external calls

All calls should be answered by using a greeting (good morning, good afternoon, good evening), announcing the name of the hotel, and announcing the name of the person answering the call, and an offer to help.  Example:  Good morning, thank you for calling the World’s Best Hotel, this is April, How may I help you?

The secret here is consistency.  The phone should be answered the same by every operator on every shift.

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USA Today Article About Guests Noticing Hotel Cutbacks

USA Today posted a pretty good article titled ‘As Hotels Struggle For Business, Some Guests Find An Upside’. Click on the link to read the entire article on their website.

The article talks about how guests are finding much better deals on hotel rooms now then ever before, especially at luxury hotels.  But the most important part of the article is the section titled ‘Guests Notice Cutbacks’.  From the article:Hotels cannot hide all the cutbacks. Some frequent travelers say they’re starting to notice little things.  From the article:

usatodaySome amenities — such as a bottle of water in the room or a newspaper delivered to the door — are gone. The quality of complimentary food and beverages has diminished in some club rooms or lobbies, or at hotel managers’ guest receptions, they say.

Because many hotels have cut their staffs, frequent travelers say they’re waiting longer to check in and out, have rooms made up and have cars retrieved by valets.

“There are fewer people to provide basic services, answer questions and make suggestions for restaurants and activities,” says Howard Knoff, an education consultant in Little Rock.

 

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