Every Detail Matters: Hotel Telephones

"Hello! Champagne in the room, please! ” - Each hotel guest has ever spoken, or at least dreamed of saying this magic phrase. At the same time, intonation, mood and atmosphere, of course, must be appropriate. And so he or she comes to the dressing table, loosens his tie a little or takes off his high-heeled shoes on the go, picks up the telephone and ... silence - the phone DOES NOT WORK! Such a trifle, and the whole positive mood has disappeared somewhere!

In the hotel business, more than in any other business, attention must be paid to details, and a hotel telephone is such a thing that no one especially notices until it is needed. But then, when it turns out that he suddenly does not exist or the button, for example, disappears, then the hotel will have to tempt the guest with a free basket of fruit or the same champagne, but at his own expense. Therefore, the phone does not just have to be, it must be a specialized hotel!

At first glance it may seem that hotel telephones are not much different from ordinary home or office devices. But in fact, there are quite a few differences, both external and functional. Let's look at them in order:

The dialing mode is exclusively tone. Hotel telephones have only a tone dialing mode, which means that they are completely unsuitable for home use in Russia. The main advantages of tonal (DTMF) signaling compared to pulse signaling are shorter waiting times for dialing and the ability to use tones as control signals in digital telephony systems (i.e., answer questions of an automatic system by pressing keys on the telephone).

The hotel telephone has a special informational pad (also called the “faceplate”), which is usually done in the corporate style of the hotel. It can contain various useful information for guests - for example, the logo and address of the hotel, dialing codes for telephone numbers (how to make a long-distance or international call), the number of the room in which the guest is located, as well as brief instructions for using the phone. Thus, the hotel solves two problems at the same time: at no extra cost, it brands the device in accordance with its corporate identity and provides additional convenience to the guest.

In order for the guest to be able to quickly reach the hotel’s services (reception, restaurant, maid, room service, etc.), there are several (usually up to 10) programmable speed dial buttons on hotel telephones. On the case, next to such buttons, icons of the international standard and / or explanatory inscriptions in Russian and English are usually applied.

The housing of hotel telephones is usually made of shockproof and wear-resistant materials (ABS plastic), which ensures a long service life of telephones.

The inscriptions on the buttons are not subject to wear. The numbers and letters on the buttons of hotel telephones are not just printed on top, as on most ordinary telephones, but are embedded inside the plastic of the buttons, which prevents their further wear during use.

Hotel telephones are specially weighted - their weight is at least 1 kg. This is done so that the phone does not move on the surface of the table during the "emotional" conversation of the guest. In general, you can do anything with the device “in the hearts” and not be afraid of the consequences!

Extended cord between handset and telephone. To make the guest feel freer during the conversation, the cord between the handset and the phone case is made longer than with conventional devices.

Some hotel telephones are also equipped with a special tray for tidying up the cord. In this case, you do not have to “twist” the cord around the case, thereby constantly stretching it. This feature increases the service life of the device and is indispensable during transportation.

The use of non-volatile memory modules (EEPROM) in hotel telephones ensures that when the telephone is disconnected from the power supply, service numbers programmed in the speed dial memory will not be erased and technical specialists will not have to spend time re-programming each individual device.

Hotel telephones allow guests to receive and listen to voice messages, the presence of which is signaled by a light and / or sound indicator of voice messages. In some phone models, this indicator is made in the form of a button - when pressed, the speakerphone automatically turns on and the received message is played.

In ordinary telephones, the last dialed numbers are stored in the device’s memory (usually from one to ten numbers), which makes it possible to make a quick “redail” to these numbers. When using the phone in a hotel environment, such a function may violate the confidentiality of the client - any next room guest can easily find out where the previous guest called. Therefore, in hotel telephones, the last dialed numbers are deleted from the memory after a certain time, for example, after 5 or 30 minutes.

In some cases, the guest may forget or incorrectly hang up the phone, which leads to the "busy" line. So that in this situation the guest does not miss an important call (or a call from the hotel staff), hotel phones often have the function of automatically disconnecting a busy line - after a certain time, the line is disconnected and the phone will be able to receive calls again.

Dial buttons on the telephone handset. Some hotel telephone models, in addition to the base keyboard, also have additional dial buttons located on the handset of the device. This solution allows guests to make calls without even getting out of bed.

Hotel telephones can have a special connector for connecting external devices, such as a computer, modem, fax, hearing aid or audio headset, thereby providing the guest with additional options for using the phone. So, for example, by connecting your laptop to a telephone with this option, the guest can get high-speed Internet access, or use their own audio devices during a telephone conversation.

In order to program / reprogram the service speed dial buttons, i.e. give them the appropriate internal phone numbers, engineers usually have to go to the hotel numbers and do the notorious procedure manually, which, of course, is not very convenient (or rather, completely inconvenient!). Therefore, some manufacturers of hotel telephones implement the remote programming function in their models. This feature allows you to quickly and easily reprogram the direct dial buttons on all phones automatically, for example, from the office of the chief engineer. At the same time, a special device-programmer is required for programming analog phones, and in the case of digital IP phones, it is enough to just install special software.

Included with some models of hotel telephones is a special plastic information stand that attaches directly to the device. This allows you to convey useful information to the guest, without overloading the interior of the room with paper leaflets and notepads.

Sometimes hotels equip their rooms with additional telephones in the bathrooms. This is necessary for security reasons and is a prerequisite for rooms for people with disabilities. In such cases, of course, special moisture-proof hotel telephones are used, which usually have a call indicator light, and in some cases also a voice message indicator and an emergency call button. In addition, if the receiver in the bathroom is off-hook for a long time and there is no connection, the SOS signal will automatically be sent to the reception and the staff must check that everything is in order.

For some models of analog hotel telephones, you need only one cord, combining the telecommunication function and the power function. This greatly simplifies the connection and solves the issue of discharging the phone. For the guest this is an additional convenience associated with the absence of extra wires.

Now that we have examined the advantages of phones designed for use in hotels, it becomes clear why many hotels around the world install specialized hotel phones rather than home or office phones.

Pay attention to the types of telephones.

Digital IP networks have long been used not only for transferring data directly between personal computers, but also in high-resolution television, as well as in telephony. Therefore, hotels, following the trends of technological progress, began more and more to give preference to more modern IP-phones instead of analog models. One of the main advantages of IP telephones is that for their use it is not necessary to lay separate cable (telephone) infrastructure throughout the hotel and purchase expensive telephone exchanges - it is enough to have only one universal Ethernet network and a relatively simple server. At the same time, having only one cable entry in the hotel room, it is possible to provide guests with not only a telephony service, but also digital interactive television and Internet access. Therefore, the use of IP-telephones in the future can significantly reduce the financial costs of the hotel for the purchase of equipment and "cable" work.

Another weighty argument in favor of choosing IP phones for the hotel is the ability to create special software modules for them that can significantly expand the functionality of the phone and increase the degree of communication between hotel staff and the client. So, for example, at the Cisco contest for creating specialized applications for IP phones, a rather interesting hotel automation system was presented. The meaning of the solution is that the IP phone installed in the hotel room can be used as an information and reference terminal for the guest - the guest can order dinner in the room through the on-screen menu or see the account statement; as well as a terminal for entering information into the hotel management system (PMS) - for example, a maid can leave a request for the replacement of a burned out bulb when cleaning a room. In general, the volume and quality of information services provided to a guest using an IP phone is limited only by the imagination of managers and the qualifications of hotel technical staff.

"Hello! Champagne in the room, please! ”,“ Kindly, taxi in 20 minutes ”,“ Good afternoon, we would like to order pizza ”, the phone rings, the receptionist accepts orders, the guest is satisfied, and when everything happens that way, it's hard to argue that little things are important. The phone should be a hotel room, and champagne should be cold.

2 June 2020