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Top Tech Trends in the Hospitality & Lodging Industry… Some May Make Sense for Your Business

Hotels, motels and other hospitality businesses once occupied a fairly simple space in people’s lives – they were a place for guests to lay their heads while away from home.

But anyone who’s spent time on the road in recent years knows that the role of technology has greatly expanded. Here are some of the top communication technology trends in hospitality today…

  1. Cloud migration – The hospitality industry is making the transition to the cloud, where opportunities abound for back office efficiency with low technology acquisition costs. Cloud technologies are simplifying operations, reducing staffing needs, and providing a better guest experience.
  2. Service automation through AI – Automation continues to be a trend that’s changing the way guests are served. With the advancements in Artificial Intelligence, hotels are interacting with guests digitally while freeing up hotel staff to work on other tasks. This also improves the travel experience as language differences can be eliminated, ensuring clear communication with travelers wherever they’re from.
  3. Integrated guest applications – Guest apps for personal mobile devices are the natural place to host everything from deal notifications to hotel services to loyalty programs. Innovative capabilities can be integrated into these hotel applications to grant guests increased ability to engage with hotel staff and other guests.
  4. Touchless interactions – The pandemic has emphasized the need to reconsider how guests interact with amenities. From digital room keys that allow guests to unlock doors using their phones to motion sensors that turn on lights, to voice-activated control of appliances, reducing contact with commonly touched interfaces allows guests to stay safe and housekeeping staff to sanitize and prepare rooms faster.
  5. Self-service meeting spaces – No longer are meeting spaces just about table and chair arrangements. Today’s meetings rely on multimedia presentations and videoconferencing to bring in remote attendees. And for marathon meetings, access to services like catering must be handled with minimal interruption. Advanced technology enablement is also becoming a must-have in ballrooms and event halls.
  6. Predictive Analytics – As more technology is added to improve the guest experience, more data is being collected about how guests interact with staff and amenities. When analyzed, the data can provide insights that can improve internal operations as well as the guest experience, resulting in your property becoming a preferred place to stay and the one that gets recommended to others.

If you see an application here that could help your business get ahead, reach out to the experts at TCI. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Digital Transformation in 2021… Keeping Up with Touchless & New Ways to Connect with Customers

Adaptation has always been a necessity for survival, but now businesses are finding that they have to adapt virtually overnight to stay afloat. Touchless technology in the form of contactless payments, expanded mobile app offerings and remote contact centers is becoming the new normal for businesses across industries.

Touchless technology is impacting the B2C world primarily in payment transactions and customer communications. For example, contactless digital payments are replacing traditional paper checks in many transactions. While the primary driver is health and safety, there are other benefits: digital payments are received faster and cost less to process, improving cash flow and reducing costs.

B2B companies, as well as organizations with call centers or large sales teams, have had to quickly figure out how to stay in touch with customers and clients via a largely remote workforce…

  • Unified communications technology keeps the lines of communication open from any device and any location.
  • Cloud-based VoIP phones enable employees to communicate and collaborate via voice, text and screen share, making it easy to assist customers even when working from home.
  • A unified communications contact center empowers businesses to communicate with customers via chat, SMS, voice, email and social media – all with a virtual workforce.

All companies should consider the impact touchless tech will have on how their business is run, and we encourage you to explore Digital Transformation and new avenues of communications with your customers.

Looking for new ways to connect that will grow your business? Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Recapping Mitel’s Recent Road Show on Digital Transformation & Contact Center Innovations

The emergence of the Digital Economy has led companies to transform their call centers into omni-channel customer experience centers. Increasingly, companies are finding that they need optimization solutions like Workforce Management, Interaction Recording, Quality Management and Speech Analytics to successfully operate an omni-channel customer experience center. They’re also looking at AI-powered Agent Assist technology to modernize the customer and agent experience.

Many companies struggle to make the transition seamlessly and are looking for partners to help them navigate through the maze of choices. TCI and Mitel can help.

On July 10 in Columbia, Maryland, the Mitel UC Contact Center Roadshow was in town, a platform for discussions and demonstrations of the latest innovations in contact center technologies and applications. Experts from Mitel, Google, ASC, TalkDesk, and others covered these topics:

  • How Google AI can power Contact Center Agents
  • How to Optimize the largest expense in a Contact Center
  • Benefits of hosting a Contact Center via the cloud
  • How to determine which Contact Center solutions best fit your company

We were delighted to see some of our valued TCI clients and guests, including…

  • Burke and Herbert Bank
  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • American Society of Civil Engineer
  • Intensive Care On-line Network

If you were unable to attend this event…

We have compiled a 75-page slide deck that provides a recap of the presentations. We offer it in the hope that it may stimulate ideas on the types of innovations available that you can bring into your contact center to improve the customer experience.

Let’s talk about how innovative technologies and applications can advance the effectiveness of your contact center. Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Unified Communications as a Service… 8 Ways it Makes Teamwork and Your Job Easier

Collaboration doesn’t have to be a complex undertaking. With UCaaS, you get an end-to-end service that puts all your communications tools in one place. Here are 8 ways UCaaS simplifies collaboration – and will make your job easier…

  • Never lose your place with one-stop communication. UCaaS makes all your communications available from a single hub on your desktop. Keep an eye on every call and message and never lose sight of important details.
  • Be as productive on the road as you are in the office. With a mobile app, employees can take the office everywhere and get the same experience on the road as they do at their desk. Whether in the office or on the road, they can join a meeting with a single click, without the need to enter those cumbersome participant codes.
  • Take the conversation smoothly from text to voice with ad-hoc meetings. UCaaS helps you connect with the one person who has the information you need – at the precise moment you need their help. With one click, start a meeting and follow through by assigning tasks.
  • Respond to important messages faster with visual voicemail. Nothing ushers in a greater sense of urgency – and stress – than checking your voicemail after a long morning of meetings. With visual voicemail, messages are transcribed and sent to email so you can scan and prioritize who to call back first.
  • Get to the right person at the right time. With presence, colleagues make their whereabouts known to everyone in the organization. So, when a customer calls asking the question only a subject matter expert can answer, everyone knows where and how to reach them.
  • Stay on-track by setting agendas up front. When you create a meeting invite, you have the option to create a timed agenda. Attendees know up front what will be discussed and how much time will be spent on each item. Your meetings stay on track and are more productive.
  • Live in your CRM. When you integrate your phone with your CRM application, salespeople never have to switch between the two. They stay in the CRM to make and receive phone calls. Just by answering their phone, items are automatically added to their to-do lists.
  • Or live in Outlook or G Suite. Your UCaaS can also integrate seamlessly with Microsoft Outlook and G Suite, easing adoption of your new phone system throughout the organization.

With UCaaS supported by TCI, you can have seamless communications designed precisely for your collaboration needs. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Mitel Delivers More Advantages with Expanding Google Cloud Partnership

Our strategic partner, Mitel has broadened its partnership with Google Cloud to provide greater security and reliability for businesses looking to move more of their collaboration tools and communications to the cloud in order to accelerate their Digital Transformation…

  • As part of the expanded partnership, Mitel will now leverage the Google Cloud Platform to support its public and private cloud solutions and deliver more innovative artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and reporting capabilities.
  • Google Cloud Platform supports Mitel customers with some of the highest levels of security and availability with dedicated operational practices and 24/7 data center monitoring.
  • Google Cloud Platform is also certified as meeting Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards and Service Organization Control Type II (SOC 2) compliance, addressing the stringent requirements of heavily regulated industries like healthcare, government, education and finance.
  • Google Cloud Platform will initially support new MiCloud Connect and MiCloud Flex customers. New MiVoice Business customers will also have the option of deploying on the platform.
  • With this latest announcement, Mitel gains further access to Google Cloud’s AI analytics, as well as integration with Google’s popular G Suite productivity and collaboration tools.

Check out this Mitel-Google Contact Center video [7:30]

Mitel’s decision to anchor their public and private solutions with Google Cloud Platform enables its customers to move forward with confidence, knowing their services are virtually bulletproof and that the latest communications and collaboration capabilities will be at their fingertips.

Let’s talk more about how Mitel solutions – coupled with Google’s Cloud Platform – can give your business a competitive edge. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Leverage Virtual Assistants & IoT to Make it Easier to Stay Connected with Your Customers

Customers are conversing with businesses in new ways, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT). For many consumers, virtual assistants, chatbots and messaging apps are quickly becoming their preferred methods of communication.

CNBC reports that half of consumers will own a smart speaker by the end of the year, and among the top three uses for it will be shopping and ordering items.

Every business should take notice. According to Gartner, more than half of enterprises have already invested in virtual assistant technology, and 25% of customer service centers intend to integrate virtual assistants or chatbots across channels by 2020.

IoT enables businesses to place a greater emphasis on conversation to improve customer engagement. Gartner points out that companies already benefit from using virtual assistants across channels – ranging from a 70% reduction in call, chat and/or email inquiries to a 33% savings per voice interaction.

As these AI-driven services evolve, there’s an enormous upside to use them to create a more intimate connection with customers. Some businesses already leverage location and other profile information to make personalized recommendations.

For these applications to work effectively, businesses need to put the right communications technology in place. Unified Communications provides universal access to applications and data, which removes the typical barriers to successful implementation of AI and IoT technologies.

The time is right to start experimenting with these technologies and to start studying use cases with the idea of improving your operations. The Digital Transformation experts at TCI understand how IoT and artificial intelligence enhance customer interactions.

Ready to open more doors to converse with your customers? Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

The 5 Most Important Contact & Call Center Trends

We’ve seen a lot of changes to the call center and Customer Experience landscape in recent years. Cloud communications and a distributed workforce have been on the minds of many our clients. The need to integrate social media channels is becoming more important than ever.

Here are 5 of the strategic trends shaping up to influence businesses and their call center operations…

1. Digital transformation

Businesses are turning to truly digital contact centers that redefine the Customer Experience from start to finish. Seamless integration of technologies across the business provides full customer context with each interaction and leverages system data to provide proactive service.

2. Two-way social media conversations

When customers interact with a business online via social media, they expect a personalized and immediate response. More importantly, the two-way conversation is public, so other customers will be watching to see how the business addressed the problem.

3. Omni-channel communications

While a customer journey may begin on one channel, valuable insight and feedback may be taking place on a completely different channel. Unifying customer communications across channels gives businesses better context for their customers, helps resolve issues faster, and assists agents in identifying better opportunities for future sales.

4. Better contact center analytics

Sophisticated analytics turn data – like call and screen recordings, chats, SMS messages and more – into useful feedback for agents. Analytics programs are being used to build statistical dashboards so agents and managers can get real-time updates on customer experiences.

5. More remote call center agents

With constantly improving unified cloud communications, remote workers have become a permanent and beneficial part of the contact center environment. With collaboration tools, contact center agents can take their work mobile, with access to real-time analytics and customer context.

Need help figuring out how to apply these trends to your business? Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.