• Deniz Tekerek

How We Uncovered Frictionless Guest Experience with Calls

Since 2017, our Portier Phones have delivered an end-to-end service to hotel guests when it comes to needs related to the hotel or the destination they’re visiting. In that sense, hotels using the Portier Platform to control these phones typically deliver the strongest levels of efficacy in relation to guest engagement, discoverability and ROI.


Voice Calling - a thing of the past?


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


One of the features that get overlooked in delivering the above, is the humble phone call. As hotels have seen a steady decline in income generated from IDD calls or the general usage of PABX systems over the years, many hoteliers have arguably forgotten about the value of a voice conversation. To be fair, this is maybe not just a phenomenon specific to the hotel industry. With instant messaging taking over communication across the world, many companies have shifted their focus to this arguably less personal form of exchange.


In this respect, the emergence of the Clubhouse App is an interesting development. If you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s essentially a voice-only app that lets users start group conversations, similar to podcasts, on-the-go. The app has become so popular in such a short period of time, that it highlights the value of using existing technology in better ways. And despite the app’s huge focus on marketing, as well as an element of “fear of missing out”, the way it’s been picked up by users reveals the recurring power of voice, as Al Jazeera points out HERE.


In conjunction with the above developments, we recently crunched our “pandemic-impacted” numbers from 2020 and saw an incredible shift in our voice-related engagement. While our voice-related features had always seen strong usage, 2020 tells a more local story. Traditionally, we saw most of the usage in relation to calls from guest conversations to a foreign destination. In other words, guests use Portier Phones to make phone calls abroad, with Australia, China and the US making up the top three most popular destinations, and of the average of 7 calls placed per guest per day, more than 80% used to be made up by international destinations.


Locals Calls Triumphs in 2020


2020 tells a slightly different story. In fact, local phone calls now make up the majority of phone calls placed, with each guest placing over 3 calls per day on average. A large share of these calls take place between guests and hotel staff and ultimately serve as a guest experience booster.


Photo by hotel blogger on Unsplash


What’s more, the way in which most of the calling options are presented on the Portier interface delivers a completely frictionless experience. For instance, a guest reads about a spa treatment, likes the treatment and wants to ask a couple of questions. This guest then doesn't need to go elsewhere and simply clicks the provided call-to-action button to connect with the right person at the hotel spa, not needing to go to a different device, nor needing to be redirected via an operator.


This experience leads to incredible conversion for the hotels, with 32% of guests that actually read any content such as the above, placing a call from that piece of content within 5 minutes. That’s fully removed friction in the overall guest experience and empowers the hotel to increase conversion, make content more than just information and deliver a guest experience that’s a lot more seamless than what one might find in rather traditional settings.