An Inside Look at a Guest’s Fax Experience
Being a part of the hospitality network, our top priority is to create great experiences for our customers and their guests. Doing business shouldn’t be inconvenient or time consuming, especially in a digital-first world – yet so many hotels and venues are still relying on paper and fax to capture contracts and payments for events.
How do we know? Experience! We’re regularly sponsoring and attending events, so oftentimes get a first-hand look at the planning experience our customers’ guests have. We sat down with a member of Sertifi’s sales team, Katie Bussiere, to hear her recent impressions. We won’t bury the lead and will tell you now: ditch the fax.
Amy King: Thanks for chatting with me, Katie! Very recently, we were planning Sertifi’s participation in an industry conference. One of many things you helped with was booking hotel rooms for our attending teammates, so you were handling authorization forms and payments with the hotel. Can you tell us a little bit about that experience?
Katie Bussiere: Absolutely. To be honest, I remember the experience being painful. I got an email request from a generic property alias, and I was shocked to see they wanted faxed information. The form instructions said, “Print, sign, and fax,” so I wasn’t given another option. It’s 2022. I don’t have a fax machine at home – I don’t even have a printer! [Laughs] I also work remotely, so I don’t have access to a printer or fax machine at an office either.
AK: What did you end up doing?
KB: A few days later, I spent my lunch break going to Office Max, which made me nervous. I was handing off personal, sensitive information to someone I don’t know. I trust that they shredded our forms after they faxed them, but I’m not sure. I also never got a confirmation that the property received the forms, so I had to call the generic “800” number that was provided in the email I originally got from the hotel.
If this process sounds familiar to you, you’re not in the minority. Thousands of travel suppliers are still using paper and fax to finalize business – but that doesn’t mean it’s still the best or only way. We know old habits die hard, but digitizing your contracting and payment process is the easiest way to make the experience better for you and your guests.
For one, you’ll be able to keep information more secure. It might sound counterintuitive – keeping online information safe in a world of hackers and other security risks – but good technology comes baked with advanced security protections, backed by rigorous certifications and proactive security and IT teams. Using a digital solution is also the easiest way to meet requirements like PCI compliance.
Sure, faxing offers greater convenience than snail mail, but automated personalized emails and being able to complete transactions from any device offers far greater convenience than fax. That’s the way to spend less time managing guests but still offer them great customer service. And don’t worry: e-signatures are just as legally binding as written signatures.
We know time flies, but it was decades ago fax machines were a selling point to guests (note that article’s 1996 publish date). Going digital lets you meet your guests where they are now, while making your processes more seamless and secure.
Get to know your digital-first guest and exceed expectations every time.
New digital best practices, made possible with reliable and secure technology, give your guests greater control and a better experience without having to rely on your staff. Hear from senior leaders from Sertifi and Infor Hospitality as they discuss new trends that are giving customers around the world a great journey – before they even arrive.