Hello, this is the front desk; how can I help you? These words from the front desk concierge are honey to all hotel guests. Your front desk staff is the first and last point of contact for all hotel guests and are responsible for making a great first impression and providing a seamless experience for your guests. Even if you offer self-check-in service through self-check-in hotel software, the guest will contact the front desk at some point during the stay. Anything your guest needs, from room service and extra towels to billing and restaurant recommendation- they will rely on the front desk for help. Wouldn’t you say the front desk of your hotel is the focus of all hotel operations?
With the best Hotel Management Software at their disposal, a well-oiled front desk staff will be able to address issues quickly and efficiently. Effectiveness is essential for front desk operations, with so much activity on a typical day. If anything goes awry, the guest won’t shy away from posting negative reviews, resulting in a loss of income for you. With so much at stake, you must use all the tools at your disposal to enhance the visitor experience.
Here are four ways to improve front desk operations for businesses.
#1. Listen to your guests.
Whether positive or negative, reviews contain nuggets of treasure that can help you understand what your guests want and where you are lacking. As a hotelier, it’s a good idea to record and analyze guest feedback from various platforms, including reviews on sites like TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook, and more. Be sure to have your visitors fill out a feedback form at check-out so you can collect additional input from guests who would otherwise remain silent and leave you in the dark.
#2. Create a Daily Checklist
No matter how much you try, no check-in experience is the same. For example, if you are running a boutique hotel, your guest will experience a friendlier, cozier, more personalized check-in experience. However, if you are running a large hotel, your focus would be on front desk operations driven by how fast you can do it.
Requests can pour in at any time since the front desk is the hotel’s nerve center. Without adequate prioritization and organization, every member of the team will have a difficult time. Regardless of the type of property, you run, creating a daily checklist to coordinate daily activities helps create a routine and organize your staff. So, what should your checklist include?
A list of daily reports
We believe that each property should regularly monitor specific daily reports that will help in day-to-day operations. These reports include the guest arrival report, guest check-out report, room and tax report, shift audit report, housekeeping report, and more.
Information about guests checking in that day
Be ready for guests who will be arriving that day using your arrival report. While new guests will take your staff a little more time and effort, preparing for returning guests will be a whole new ball game, as these guests are coming back expecting the same or better hospitality they received the last time. Having a clear understanding of who is coming and at what time will not only help your staff be better prepared but will ensure that your guest will have a pleasant check-in experience.
Typically, your guest arrival report should contain:
- The guests’ full name.
- The room assigned.
- Their estimated time of arrival.
- Any other request from their end.
Make sure that you address that special request before their arrival.
Be prepared for guests checking out that day
If being prepared for guests coming in is essential, being ready for check-out is equally paramount to ensure a seamless check-out experience. If you allow express check-outs and don’t need guests to speak with a member of your team before leaving, make sure all accounts are settled before the end of the day. The last thing you want is for guests to go with a balance on their account.
Know your guest
Who doesn’t like a personalized experience? A great experience is not possible is don’t know your guest. There are certain things you can prepare for well in advance, such as finding out if the guest has stayed at your property before. If yes, how many times? Are they at your property for work purposes, or is it a leisurely stay? Are they here for any significant occasion, such as a birthday or a wedding anniversary? Do they have any allergies or dietary restrictions? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you greet your visitors warmly and treat them as individuals rather than numbers during their stay. Use pre-arrival checklists, guest information databases, and a few pleasant inquiries at check-in to get this information.
Make a to-do list for each day.
Make a list of the activities that your team must accomplish every day as part of their usual routine, as well as any additional work that may be required, from verifying bookings to responding to client reviews, emails, and queries. Your staff may have a wide range of everyday responsibilities or very specialized ones, depending on the size of your property.
#3. Train your staff regularly
When it comes to working in the hotel business, you need to have excellent people skills, as well as the ability to solve problems quickly and effectively. As a matter of fact, you need to be aware of your strengths as well as your shortcomings and recruit individuals who can fill in any gaps.
Supporting and training your front-desk staff regularly is the most efficient approach to prepare them for any scenario. When empowered, staff employees can make rapid, confident decisions and react professionally to emerging situations. Provide instruction on basic processes and other skills, such as time management and customer communication.
You can also assemble a Front-desk Operations Manual for your hotel, which clearly describes the best practices and duties for your staff. You may either teach an employee or engage a professional trainer because many hotel managers and owners do not have the time for face-to-face training. It’s also a good idea to assign a staff member to be in charge of resolving difficulties for each shift.
#4. Use the best Hotel Property Management System.
Modern hotel operations necessitate the use of cutting-edge technologies. It requires a lot of effort to deal with incoming reservations, numerous distribution methods, guest communication, reviews, and other things. Hoteliers are at a disadvantage if they do not have the right tools and risk making human errors such as overbooking rooms and upsetting visitors.
A competent property management software provides everything your team requires to thrive. Give your hotel front desk workers the knowledge and resources they need to handle bookings, check-ins, check-outs, guest requests, Point Of Sale capabilities, and so on. All of this, of course, is possible with a cloud-based property management system. Using excel spreadsheets or pen and paper not only puts you in jeopardy but also significantly slows down your everyday tasks. Many experts think that future hotel front office software will integrate functions for optimal efficiency.
The impact of Hotel PMS Software on front desk operations
Hotel front office software allows you to handle reservations, rooms, prices, check-ins and check-outs, payments, cleaning, guest communication, and more all in one location. It also makes your guests’ life easier by allowing them to book directly, interact with you, and even self-check-in. Because it’s cloud-based, current hotel front office software has the edge over its on-premise predecessors. The best thing about cloud PMS is that you access it on the go, anytime and any from any device! In short, this remarkable tool will eliminate many of your day’s problems and hassles.
If you can satisfy the expectations of your hotel’s brand, and if you can meet the expectations of your guests, then your front desk operations are of high quality. To accomplish so, you must establish your standard and identify your guests. Use that as a guideline to develop internal procedures and leverage technology to assist you in these attempts. A sound property management system, such as myCloud hotel software, can be an excellent tool for increasing front-desk productivity.