Hotel services management is a complex endeavor that requires multiple divisions to perform successfully. The quality of front desk operations is an essential part of sustaining the affluence of a hotel business. A productive reception employee should always be aware of the strategies implemented in guest communications, from accepting a hotel room reservation to managing the financial aspects of the job. In this work, the importance of front desk operations for a hotel’s economic success will be assessed in consideration of such factors as history, client interaction, technology, and employee responsibility.
Front Desk Operations: Historical Advancements
The evolution of procedures related to hotel reception has drastically changed during the last 25 years, creating novel approaches and eliminating older strategies. The progression of a front desk agent’s duties is highly correlated with the management choices made by hotel executives and the technological advances available to the worker (Shin et al., 2019). For instance, at the beginning of the 21st century, many front desk operations remained manual and non-computerized, as technological advances were not yet available to the hotel businesses (de Carvalho et al., 2016). A significant number of tasks performed by perception agents relied on direct interaction with the customers. However, with information technology spreading to the area of hotel management, a considerable number of operations became automatized, further improving the productivity of the booking systems.
Approach to Client Interaction in Hotel Room Reservation Process
When registering a guest for available accommodation or hotel services, the front desk agent is required to utilize specific techniques to establish the ease of communication and overall productivity of the dialogue. First of all, it is necessary to ensure that the desired room is available for the given period of time and suits the customers’ financial capabilities. During this stage the employee collects information regarding the clients’ desires and needs, searching for the most suitable option. It is necessary to correctly evaluate these factors in order to avoid clientele dissatisfaction and reservation difficulties, which greatly affect the perceived comfort of stay (de Carvalho et al., 2016). After establishing the type of accommodation, it is imperative to inquire about the clients’ expectations, describing the services included and establish whether any additional requirements are present. Performing this check clarifies the properties of the accommodation booked and efficiently covers extra requests.
Another significant stage of the process discussed is the presentation of policy procedures related to hotel room reservations. The guest should be informed about any cancellation or rescheduling requirements and fees, as well as the documents needed to begin the stay. As the reservation processes are often made in advance, it is crucial to ensure that the client can successfully withdraw the booking in case of any emergencies or changes. Furthermore, discussing the necessary papers verifies the customers’ knowledge and establishes the individuals’ responsibility for the provision of the documents.
Finally, the last step of the reservation approach is the process of confirmation, during which the front desk agent revisits the leading points discussed in the conversation. In this stage, the receptionist clarifies any ambiguous or unclear statements, explaining to the customer the details of the agreement and ensuring their understanding (de Carvalho et al., 2016). Given the abundance of information provided to the client, as well as the possibility of misconceptions, it is vital to guarantee the certainty of the client’s intent in order to avoid any subsequent complications.
Hotel Room Reservation Script
- “Good morning, X hotel front desk, how may I help you?”
- “How can I address you?”
- “Mr. Xx, have you ever stayed with us before?”
- Yes: “May I have your last check-in and check-out date, please?”
- None: “I am very sorry, Mr. Xx, but we do not have any rooms available at that time. If you wish, I can put you on our waiting list.”
- A room is available: “Yes, there is a room available at that time. Will you be traveling alone or together?”; “How long are you planning to stay with us?”
- “I believe that a suitable option for you would be….”
- If the client agrees: “Thank you, I will make the reservation now. Please, tell me your contact number and address.”
- “Mr. Xx, I have made the reservation for you. Please note that our hotel follows a specific cancellation policy. In case you would like to move or cancel your reservation….”
- “Thank you for understanding. To complete the reservation upon arrival, you will need to have….”
- “Mr. Xx, let me repeat your reservation details. I have booked a Y room for the period from Z to C, under the name Xx, contact number V, and address B-N. Additional services available to you are […]. Your reservation number is ERTY, please, have it with you upon arrival. Do you have any questions for me?’
- “Your reservation has been confirmed. Thank you for choosing hotel X. We hope you will enjoy your stay. Have a great day”.
Front Desk Operations, Technology, and Employee Responsibility
The advancements in computer science have significantly influenced guest service and reservation strategies, creating additional possibilities for both reception agents and clients. In the current age, a customer can provide the necessary booking information via the Internet, alleviating the need for direct communication with the front desk clerk (Shin et al., 2019). Clientele’s diminished knowledge regarding these processes can largely affect the hotel procedures, reducing the efficiency of room reservations. Furthermore, as more businesses transfer their booking services to online platforms, guests who are unaware of these changes might be dissatisfied with the productivity of traditional services, which receive less attention. As potential guests are unaware of more efficient methods of registration, they might be displeased with booking availability, speed of confirmation, and technological support.
Given the contemporary technological progress, any front desk employee should be knowledgeable about guest information safety. As such, as reception clerks interact with sensitive personal information, from clients’ locations to credit card details, it is imperative for the agents to ensure that the data is properly protected from any other parties (Martyn & Anderson, 2018). A worker failing to comply with safety procedures risks a number of financial losses for the hotel, from lawsuits to reduced customer support and further interest in provided services.
For instance, front desk agents are required to adhere to a protection strategy that maintains the confidentiality of client information, prompting the person to communicate such data only to the customer. Any knowledge regarding the room number, messages, or emails to the guest should be disclosed directly to the client, and the room key should only be delivered to the accommodations’ residents. The personnel should also be aware of supplementary security measures, such as video footage and management of potential accidents, which might prevent threats to customer safety. Furthermore, it is necessary to inform the guests of any additional practices they might perform in order to prevent any damage to them or their possessions. The advice might include being aware of personal belongings at all times, always properly locking the accommodation doors, and only divulging personal information to the hotel employees.
A pertinent example is related to the issues of billing when a front desk employee mismanages the client’s information or inputs incorrect data. For instance, while collecting payment information, the reception agent might record false credentials, register a wrong credit card number, or misspell the guest’s name. Apart from complications related to receiving the demanded funds, the situation might cause clientele dissatisfaction, prompting them to search for accommodation elsewhere (Vasadze et al., 2018). Another instance is guest folio mishandling, namely the loss of financial transactions due to negligence. In this scenario, an employee fails to update the accounting sheets according to the relevant changes, not inputting the latest purchases made by the clients into the payment system. Therefore, the hotel becomes unable to analyze the income and losses sums, which results in a loss of profit (de Carvalho et al., 2016). Management of the transactions received and delivered to numerous guests is incredibly significant for the affluence of the business, and the inability to properly analyze the payments obtained decreases the economic standing of the enterprise.
To conclude, the importance of sustaining quality front desk operations in hotel management was discussed in detail in this paper, presenting an evaluation of customer communication, technological applications, and information safety. Various interactions with guests become a priority task for reception agents, who fulfill a diverse range of responsibilities in order to secure the clients’ comfort of stay. The personnel required to conduct front desk operations ensure the clientele’s satisfaction and further improve the performance of the enterprise. Successfully fulfilling a reception employee’s duties is an essential part of the hotel’s financial and organizational affluence, as well as a key requirement for the clientele’s protection.
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Vasadze, M., Mosashvili, I., & Duruli, T. (2018). Hotel guest service technology. Economics World, 6(3), 185-190. Web.