Hotel front desk responsibilities are so wide-ranging that sometimes it seems the best job description for front desk staff might be, ‘All-round magicians.’ They have to be alert to changing circumstances, must constantly monitor the ebb and flow of the hotel, all the while being fully attentive to the needs of guests. Front desk responsibilities also include liaising with other departments, and being proactive with guests and colleagues alike. There’s so much to do, but fortunately there are highly efficient systems available to help shoulder the responsibilities.
The vital role of the hotel front desk
The front desk is the face of the hotel, and the keeper of the hotel’s reputation. First impressions count, and what happens at the front desk can influence the entire guest experience. The responsibilities of front desk staff are many and varied, with the top priority being a great customer-facing attitude. Staff should be ready to ‘go the extra mile’ for guests, often at suboptimal times. That requires a high level of people skills, but for almost every other activity there are automated systems to ease front desk responsibilities. These technologies release staff to be more customer-facing, providing improved guest satisfaction. Happier guests lead to increased recommendations and bookings, with improved profitability.
Technical solutions for front desk responsibilities
Seamless technical solutions improve front desk efficiency and effectiveness using a Property Management System. The PMS automates many front desk and back office functions more quickly and efficiently than staff can ever achieve, and integrates every aspect of the guest journey, from pre-booking through to post-stay communication.
1. Handling guest enquiries and bookings smoothly
Managing bookings, changes, upgrades (and sometimes cancellations), has long been a role undertaken by front desk staff. It can be complex, and at busy times there’s always the chance that details might be missed. Every touchpoint of the booking process takes place in the PMS and is perfectly recorded so that all a guest’s details are exact, including name, address, ID, contact number, payment method, and any special requests. Imagine a pre-PMS scenario where a harassed or tired front desk colleague might struggle to capture all that information accurately and quickly! The automated solution puts the information being recorded in the hands of the guest, and all reservation details are therefore clear and accurate, and the booking process can happen 24/7.
A confirmation email will also be sent automatically, personalised to the guest, along with follow up messages (which can use the guest’s preferred channels such as WhatsApp or Messenger), and a welcome email.
2. Check in and check out made effortless
One of the most important front desk responsibilities is for check in and check out, activities where there can be frustrating pinch points at times of high traffic (and keeping guests waiting is never a good idea). Touchless check in and room access for enhanced guest satisfaction is now increasingly being offered by hotels, and expected by guests. Because the PMS already ‘knows’ all the details of arriving guests, their check in is swift and smooth, and for hotels with kiosks or other touchless forms of check in, there isn’t even a need to go to the front desk. Keyless access through a mobile device means that a hotel with these facilities can also enable immediate entry to the room.
3. Communicating with guests at every touchpoint
Hotel front desk staff have always needed to communicate clearly with guests - telling them what’s on offer and answering many different queries. Property Management Systems can provide two-way communication once the guest is in stay, where they receive direct messaging from the front desk to their personal device - using an app such as SabeeApp’s Guest Advisor. This can inform guests about special offers, upcoming events, or upselling opportunities. What’s more, communication is two-way, so guests can also advise the front desk about their own needs, any issues with the room, or request things such as early or late check out.
Even after guests have left the hotel - smoothly by virtue of touchless check out - communication can continue. Firstly they will receive an automatic but personalised ‘Thank you’ note, and encouragement to post a review on the hotel’s website, or social media. Guests tend to write reviews soon after their stay, so encouraging them to post is important. Good reviews encourage other potential guests to take a look at the hotel online, and then book.
4. A front desk essential - making it personal
Once entered, the guest’s details are forever after in the system, allowing the possibility of reminder messages in future. Did they stay for a special reason such as a honeymoon or birthday? - The hotel can congratulate guests and re-invite them for another stay. Did they attend a seasonal event in the area? - Then ask them back next time it comes up! A modern Property Management System enables unprecedented communication with guests that is always accurate and timely, but also feels super-personalised.
5. Communicating across the whole hotel
The responsibilities of the hotel front desk also include communication across the hotel, to catering, cleaning, maintenance, sub contractors, and other suppliers. All this is while also welcoming new guests with a smile, and wishing departing guests a happy onward journey. It’s easy for staff to miss details of what needs to be done, but a smoothly functioning PMS helps alert different departments to upcoming tasks, sets schedules, and allows supervisors and managers to monitor progress.
Capitalising on the superpowers of front desk staff
You may ask, with so many routine tasks now being automated, are hotel front desk responsibilities reduced to almost zero? The answer of course is ‘No’: Instead of spending far too long staring at computer screens, and dealing with repetitive details, staff can instead turn much more of their attention to guests, which is the real superpower that any hotel wants to encourage.
At SabeeApp we have developed the ultimate PMS with a successful ten year track record specifically in the hospitality industry worldwide. With added modules such as Smart Solutions we take the tedium out of back office and front desk responsibilities, and we’d really like to show you how the system works with a free, no obligation demo.
SabeeApp enables much smoother and efficient business, and frees hotel front desk staff to do their own special kind of magic - engaging with, and delighting guests.