Technology in front office department has transformed the way hotels welcome and serve their guests. New trends in hotel front office operations have empowered hotel front desk staff to be that much more efficient, productive and guest-centric.
NB: This is an article from Hotelogix
In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that businesses are in a better space to deliver better guest experience, thanks to these new trends in front office.
Be it with check-ins and check outs, handling reservation sources more efficiently, inter-departmental communications, or just about any task that is typically associated with the front desk is today faster, better and simpler. Most of the latest technology used in front office in hotels are centered around empowering front desk staff to offer enhanced guest experience.
And one of the most crucial factors that comes into play in bringing together all these technological trends under one roof is Hotel PMS. In this article, we’ll be discussing how hotels can leverage a cloud-based Property Management System to empower front desk staff with the latest technology in the hotel front office department.
Simply put, here are the top three benefits of technology in front office which your cloud PMS will take care of:
Improve operational efficiency
To understand how a Property Management System truly allows front desk staff to improve on their operational efficiency, we will have to break this down into several aspects of their day-to-day tasks. In a nutshell, it entails the following:
· Streamline tasks: The front desk, traditionally, has a lot on its plate- be it at a small motel or in a chain hotel. They handle enquiry calls, reservations, update inventory and prices across multiple OTAs as and when bookings come in, attend to guest requests, coordinate pick-up and drop, pass on messages to and from guests and other departments, etc. To stay on top of every single detail can be quite overwhelming.
· Interdepartmental communications: Whenever the front desk has a message that is to be passed on to another team like a POS (restaurant, spa) or if they have a message to be passed on to the guest in their absence, they can easily do this with the help of a PMS. Since the PMS is a central system that connects all the departments within the hotel, tracking communications becomes a lot easier.
Be it legends that communicate the housekeeping status of a room, or taking notes and assigning the said task to another team- communication via the PMS makes processes transparent and thereby, more streamlined.
· Get rid of reservation errors: One of the biggest challenges that has plagued the hotel industry for centuries has been reservation tracking. Sure, nobody uses registers for reservations anymore, but even some of the modern day reservation systems are not equipped enough to promise zero-errors.
This being the case, the best solution of any hotel that wishes to perfectly streamline the reservation process is a cloud PMS.
Here are some of the reasons why this is true:
- Making reservations on a cloud PMS is as simple as click, drag & drop.
- When it comes to distribution, a PMS supports channel manager integration which makes real-time inventory and rate distribution hassle-free.
- Also, you will no longer face overbooking, underbooking or double booking issues when your PMS is linked to a channel manager.
- Since there are several online sources of reservations today, linking them all to the PMS makes it so much easier and faster for the front desk to keep track of.
Automation to save on numerous man-hours
Automations based on thenew trends in front office operations have empowered hotels to save on man-hours. One cannot speak about the benefits of a cloud PMS without mentioning automation. This is evidently one of the biggest advantages of moving to a cloud-based PMS.
· Automation of daily tasks: Automation comes to the rescue of front desk staff because when crucial tasks like inventory management are automated, the staff don’t have to walk on eggshells fearing they might miss out on something important.
Here are some of the operational automations your front office staff can enjoy with a cloud-based PMS, that is powered basis the latest technology in front office:
- Automatic trigger of confirmation emails against every reservation
- In case of a pending deposit, follow up mails to guests can be automated.
- Dynamic room allocation, based on housekeeping status, occupancy, etc. is also a feature of a robust PMS like Hotelogix.
· Automation of reports: With a cloud PMS like Hotelogix in place, you can automate and generate over 100 reports in a matter of minutes. Select the parameters you wish to dive deep into and you can get as detailed a report as you wish.
Thousands of hoteliers, the world over, have derived value from the Hotelogix reports and have taken data driven decisions based on these reports. What’s best is that it is all automated!
· Automation of Online distribution: This is a major boon for hoteliers and front desk staff alike. This is because aside from making inventory and rate distribution easy and quick, automation also saves a massive amount of time for the front desk staff. Updating rates and availability across multiple online channels following every reservation is a huge task. One slight slip of mind could cause overbookings or double bookings, which is a nightmare for any hotel!
Channel Managers, therefore, are a must-have for every hotel and the automated two-way, real-time flow of information between the OTAs and Hotel PMS has fixed a huge challenge for hotels – seamless and error-free inventory distribution.
Deeper and data-driven guest centricity
The ultimate victory for your business in today’s world is building a customer for life, who will create more customers for you. Enough has been said to establish the importance of delivering excellent guest experience.
Hence, most of the latest technology in front office in hotels are centered around empowering hotels achieve this.
· Guest history & recall feature: This is a must-have Hotel PMS feature for every hotel that is keen on building customer loyalty. What the guest history feature does is this – When a guest makes a reservation with you and has certain special requests like room type or floor preferences, culinary preferences, etc, these details are recorded and saved on the PMS. This is a powerful feature that comes in handy if the guest returns to your property. Accommodating these saved preferences without the guest having to repeat them will help you build their trust and confidence in you. Little gestures like this go a long way in defining the guest’s perception of your hotel.
· Expedited check-ins & Checkouts: Just like with the previous point, a cloud PMS also enables your front desk staff to minimize the waiting time for check ins and checkouts with the guest recall feature.
Since the return guests’ details like name, contact details, ID details, etc. are all saved in your system, you eliminate unnecessary delays. These details are auto filled once you select the guest name from those that are prompted once you type in the first name.
During peak seasons, this feature is a huge advantage. With Hotelogix, you eliminate many unnecessary steps which in turn helps save a lot of time… precious time that your front desk could spend building guest engagement!
· Transparent record of guest interaction: Another important factor that most hotels fail to deliver on when it comes to guest experience, is listening to your guests. It is crucial to take note of every request that your guests have and make sure their request is attended to immediately. It can really take you places. A system that is designed inspired by real challenges and new trends in the hotel front office departmenthelps you keep track of all guest requests centrally.
Simply put, every time a guest calls the front office with a request (for eg, if they want transportation arranged at a certain time, or a bottle of wine for later in the day, or even just a housekeeping request), the person attending the call at the front desk loads the request onto the Hotel PMS and assigns the task to the relevant department.
Since this communication is stored on the PMS it is transparent, meaning there is no scope for the request to go unnoticed. Once the relevant department completes the task, they can resolve it and voila! That’s how easy it is with a cloud PMS in place.