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To most people who stay at hotels, the front desk is one of the most important elements of the staying experience. Clients make reservations with front desk workers, check in and out with them, and depend on them to make their stay enjoyable and to troubleshoot any problems. Running a hotel front desk is a matter of having staff with excellent customer service skills, the ability to provide for clients, and a system, including software, for accuracy and efficiency.
Customer Service is Key
As a member of the hospitality industry, you should embrace that customer service is your top priority. You and your staff should make guests feel welcome and appreciated at all times. When guests have normal requests, this can be easy enough. It becomes more difficult when they have requests or complaints that might seem unreasonable or when they deny having used services, such as the mini-bar. No matter how ridiculous a guest might sound, treat him with respect and do everything you can to give your hotel a good name.
Use Software that Makes Sense
Front desk workers at hotels need to use software that allows them to make reservations for guests, collect payments, and schedule cleanings and other services. The kind of software that's best for your front desk depends on the size of your establishment. Chain hotels may provide software that front desk workers at all locations must use. Smaller hotels, however, can choose from software programs that are designed for a smaller number of rooms and smaller staff sizes, and which might be accessed from a website.
Update Customer Interfaces
Many hotels offer websites for clients who want to check the availability of rooms online instead of calling the front desk. It is essential that you give clients up-to-date information. Choose software that automatically updates the kinds of rooms available. Likewise, make sure that your customers are able to see when various amenities are offered. For example, if your restaurant is closing early for a holiday, make sure it is clearly listed on your website and in the hotel.
Plan Ahead and Staff Accordingly
You should be prepared for those stretches when you have a lot of guests, such as weddings and conventions. It may be necessary to schedule several front desk workers to prepare complimentary breakfasts, for example, instead of the usual number of staff members. You want to make sure that each one of your guests feels that she is receiving special treatment, which can be difficult to do if you are understaffed when your hotel is completely booked.
David Nelson has written about business, management and career guidance for companies such as Conjecture Corporation and Valley Direct Media and has worked in management and as a college level writing tutor. He has a Masters degree in writing from the New School Writing Program in New York City.