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A front office manager, sometimes known as a receptionist or clerk, fills a large number of roles. This customer-facing position, typically found in the hospitality industry, serves to both interface with customers and carry out front-office business duties. Though front office manager responsibilities and compensation vary considerably from organization to organization and even within companies, many functions of front office managers are common among a variety of industries.
Customer Interface Function
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Front office managers frequently interface with customers, often greeting them as they enter the establishment, answering inquiries and generating sales. Front office manager responsibilities might include receiving and processing payments from customers and provide receipts as needed. In some cases front office managers may also deal with troublesome customers or guests and engage appropriate security personnel to address customer security concerns. Depending on the organization, a front office manager might interface with all guests or only with those considered sensitive or important.
Office Management Role
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Front office manager responsibilities can include ensuring the front office of the business continues to operate in an efficient manner. Managing the office can involve analysis of expenditures to minimize cost, and some managers review daily logbooks to maintain an awareness of business activities. Front office managers should be familiar with typical office applications like spreadsheets and word processors. Employees in this position also can use company proprietary systems to maintain business operations.
Manage Customer Experience
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Employees in a front office manager position have considerable responsibility for ensuring customers and guests receive exemplary service. In addition to simply interacting with customers and addressing security issues, front office managers also act as a single point of contact for customer complaints and escalated issues. Front office managers might approve promotional rates in response to customer negotiations, and some front office managers have the authority to grant discounts, service credits or complimentary service to unsatisfied guests. Front office managers might work with other groups within the business, like housekeeping and maintenance, to ensure guests see a clean, fully operational property upon arrival.
Staff Supervision and Planning
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Depending on the organization, front office managers might be responsible for supervising members of the hotel staff. Supervisory duties can include scheduling of personnel to meet customer demand, planning and assigning work, and developing employee communications. Front office managers might plan and conduct periodic staff meetings and even collaborate with heads of other departments to ensure completion of organizational tasks. In some cases, employees in this position develop and deliver training to keep employees abreast of changing business practices.
Keith Evans has been writing professionally since 1994 and now works from his office outside of Orlando. He has written for various print and online publications and wrote the book, "Appearances: The Art of Class." Evans holds a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication from Rollins College and is pursuing a Master of Business Administration in strategic leadership from Andrew Jackson University.