With the implementation of a PMS solution, a hotel’s front desk role has no choice but to evolve — but in a very positive way. An integrated PMS can take over and automate much of a hotel’s administrative tasks, such as reservations, room inventory and occupancy management, check-in and check-outs, guest profiles, housekeeping and maintenance, folio and performance reporting, and even payment processing. By not having to manage all of these tasks manually, a front desk staff member’s time is freed-up to take on other duties that can more greatly benefit from a human touch.
While a hotel’s use of technology is becoming more important in the guest lifecycle, those same guests are still looking for above-and-beyond human interactions during their travels. Here are some ways that hotel managers can work with their front desk team to evolve their roles and still meet the expectations of their guests.
Make Authentic Connections
A PMS tool has the ability to save a guest’s information, history and preferences in his guest profile, and front desk staff can use this to offer personalized offers or recommendations when greeting the guest in-person. Rewards members or VIP travellers can be greeted with their favourite bottle of wine, or a restaurant reservation they have enjoyed in the past.
A PMS allows front desk staff to better anticipate a guest’s needs, and respond to them proactively. In addition, having consolidated guest history and preferences available to the entire front desk team gives everyone the ability to offer personalized services and truly connect with their hotel guests.
Seek Out Guests
Without having to be tied-down to the front desk, staff can more proactively seek out guests and opportunities to assist them. If a hotel offers self check-in, newly arrived guests can sit down for a drink in the lobby bar and front desk staff can go to them to assist with a mobile check-in device. If a guest seems lost, staff can guide them in the right direction, or even take them to where they are wanting to go.
Being able to step away from the front desk will give staff the ability to proactively interact with guests where they are and enhance their guest experience.
Showcase Local Expertise
Once a PMS is implemented, the check-in process can become much more efficient and staff can use this time to converse with their new guests. This is a great opportunity to showcase local expertise and transfer knowledge of the city or area. For example, if a guest is celebrating a wedding anniversary, front desk staff can recommend some local romantic restaurants and offer to make a reservation. Or if a guest is looking to be more active, map out some nearby hiking trails and the best times of day to go. If a guest is a history buff, staff should be able to talk about the history of the hotel and surrounding area and which monuments or museums are a ‘must-see’
Conversations and local recommendations add a lot of value to a guest’s experience, both of your hotel and the area they are visiting as well.
Front desk staff can help manage and protect a hotel’s reputation by being on top of reviews and feedback right when they come in or are posted online. After all, 90% of consumers read online reviews before a visit, and one negative review on the first page of search results can cause hotels to lose 22% of potential guests.
Whether or not a hotel’s PMS tool already has a reputation management integration, having a team ready to respond, in real time, to any negative reviews or to elicit positive feedback from guests is a big benefit to a lot of small or boutique hotels.
Implementing a PMS tool doesn’t replace a hotel’s front desk staff, but it does evolve their role into guest experts, guest advocates and guest relationship managers. This balance between technology and human interaction is what the average traveller is now looking for during their hotel and travel experiences.
RoomKeyPMS makes it easier to deliver great guest experiences at every step of the guest lifecycle. Book a demo today.
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