We often heard that front office play an important role in the hotel industry. The front office or can be known as the main nerve of the hotel is the first and the last sector that interact with a client. Front offices are typically called so because they are at the front or entrance hall of a business, giving customers an easy access to office workers. This vital section of the business can serve many purposes, depending on the company, and are frequently the best place to obtain any customer-related information. Front offices may have an entry desk staffed with a secretary or administrative worker. This main desk can offer assistance to incoming clients or customers, and can direct queries to correct personnel. On the other hand, all personnel in the department may be trained in customer assistance, since front office workers may have many duties, training all of them in customer service means that someone will almost always be available to help a guest.
1.1 Division of Front Office
There are many part of division inside the front office department. All of this part of partition should duty their tasks and responsibility. Furthermore they should help each other so that the enrollment will complete with success and this will make the customer feels satisfy with the service and willingly to come again. The part of this department are Front Office Manager, Assistant Front Office Manager, Front Desk Representative, Night Auditor, Cashier, Reservationist and Telephone Operator. All departments play an important role to make the guest feel satisfy with our service.
1.1.1 Front Office Manager
The basic duty of front office manager is to directly supervise the front desk, reservation, concierge and PABX. Hotel PABX system comes with a front desk management system either PC based or telephone operator console based which is used by operator to perform various tasks easily. Using this console, one can update, monitor room status like occupied, cleaned. It can be used to print out call details room wise, estimate telephone bills. Other duties of the front office manager are assisting in the training and cross-training of front office employees, prepares monthly reports, assists the rooms division manager in formulation and completion of front office policies and procedures.
1.1.2 Assistant Front Office Manager
The assistant of front office manager is to control the operational activities of the hotel front desk within hotel procedure to provide the highest standard of courteous service while permitting acceptable profit levels. On the other hand, they have to ensure work is completed to include, shift closings, room deposits, refunds and rebates. They also have to prepare staffing schedules, complete payroll, and monitor labor expenses to budget figures and take personal responsibility for correcting customer service problems.
1.1.3 Front Desk Representative
Hotel front desk clerks make room reservations, offer information and services to guests and receive payment for services. They are employed by hotels, motels and resorts. Hotel front desk clerks perform some or all of the following duties such as maintain an inventory of vacancies, reservations and room assignments, register arriving guests and assign rooms, answer enquiries regarding hotel services and registration by letter, by telephone and in person, provide information about services available in the community and respond to guest complaints and compile and check daily record sheets, guest accounts, receipts and vouchers using computerized or manual systems.
1.1.4 Night Auditor
A night auditor works for a hotel or motel doing bookkeeping and often performing as the front desk agent as well. With the exception of for the smallest motels, most types and sizes of these businesses provide work for night auditors. These might be part-time positions, or the hotel may employ one full-time auditor and one part-time. Duties vary depending on the size of the capability, but the major focus of the job description is conduct end-of-day accounting duties. The job description for night auditors includes performing information entry on spreadsheets or in a file, and processing dissimilar types of computer accounting reports for the hotel and restaurant. They input reservations on a computer system and also update the occupied status of rooms as guests come and go.
The cashier has to uphold precise account balances for hotel operating cost and collect payment from guests. Hotel expenses contain room charges, abroad telephone calls, meals and laundry. They should be able to carry out foreign exchange, for example, converting foreign currencies and travelers cheques into local exchange, protect safe deposit boxes and resolve bill payments, expenses rapidly and correctly for guests who are checking out.
A hotel reservations agent is an essential part of hotel operations. Guests get their first impression of the hotel service values at the time of reservation. Therefore, reservations agents must be courteous, well-informed and educational. The main duty of a reservations agent is to rent hotel rooms to potential guests. The agent must conquer any objections the guest has. Hotel managers provide rule so the agent will know precisely what to say if the guest resists the deal. This may come in the form of a script that must be insecurely followed. A reservationist is also someone who reserves events, tickets or makes travel preparations. Reservationists use customer-service skills to help people. The reservationist books events, tickets or arrangements online, by phone or in person. He produces customer confirmations and meets the customer¿½s needs to the best of his capability. Contacting customers when a termination is submitted is also the dependability of a reservationist.
1.1.7 Telephone Operator
The supreme duty of a telephone operator is that of transferring calls from external the hotel to the suitable guest room. For security measurement, operators have to do this without giving out the room number of a hotel guest. The telephone operator may not often be face-to-face with guests of the hotel, but plays an important role on behalf of the hotel to the guest. For this situation, a friendly and polite tone of voice is all-important. The duties of the telephone operator include answers incoming calls, straight calls to guest room through the switchbox.
1.2 Organization Chart in Small Hotel, Mid Size Hotel and Large Hotel
There are three main charts for front office division in hotel industry that is inside the small hotel, mid size hotel and the large hotel.
Each department plays an important role in order to get a complete task to get the main thing that is the satisfaction of the customer. Sequentially to carry out its mission, worldwide and departmental goals and objectives, every company shall build a formal organization depicting different hierarchy of managing, supervision, and employee or the staff levels. All hotels mission is to make the hotel success by satisfying the customer need. If the hotels fail to do so, it means that they have failed everything. This is because we have to be humbled to the guest and respect the guest although they are wrong. The statement saying that ¿½guest will always be right¿½ is the rules showing that everything that the guest do and say, we have to give and take. The main department that is front office management has to play the important role as they are the one that will communicate with the guest from the guest check in until they will check out. Smile and greet the guest politely will make the guest feel happy and hoping that they will see us again.
Front office staffs must have certain skills to attract guests during the first impression. Write about Front Office staff skill in guest relations.
Impression and attitudes of the staffs are the most important things that the hotel should be aware when it comes to the customer satisfaction. They have to welcome the guest with a great smile and greet them politely as they are persons that will decide whether we deserve to have them in the hotel or opposite that. As been said by F.Howard in the Business Publications, Eye contact is the first thing they’re taught. The idea is to know a person before and after the guest opens the front door and enters the lobby. To do this, staff members have to be alert and aware of what is going on around them. What they are trained to do is recognize the people by providing eye contact and a smiling nod to let them know that they’ve been known. To make a successful business in the hotel, all the staff and employee should take a few steps so that the circle of the chain inside the hotel is moving smoothly.
1.1 Meaning of the guest
A guest is the person who buys room, meeting space, food and beverages or other service from the hotel. They are someone that who has certain needs and wants to be fulfilled and if the hotel cannot fulfill them, a competitor of the other hotel is the best choice of the guest to fulfill their satisfaction. A guest is someone who is in his or her mind, thinking that they are always right. We should never argue or match with a guest because if we do so, it¿½s like we¿½re giving the hotel to bankrupt.
1.2 Importance of Guest Relations
According to L.F Dennis in the ¿½Rooms at The Inn: Front Office Operations and Administration¿½ book, in the clients mind, the character and competence of the entire hotel are reflected in the personality of the front office staff. The people of the front office may be the client¿½s first and last contact with the hotel. For the arriving guests, their behavior sets the tone for the entire stay. For departing clients, their final words create lasting impressions. It is the staff responsibility to create a sense of belonging. Clients must be made to feel as they are part of a family. The front desk staff must convey the impression that it is not there just to sell rooms, but rather to make the guest¿½s stay at the hotel as enjoyable as possible.
1.2.1 First Impression
Personal appearance is the most obvious factor in influencing first impression. An individual¿½s appearance can communicate neatness, organization, pride and self-esteem. Eye contact and facial expressions also influence how people are perceived by others. A neat appearance, confidents, enthusiastic manner and a voice that convey warmth and sincerity are the most important tools of a front desk representative.
1.2.2 Personal Appearance
Appearance is the function of sex and age. Regardless of the sex or age of a front desk representative, he or she will encounter certain biases in guests or others. For example, some people have the mistaken belief that older staff members are not ¿½up to date¿½ and others automatically assume that younger employees are inexperienced. A front desk representative, who dresses with authority, wears quality accessories and maintains a conservative appearance will produce a positive reaction in every client.
Communication and understanding must also take place. Addresses guests will create the impression of respect and concern that the hotel has for its clients. A courteous staff member is a good listener as well as an efficient communicator. Asking questions indicates that the representative is interested in the client. Listening to the answers indicates personal respect and attention to the guest needs.
1.3 Dealing with Complaints
Clients communicates their complaints not only to the front desk staff but also to coworkers, business associates and other guests. There are ways for dealing with clients who have complaints that are:
¿½ Never be defensive
¿½ Define the problem
¿½ Validate the clients feelings
¿½ Restate your understanding
¿½ Promise to take action
¿½ Follow Up
1.4 Preventing Complaints
Complaints can often be avoided by properly educating guests about hotel policies and procedures. The most common complaint of hotel guests is related to credit card guarantees. Proper information can prevent misunderstandings and minimize complaints. On the other hand, the front office staff keep doing mistake, for example they will forget to key in the details of their guest and when the guest wants to check-in, they can¿½t do it because the guest name are not inside their check-in list. They have to always be alert every time when it comes toward related of the guest.
1.5 Effective Telephone Techniques
The front office staff spends a great deal of its time on the telephone, communicating with people both inside and outside the hotel. Although some people have better speaking voices than others, verbal communication is an art that can be learned with practice. There are ways to develop an efficient, courteous telephone manner that are:
¿½ Be prepared
¿½ Answer promptly
¿½ Use proper identification
¿½ Speak directly into the telephone
¿½ Relax and be yourself
¿½ Ask questions
¿½ Listen carefully
¿½ Take notes if necessary
¿½ Use reflective phrases
¿½ Keep call holds to a minimum
¿½ End the call courteously
The way to cooperate with customer is to love and the respect the customers. The ability to connect and build rapport with other people is a foundation life skill, and should be ideally, be actively developed from an early age. In business and in the workplace, on the domestic front and in our community lives, we all stand to promote from more effective communication skills. We crave for more fulfilling interpersonal relationships. The front office staffs should greet their customers with sincere and be patient with what the customer complaint because customer will always be right. Good communication is the lifeblood of the service industry and it’s important that your communication style reflects professionalism. To make the business or hotel success is to make the customer satisfy, listen to what they want. They will feel happy and think that they wanted to come again to your hotel.