Whether it is a hotel, restaurant, resort or club, the front office is the most important public area of a hotel property. At the front office, the reception desk is located and does all the front of the hotel activities. It is the communication centre with extensive guest contact. All guests arriving in the hotel interact with staff sitting in the front office and they form the first impression about the hotel based on the efficiency, competency and attitude of the front office staff.
What is Front Office Management?
Some of the activities managed by the front office include processing advance reservations, registering guests, rooming guests, handling of guest requests, and maintenance of guest accounts, cashiering, handling guest’s luggage, issuing room keys, and providing information along with handling mail.
What does Front Office Management do in a hotel?
The Front Office Department comprise of the Reception, Guest Service Offices, Bell Services, Reservation, Operators, Executive Club, Health and Recreation Center and Business Center. The purpose of the Front Office Department is to provide guests assistance with luggage, transportation, information concerning the hotel and the city, and any other service arrangements needed during their stay. It is facilitate and hasten much of this otherwise manual activity undertaken at the front office that technology and a good front office management software comes in handy.
Features of Front Office Management Software
Good front office management software takes care of the entire front office related areas of the hotel like reservations, night audit, facilitating housekeeping, and assisting in maintaining guest history. A front office software designed for the niche needs of hotels also streamlines room-related operations and helps improve guest services to the maximum. The software maintains up-to-date status of rooms which helps the team of housekeeping ensure occupied rooms are attended to on schedule. Here is a detail list of how front office management software helps hotel staff
- Helps in group and conference reservations
- Informs guests about bookings and cancellations
- Stores information on guests
- Validates credit card
- Helps guest check-in & check-out
Guest History Management
- Manages exhaustive history of room guests and outlet guests
- Retrieval of history on various criteria’s
- Has information on all rooms of the hotel
- Tracks information on lost & found property
- Logs guest complaint’s
Choosing the Right Vendor to Buy Your Front Office Management Software
In this competitive world, there are a flood of technology providers, however picking the right vendor is crucial. Before evaluating the right vendor, it is important for the hotel to have a detail understanding of their needs and locate software that helps them automate a maximum number of manual processes. A vendor you choose should be able to provide complete support on the product whenever needed and most importantly which is not very expensive. One of the better known front office management software providers is IDS NEXT. With domain expertise that spans 25 years, the company has customized their software for 40 geographic locations and is constantly improving the software to offer an increasing number of features. Importantly, the company offers 24/7 technical support and with over 300 customers world-wide the software is known to be robust and scalable.
It is essential to choose software which will fulfill all the requirements of your hotel property, right from reservation to check in to check out. Good front office management software should be flexible, allow for customization and offer a comprehensive set of reports so that management can easily access reports on the data collected. A guest must leave the hotel happy with their visit and a desire to return back and refer others to your property as well.