The front office is the nerve center of the hotel and, as such, is an excellent place in which to gain a detailed understanding of how a modern lodging establishment operates. A position in the front office is an ideal launching pad for future advancement in the hotel industry. Many executive directors, sales executives, banquet managers, and other hotel executives began their careers in the front office.
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!Essay Writing Service
The front office is responsible for greeting guests, managing rooms, and handling complaints. Many members of the hotel staff work behind the scenes and rarely, if ever, have any personal contact with guests. In contrast, the front office staff performs its job before the public, like actors on a stage. Clients form their first and, sometimes, most-lasting impressions of the hotel based on their experience with the men and women of the front office.
The front office staff is the public’s main contact with the hotel. The staff members handle reservations, greet guests on arrival, register new guests, dispense keys, handle incoming and outgoing mail, take messages for guests, provide information, listen to complaints, and handle check-out procedures when guests depart. The following personnel may be employed in the front office are front office manager, assistant front office manager, front desk representatives, night auditor, cashiers, reservationists and telephone operator.
The Front Office Manager
The front manager has a wide range of responsibilities. A front office manager must maintain a high level of efficiency among the front office staff, make effective decisions regarding reservation policies and room assignments, and handle guest problems and complaints with courtesy and tact. Besides, the manager must maintain an open communication channel with all the other departments of the hotel.
The front office manager assigns duties to staff members, prepares weekly work schedules and shift assignments, and holds regularly scheduled staff meetings to ensure that staff members understand and adhere to hotel policies and operating procedures. Moreover, the manager may also be responsible for hiring and training new employees, and for periodically reviewing the performance of each staff member.
Furthermore, it is the duty of a typical front office manager to define reservation policies and set quotas, with the goal of maintaining maximum room occupancy. The manager must continually monitor arrivals, departures, and cancellations and be responsible for setting policies regarding no-shows, early arrivals, and overbookings.
The front office manager is usually responsible for dealing with the client and taking the corrective action when special guests needs, problems or complaints arise. Other guest communications duties may include providing information on hotel policies, facilities and services, and welcoming important guests.
In addition, the front office manager confers regularly with the sales and marketing department for updates on special group reservations, billing arrangements, potential peak periods, and general forecasts. Besides, the manager must also maintain close communication with the housekeeping department about room status and check regularly with the accounting department for information about special billing requirements or problems. The front office manager must prepare regular written reports on the activities and progress of the front office for review by the executive director or assistant director.
The Assistant Front Office Manager
The assistant front office manager is responsible for coordinating front desk operations. He or she may train new front desk personnel, monitor guest accounts and payments and authorize checks and special procedures. Besides, the assistant front office manager may assist the front desk staff during periods of peak activity.
Other duties of an assistant manager include reviewing reservations for the current day and preparing daily room occupancy forecasts.
Front Desk Representatives
The front desk representatives convey the personality of the hotel to guests more than any other staff members in the hotel. Front desk representatives are responsible to make guests feel welcome and to effect an immediate response to problem or complaints. In addition to working directly with clients of the hotel, front desk representatives have an important role in assigning rooms and maintaining maximum occupancy.
Besides, the front desk representative is responsible for verifying reservation information, checking credit identification and authorization, assigning rooms and dispensing room keys when guests arrive at the hotel. It is also the responsibility of the front desk representative to notify the bell captain or summon a bell attendant to transport guest luggage.
Other duties include providing information about facilities and policies and handling special guest requests, such as photocopies, gift purchases and so forth. They may also be required to handle telephone calls and reservation requests, or to direct calls to the reservations department or switchboard. Guest communications duties include stamping and sorting guest mail, taking messages for guests and sending fax or telex documents.
When a guest is ready to depart, the front desk representative summons a bell attendant to transport guest luggage to the lobby and prepares, verifies and arranges the guest check. Other duties include checking room at the beginning of the shift, reviewing reservations for the current date and communicating with the housekeeping department regarding occupancy forecasts and room needs.
The Night Auditor
A night auditor has a dual role. First, he or she must perform the duties of a front desk representative at night. Second, the night auditor has an important bookkeeping function to perform which is preparing the machine balance report. Typically, a night auditor’s shift runs from 11 p.m to 7 a.m. When the front desk activity slackens, the night auditor begins to audit, or trace the posting of, the previous day’s transactions to verify their accuracy.
The night auditor calculates the total charges owed to the hotel and incurred by guests during the previous business day. Total payments received from guests during day are subtracted from the total charges to determine the daily balance. The balance represents the amount that is still owed to the hotel for the previous day’s transactions.
A front desk cashier is responsible for checking out departing clients, posting charges, verifying the guest check and handling payments. Cashiers may also be required to assist other members of the front desk staff in the performance of their duties.
At some properties, front desk representatives handle cashier functions as well as guest registration. But at other properties, the front office staff may be more highly specialized. For example, front desk receptionists may be responsible for greeting arriving guests, checking reservations and registering guests while cashiers are responsible for receiving payments on check-out.
Besides, the cashier may be responsible for calculating the charges and presenting the guest check.
Front desk receptionists are supervised by the front office manager or assistant front office manager. Although cashiers work at the front desk, they are normally considered to be members of the accounting department and therefore, work under the supervision of the accounting manager.
In addition, the cashier is responsible to perform routine front office duties such as sorting mail, handling guest communications and coordinating room status reports.
Front Office Organizational Chart
Front Office organization chart adapted from a small sized hotel:
Front Office Manager
Front Office organization chart adapted from a medium sized hotel :
Front Office Manager
Front Desk Representative e
Room Key Clerk
Front Office organization chart adapted from a large sized hotel :
Front Office Manager
Telephone Operator Supervisor
Front Office Manager Secretary
Guest Service Officer
Telephone Operator SPV
Telephone Operator SPV
Interdepartmental cooperation must be stressed during the introduction to the front office. This is an ideal time to establish the importance of harmony among the housekeeping, maintenance, marketing and sales, food and beverage and front office departments. The front office must take the lead in establishing good communications among departments. Because of front office is the initial contact for guest, obtaining status reports, maintaining communications and knowing the functions being hosted each day are the responsibilities of the front office staff. Overlooking trivial misunderstandings with other departments sometimes takes colossal effort, but the front office must keep the communication lines open. This is because guests benefit from and appreciate the work of a well-informed front office.
Front office staffs must have certain skills to attract guests during the first impression. Write about Front Office staff skill in guest relations.
In the client’s 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’s first and last contact with the hotel. For arriving guests, their behavior sets the tone for the entire stay. For departing clients, their final words create lasting impressions.
It is the staff’s responsibility to create a sense of belonging. Clients must be made to feel as if 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 guest’s stay at the hotel as enjoyable as possible.
A skilled front desk representative shows personal respect for every client and genuine concern for his or her needs. Clients must be made to believe in the staff’s reliability and willingness to serve. An open mind and a friendly attitude are indispensable traits of a front desk representative.
First impressions are only part of creating a positive relationship between hotel and client. No matter how favorably someone responds to strangers, communication and understanding must also take place.
The way that a front desk representative addresses guests creates the impression of respect and concern that the hotel has for its clients. It is important to address clients as they wish to be addressed. For example, a client named William Jones might be addressed by his friends as Will, Willie, Bill, or Billy, but the hotel staff should always address him as Mr. Jones.
Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.View our services
When a client first arrives, the front desk representative should seek to establish a “comfort zone” in which the client feels at ease. A simple question like “How was your flight?” or a comment like “What a beautiful dress!” can establish instant rapport. 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’s needs.
First impressions count more than anything that follows. Front office workers including receptionists, telephone operators, and sales assistants, are the first people that a customer or visitor see, or speak to and they form the impression that anyone gets of the company and that is why front office workers must display professional and ethical standards in their duties.
All front office workers should be welcoming and approachable. They should be unfailingly polite and courteous to all.
Telephone operators have only their voices to project their personality and hence it is more difficult for them to sound welcoming but smiling as they answer helps. Telephone operators also need to remember that callers can hear background conservation and whispers. They should not leave callers hanging onto a line but advise them every 20 seconds and if the wait is too long, ask if they can connect the caller to someone else.
Besides that, front office staffs need to know that clients are individuals and can be angry, irritable, rude or upset and their problem may not be with the worker at all but with the situation in which they find themselves. Thus, receptionists, telephone operator and sales assistants need to know how to calm and comfort their clients.
Front office staffs must know is not good ethics to ignore the customer and leave him waiting unattended. Customers should be welcomed in the premises as soon as possible and it is especially irritating to have to wait and listen to front office staff chatting about their personal business between them or on the telephone, while the client is left waiting.
A company’s front office workers are its public face and they need particular qualities. Telephone operators, sales assistants, and receptionist need to be professional and to demonstrate the highest ethical standards in their work. They need good manners, discretion, tact and the ability to like and understand people and their feelings. Front office workers are special people with very special qualities.
Behavior describes how a person behaves to towards another person. For example, as a receptionist, speaking a phase in a correctly and punctually according to the situation tone is a must. As a receptionist, it is a must for them to get the satisfaction from the guest.
Communication with guest with a warmth and welcome smiling and provide efficiency service to the guest are very useful in order to achieve the satisfaction of a guest towards to lodging establishment. In addition, receptionist should always show respect, appreciating every time when they are dealing with the guests even when there are busy in doing other tasks, they should leave it and always serve to the guests’ needs and wants. As a professional receptionist, formal and neatly attire, clean nails and neat hairstyle must be maintain. This is how behavior playing a role in a front office staff and how are them to show a good impression to the guests and towards the satisfaction of the guests.
This covers interpersonal of a receptionist example like their dressing and grooming. Dressing and grooming playing an important role in being a professional staff. This is because it always shows the personality of the receptionist to the guests besides than to provide the best impression to the guests and to gain recognition by guests according to uniform for quick problem solving by guests.
Where the front office staffs stand is important, not only in relation to equipment such as desk, but also relation to the people they are dealing with. Each person has their own area of ‘personal space’ or privacy and any invasion of them by a stranger makes people feel uncomfortable.
Slapping the registration form on the table and leaning forward to watch as the guest is filing the form is one bad example of personal space invasion. This kind of invasion makes guests feel uncomfortable thus it should be avoided.
Posture covers how receptionists stand or sit in relation to guests. Facing somebody usually indicates interesting and leaning forward shows even greater interest unless it involves an invasion of personal space.
The receptionist should never keep arms folded defensively because her posture conveys the impression that she is not very anxious to help or assist the guests.
Gesture is closely linked with posture and it covers the way people send signals by moving parts of their bodies, mainly hands, arms and shoulders.
A shrug should not be practiced by the front office staffs because it can very irritating as it suggests that the person is unconsciously trying to avoid the guest problems or complaints.
Therefore, the front staffs should always welcome their guests by opening their palms or a handshake as a sign of friendship and honesty. They should try not to make too many gestures as some of the gesture will cause negative or bad impression towards the front office staff and to the hotel itself. For example, hand-to-face gestures like touching one’s mouth o nose indicates a degree of deceit or negative feeling such as doubt apprehension or uncertainty.
Every guest has the ability to read whether the front office staff is friendly or not by looking at her expression.
Smiles are an important facial expression. They show interest, excitement, empathy, concern; they create an upbeat, positive environment.
Thus, it is a must to show a positive expression to the guests as a front office staff. For example, the front office staffs must serve the guests with a smile their bright smiles to show friendliness warmth and respect.
The front office staff should always maintain positive eye contact with guests to show sincerity and commitment of a front office staff towards their job.
Besides that, guests tend to trust and show more confidence towards the front office staff who displays her sincere and positive eye contact.
In addition, not only does focused eye contact display confidence of the front office, it also helps the guest to understand the staff is really paying attention into the conversation.
Dealing with complaints
No matter how well employees of the hotel perform their jobs, the front office staff will inevitably have to deal with clients who have complaints. Unfortunately, people who are displeased with a product are more vocal than customers who are satisfied. Clients communicate their complaints not only to the front desk staff but also coworkers, business associates, and other guests. The inability to handle complaints effectively can be a public relations disaster for a hotel.
A positive attitude makes it easier to deal with guests who have complaints. Problems should be viewed as opportunities rather than causes for panic. By resolving a problem, the staff can earn the client’s short-term respect and long-term business.
The front office staff should never be defensive when dealing with clients who have complaints. The front office staff must always remember that they are probably not the person responsible for creating the problem. To learn why the initial reaction is important, the front office staffs need to allow themselves to see or experience clients’ situation from their point of view.
A part from that, the front office staff must be in full possession of all the facts. They need to ask guest to describe the problem with as much detail as is necessary. This is because asking question indicates their interest in guests and concern for their welfare.
The front staff must never dismiss the complaint or take it lightly but to validate the client’s feelings by responding with a statement that reinforces rather than intimidates.
Besides that, the front office staff needs to listen carefully to the client’s description of the problem, and then paraphrase it to indicate that they understand. The front office staff also must promise to take action. They need to check into the circumstances, notify the appropriate department, and promptly report back to their client. Above all, they must never drop the issue and hope that the client forgets about it.
The front office staff spends a great deal of its time on the telephone, communicating with people both inside and outside the hotel. Despite the element of convenience, the telephone strips them of the advantage of using facial expressions, gestures and eye contact. Instead relying on their personal appearance and facial expressions, they must rely on their voice to convey subtle, as well as apparent, messages,
The following are the guidelines to develop an efficient and courteous telephone manner.
Firstly, the front office staff must always be prepared and answer promptly by the third ring if possible.
Secondly, the front office staff needs to use proper identification when answering the phone. Moreover, it saves time if the front office staff takes action to the purpose of the call.
Next, the front office staff must be able to speak directly into the telephone. They must never chew gum, smoke or do anything else that interferes with clear speech.
Besides that, the front office must be active listener and limit their talking. They should be able to mentally shut out all distractions and focus on what the caller is saying.
In addition, the front office needs to check back every minute or so to reassure the guest he or she has not been forgotten if it is necessary to place a guest on hold. They should thank the caller for waiting and explain the reason for the delay when they return to the line.
Lastly, they are to end the call courteously by the wishing the caller a pleasant day.
A client’s first impression of an establishment and is made upon entering the company’s premises. Front office operations together with the appearance of the office, are a direct reflection of the establishment’s practices, therefore staff should be well able to display certain ethics in their duties.
Front office staff does not only refer to the receptionists but front office managers, clerks and telephone operators who are stationed at the front office are also a part of the front office workforce. If a client or a prospective one is greeted by a courteous and attentive staff, the first impression he will get is that the company is a smooth running business with well trained staff. This is much more likely to draw the client to the company and ensure that he will want to have business dealings with the company.
Besides that, the front office staff is often confronted with irritated or angry customers. They must be trained on how to deal with them and on how to calm them down. If an angry customer is served by a cheeky employee, it might well mean the end of business with this client and he may even go as far as giving the company a bad reputation.
In conclusion, the front office staff must have a certain standard of ethics when carrying out their duties, for displaying an indifferent and bored attitude will reflect badly on the company employing them.
I, YONG SUET YAN hereby confirm that this assignment as my own and not copied or plagiarized from any sources. I have referenced the sources from which information is obtained by me for this assignment.
Cite This Work
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:
Related ServicesView all
DMCA / Removal Request
If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: