Small hotels have limited resources and there is often a case of one man show at the front desk. The same employee has to simultaneously attend to different guests with multiple requests. For instance, one guest is waiting to be checked-in, another is waiting to be checked-out, another guest calls up to inquire about the booking status and at the same time, an in-house guest calls from the room asking to confirm his airport transfer. Such a situation can lead to chaos if things are not managed properly, thus, hampering the hotel’s reputation and leaving the guests dissatisfied.
This situation usually doesn’t arise for big hotels as there are multiple front desk executives and separate employees handling airport transfers and other tasks. But for a small hotel, this is an everyday situation that needs to be handled with grace and finesse to make sure that none of guests are affronted or unhappy. Small hotels can’t afford to keep any guest waiting for long.
The solution lies in automation and optimized processes
Automating operations using technology helps in simplifying day-to-day tasks and brings efficiency to work. With automation, hoteliers can spend more time with guests to enhance their experience.
Stefan E., Founder and Principal, Workmatrix GmbH says, “Our experience shows that it is seldom only technology that simplifies things for the staff, but technology paired with optimized processes. The first question to ask would be – What’s the most time consuming tasks your staff is facing? One of them will be – of course – the check-in process.
– Do you have a pre-stay process that tries to capture all required information before the guest arrives?
– Do you allow the guests to check in themselves (e.g. using a web based check-in tablet at the hotel)? If only a few of your guests use this – you already gained some time
– During check-out, a self-service solution could also help (e.g. splitting payments across different invoices for the guest etc.)
With new generation of PMS systems, it becomes realistic to build these solutions directly against the PMS’ API.
When you only have one or a few front desk managers – keeping track of guest requests, maintenance and making sure those are handed over correctly across shifts can be quite a challenge. Of course there is the logbook – but you can use technology to automatically assign tasks to your other teams without too much effort for the front desk team, alert staff or escalate certain incidents – you also get detailed reporting on what is going on.
Give your staff one central place to check any processes you’ve defined – this will not necessarily save actual time but I found it helps increase consistency of service – since your processes are easily accessible and right in front of your team.”
Why a PMS like Hotelogix can make a difference?
Hotelogix’s cloud based PMS is designed keeping the specific and special needs of a small and medium-sized hotel in mind.
There are some features that do not apply for a larger hotel or add any tangible benefit to them but for a small hotelier, the same feature can have a very high impact on its efficiency. One of the many features of Hotelogix that seems simple but makes a lot of sense for a small hotelier and directly impacts its efficiency is the multitasking capability.
A property management system like Hotelogix substitutes multiple resources with features like:
Multiple Tabs: The PMS can open different reservations and its information on multiple tabs making it easier for the front desk executive to work on more than one reservation simultaneously, without closing any one.
Therefore, the front desk executive can give the guest who is checking-out, his invoice for review and at the same time he can attend to the guests who are to be checked-in. He can also answer the call of the in-house guest and the guest inquiring about his reservation status. This can be done because the system will display the respective guest information on fresh tabs so that he does not lose out on the work on his previous reservations.
This simple feature benefits the front desk staff by increasing his efficiency, by allowing him to multitask instead of having to finish one task after the other, sequentially.
Real-time Functionality: Hotelogix also impacts the efficiency of the front desk staff as multiple front desks and marketing consoles can work simultaneously. For instance, the small hotel may have a few travel agents and corporates that regularly book rooms with them. In this situation, the front desk staff has an additional load of collaborating with outside parties to manage reservation related processes like taking and updating requests, confirming payments, bookings and more.
Hotelogix property management system offers travel agent consoles and corporate consoles. With this, multiple offices in different geographical locations can work with their designated login. They can access the system from wherever they are and whenever they want. They can also manage the complete reservation process through their individual consoles independently, greatly reducing the overheads on the front desk staff and saving them time. This gives them increased free time to attend to guests. Thus, such a simple feature can impact overall guest satisfaction.