It wasn’t too long ago that hotels utilized manual systems to operate. Of course, those methods are outdated today. Even relatively small hotels make use of high-quality front desk software. These tools help make it far easier to properly manage all aspects of a hotel. Below, we’ll be looking at a list of the five most important and commonly used types of software modules including:
- Front Desk Operations
- Housekeeping Module
- Point of Sale Module
- Reputation Management
- Accounting Management
Let’s get a closer look at what each of these modules brings to the table and why they are so essential for hotel management.
Front Desk Operations
The actual front desk operations module is the core of most systems, and it should offer a robust number of features, including those noted below. Of course, the features will vary between software options.
The front desk module will typically include features like a reservation management system. It can connect to the web, so any bookings that are done online rather than over the phone or in person can be updated in real-time. This is helpful, as it will help to reduce the chance of double-booking a room or not filling a room.
Excellent hotel front desk management software will also include tools that will make it easy to multitask a range of activities. This includes:
- Individual check-ins and check-outs
- Group bookings
- Corporate bookings
- Sending confirmation emails
By streamlining the process for booking rooms, and ensuring it is always up to date, it reduces the risk of making errors that could possibly upset guests.
Housekeeping is one of the most important elements of hotel management, and you can’t afford to get it wrong. Rather than trying to handle the housekeeping scheduling manually, use a housekeeping module to make your life easier.
This type of software should connect with the front desk software, so it is easier to know when guests leave the room, when guests are arriving, and when the rooms need to be cleaned.
Good housekeeping software will have a simple-to-understand dashboard that can display room status information. The software can let users assign rooms to the housekeeping staff based on different floors or blocks.
With a good software module, it is also possible to sort them based on their status to better manage how the work is divided. Color coding will help to make it easier for you to see the status of rooms at a glance. The software makes it easy to add and remove staff as needed.
Once the work has been divided and assigned, it can then be printed out to pass out to the housekeeping staff. They can report their progress throughout the day, so the software module can be updated. However, some hotels may want to allow their housekeeping staff, or at least the managers, to have access to the software to make updates faster.
The software can allow you to easily assign tasks, share messages for special requests for rooms, with the staff, and more. Ultimately, this software module helps to increase housekeeping efficiency.
Hotels will often have multiple points of sale. These might include minibars in the rooms, the spa, restaurants, the gift shop, a travel desk, and more. Cloud-based point-of-sale software allows for more options, such as having orders transferred to the room as room service to be paid later, for orders to be sold directly to the guests and paid immediately, and more.
One of the other benefits of this type of module is how it can be leveraged to create custom packages for guests. This can be a powerful marketing tool. You can create a custom stay based on holidays, seasons, events, etc. by clubbing rooms with POS items. This way, you can offer those items in packages, which can help with upselling. Deals can be modified quickly, as well.
When looking for a quality point-of-sale module, it is a good idea to use a touch-screen system. These tend to be easy to operate, which can allow for greater efficiency.
A reputation management module will allow hotels to collect feedback from guests through online sites, such as TripAdvisor. Emails requesting a review can be sent directly to the visitor emails within a short time after checkout.
A great module will allow users to check out all of the guest reviews in a single place. This will make it faster and easier to see the reviews, including the problematic ones that will need to be handled. Use the software to monitor review platforms, and always be sure to connect with dissatisfied guests to help improve their experience—and maybe their review.
An accounting management module for the hotel software system is essential, as well. Many hotels already have certain types of accounting management software they use. They like how it works, and they don’t want to change it. Therefore, it is important to choose a front desk software system that can integrate with some of the most popular and preferred accounting management systems. These include options like Intuit QuickBooks, Xero, Alif, and Tally.
Other Things to Consider When Choosing Hotel Front Desk Software
Choosing high-quality front desk software can make a huge difference in the success of a hotel. Some of the biggest benefits of using this type of software with these modules include:
- Improved efficiency – Housekeeping, check-ins and check-outs, and purchases can be made easier. Employees and guests will both appreciate the increased efficiency.
- Fewer errors – Quality software will virtually eliminate mistakes such as mischarges, double-booked rooms, and rooms that haven’t been cleaned.
- Better customer service – Better efficiency and fewer errors mean that the customers are generally going to be happier. You can’t put a price on good customer service.
- Lower costs – Cloud-based software is an affordable option for hotels of any size.
- Users can save time and frustration – The software helps hotel employees and managers save a substantial amount of time.
The modules listed above are some of the most important features of the software. However, there are other things to consider when choosing software. Ideally, buyers will want to choose a cloud-based, centralized platform that has all of the core functions added into a single system. All of the features should be easy to use, and they should provide advanced reporting and analytics features.
Choose a software system that is focused on the guests, can help with communication and engagement, and offers a modern payment processing solution.
One of the best ways to determine whether certain hotel management software will be a good solution for you and your property will be to take a test drive. Ask for a free trial of the software. This will give users a better understanding of how to use it, what features it offers, etc. You can determine whether it will the right choice for your needs or not.
Consider all of the modules discussed above when choosing hotel front desk software for the management of the property. All of those modules should be included but consider any other special requirements your hotel might have. See if you can find a solution that will meet all of your demands or the one that comes closest to it.