hile every member of your hotel team is important, your front desk team plays a critical role in first, last and middle impressions for your guests. It’s so critical that it is likely that no one on your team has as much influence over guest experience and satisfaction as does your front desk team. Knowing that, it just makes sense to ensure that you have a great front desk team. Here are a few must haves when hiring front desk team members.
- Neat and Professional in Appearance: While what defines neat and professional may be open to interpretation, I think we can all agree that being clean, well-groomed, and wearing clothing that fits properly should be high on the list. Regardless of whether your hotel provides uniforms or not, there is one important thing your front desk team members must wear every day. A smile!!
- Ability to Solve and Anticipate Problems: Let’s face it, problems happen. And sometimes we can even see potential problems as they are happening. Regardless of the reason for the problem, your front desk team members must have the ability to be resourceful and “think on their feet” when problems occur. Also critical is a caring, positive attitude along with prompt follow through. Guest satisfaction may well hinge on how quickly and professionally problems are handled when they come up. Even if the solution isn’t necessarily what the guest was hoping for.
- Calm Under Pressure: There are lots of opportunities for pressure at the front desk. Everything from angry guests to computer failure, to short staffing, to…well you name it. Being able to remain calm while everything is in chaos is an absolute must.
- Communication Skills: Your front desk team must be able to communicate clearly with both the spoken and written word. But don’t forget, listening and understanding are also crucial to communication. Your front desk team members must be able to both speak and listen with equal proficiency.
- Flexible Team Player: In spite of the best planning by management, we can sometimes be thrown curves. It could be a shift change on short notice or helping in another area where staff is unexpectedly short or helping with a task that isn’t part of the job. Regardless of the reason, front desk team members need to be true team players and help wherever and whenever needed. And with a smile and a positive attitude.
- Organized, Detail Oriented and Computer Literate: Little to no explanation is needed here. Suffice it to say that a front desk team member who is not organized, detail oriented or computer literate can have a devastating effect on both workflow and guest satisfaction.
- Knowledge of the Area: Guests often approach the front desk team to ask about restaurants, shopping, or fun and exciting things to do in the area. Having a thorough knowledge of the area is yet another invaluable tool for helping to ensure guest satisfaction.
Let’s face it, keeping guests happy keeps them coming back. And happy guests tell their friends. But so do unhappy guests. Top notch front desk team members are your best investment in making sure your guests become raving fans and ambassadors for your hotel.