The right front office software can make the difference in your hotel operations, but choosing the right one can be difficult if you don’t know which are the most important features. Hotel front office software should, for example, give you the option to send payment requests, create guest profiles, manage tasks, take care of check-ins and set reminders for important tasks, as well as a range of other tasks.
With the right software, you can without a doubt make the lives of your front desk staff easier, allowing operations to run smoothly and ensuring that daily tasks are managed and executed to perfection. Now that you have a better idea of what to look out for in order to improve your hotel’s daily operations, let’s break down the seven key features you should look out for when it comes time to purchase your software.
Seven key features of a front office software
No matter the size of your hotel, front office software is one of the investments you won’t regret. It helps make your operations smoother, diminishes manual errors, improves the work-life of your front desk staff, and makes the overall daily tasks of running a hotel easier.
If you’re looking to purchase front office software, keep reading to find out the key features to look out for.
1. Manage your tasks
Managing your staff’s daily tasks and making sure they get done is key to a successful operation. This is why one of the key features you should look out for is the ability to take care of task management.
This way, you can keep track of what needs to be done for each reservation, and leave messages between staff members to make sure those tasks are taken care of.
Task management ensures that there are no lingering duties that need to be done in order to ensure the best guest experience possible, whether that be room maintenance, upgrading the room should a cancellation occur, or ensuring that the bottle of champagne is delivered on the client’s anniversary.
Whatever the task, you need to be on top of it with the help of your software.
2. Send payment requests
Another feature you should look out for is the ability to send payment requests because automated payments are at the heart of operational efficiency.
This essentially means that when a guest makes a reservation, they immediately get a confirmation and then shortly after receive a request for an online payment. Read more about the benefits of payment automation.
Front desk staff should be able to send requests for payment directly from the operations software and get notified when the guest has paid or if a payment has expired. You may even want to be able to have automated reminders set up so that you are kept in the loop when payments need to be made or when they have failed.
3. Create guest profiles
Another feature you should look out for is the ability to create guest profiles. You can use this information provided by your front office software to offer tailored messages, upgrades, or to increase the average spend per booking with different upselling activities.
Furthermore, you can use the information about guest preferences to customize the offer and prices to better suit your clients.
Creating guest profiles is one of the key activities in order to increase the success of your hotel’s campaigns and to offer more tailored experiences.
Gathering information about the people who stay with you, such as their preferences and the actions they take while staying at your hotel, is key to extrapolating who your ideal client is and how to better serve them. Learn about five different types of guests.
4. Send messages
Another feature that’s worth looking out for in your software choice is the ability to send messages between staff and with your guests all in one place.
Centralized messaging is a win-win for all parties involved because guests are more likely to get their needs met in a timely fashion, and for your staff members it’s easier to keep track of all communications in one place.
In the case of a solution like Mews, you can have messages from the suite of tools all in one place, whether that be from the virtual concierge tool, the housekeeping app, or in-platform notes and messages.
This allows for better management of the different service requests and limits the chances are that a request will be missed. This is a great feature to look out for when choosing the software that is right for your structure.
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5. Check-in guests
The check-in feature is one of the most fundamental of all. Check-ins are one of the daily tasks that should be continuously optimized, so you want to find a front office software like Mews Operations that allows you to do so.
Whether it be self check-in from a self-service kiosk or allowing guests to use a tablet to follow the check-in procedures on their own or with the help of a staff member, using your front office tool can speed up the check-in process and at the same time reduce wait times.
Reduced wait times is one of the key factors that contributes to guest satisfaction.
6. Control user access rights
Hotels handle a lot of sensitive data, and so it’s important that the software you choose has the ability to update and control user preferences. Make sure you are able to decide what information your users have access to and keep in control of your operations and keep your hotel and guests safe from data breaches.
7. Integrate with other tools
It is crucial to have a holistic ecosystem that handles all your property’s needs, and this is why you want your front office software to be able to integrate with your other Operations and Property Management Systems.
This way all data and processes are synced up, and you can minimize the hassle of having to sync your systems after the fact. The more synchronized your systems, the more efficient you can be.
In this article we’ve looked at the key features of a front office software, including: task management, sending payment requests, creating guest profiles, sending messages, checking in, integration with other tools, and the ability to be used by multiple staff members. All of these together will help make managing your hotel a no-brainer.
Of course, there are many tools to choose from, but if you ensure the solution you choose has at least these options available, you will be sure to set your front desk operations up for success by using technology to make processes more agile.
Eva Lacalle | 31 May 2022
Eva has over a decade of international experience in marketing, communication, events and digital marketing. When she's not at work, she's probably surfing, dancing, or exploring the world.
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