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Roles and Responsibilities of Front Office Department

Question:

Discuss about the Human resource management in the hotel.

In a hotel industry, accommodation management is an important factor in hospitality department. Better hospitality sectors invest their maximum amount of money in accommodation sectors. There are some planning companies who made accommodation process a lot easier for hotels. Customers want better-accommodated place and hotels are also trying to improve their infrastructure for better accommodation (Al-Refaie 2015). To ensure good travel experience, a better accommodation process and infrastructure is needed from hotels. Budget is the main factor of this accommodation process and management needs to invest a large amount of money for this accommodation process. Front office management is one of the important departments liable for better accommodation process. In this proposal role, task and functions of front office department has been discussed. There are some roles of customers and positive experiences are also highlighted in this proposal. Role of accommodation manager and viability of outsourcing also discussed in this proposal.

Front office department is one of the important sections of hotel as the managerial formation and functions are started from this place. Accommodation, booking, room changing and all other room facilities are initiated by the front office department. In most of the cases customers want a particular room and willing to pay extra amount of money, in such cases, front office department takes this initiative to allocate this room (Ahmad and Scott 2014). Accommodation managing like hotel policies, housekeeping maintenance, reservation of rooms and reception segmentation are the basic roles in front office department. Communication, dealing mentality, accountability, relationship maintenance, understanding the need for customers and monitoring all the departments of a hotel are the prime functions for front office department. Front office executives are handling people and operate the whole system of thehotel. There are phone bookings, internet bookings and even message bookings available (Benavides-Velasco, Quintana-García and Marchante-Lara 2014). So front office executives need to track that. Hotel goodwill, fame customer satisfaction and approaching a customer are the major aspects that a customer sees in a designated hotel. To acquire a good amount of customers for their hotel, infrastructure and higher management need to take better initiative to get progress in this section

Customer handling and understanding their queries are the basic function of front office department. Front office executives have a large range of responsibilities. Check-in; check out, room servicing, query sections for room, online and offline payment, room number allocation, providing a particular room for a particular client, cancellation of rooms, same room for same customers, cash handling all these are allocated responsibilities of front office management employees (Boella and Goss-Turner 2013). There are certain systems for special guests and executives take special care of those people. They bring in more money for the hotel so they expect some quality welcoming or precious client handling from hotel executives specifically from the front office department. Handling complaints is another important function that front office department has to take care of (Boella 2017). Customers’ complaint about rooms, places, extra charges, bathrooms, small spaces in their guest rooms and for other problems also. This problem situation can be mitigated by the effective steps that have been taken by the hotel management. A better experience can be drawn from the customers if management determines all those problems and work over that (Xie, Zhang and Zhang 2014). Payment process handling is another function of front office executives and all payment related issues like online and offline payment, of payment form credit and debit card and from net banking are handled by them (Cantallops and Salvi 2014). There are several sections in front office department and specific people are allocated for specific jobs. Cashier, telephone operator, software maintenance, night auditor, helpdesk and receptionist all these are segments of front office department and they are doing their own responsibility as well.

Role of Customers

Customers are also addressing some roles in a hotel. In case of accommodation, they want some particular room or want to pay extra for any kind of special attention. Customers also interact with front office executive for their payment related issues. Sometimes they acquire some benefits like discounts, coupons and all these facilities are channelized by the front office department (Gémar, Moniche and Morales 2016). Customers demand good food; innovative systems in hotel, big space, good environment and privacy which the hotel executives and management of the hotel take care of.

There are some aspects which provide a better experience for customers and hotel management takes care of these aspects so that key attraction towards the hotel continues. In this globalized scenario, connectivity is the prime need that customers’ want in their daily life. Connectivity in form of telephone connection, Wi-Fi maintenance, breakfast, parking space, complementary foods and additional benefits are wanted by a customer. Customers want good value of the place and need to evaluate the hotel that has the capability of accumulating enough people (Melián-González and Bulchand-Gidumal 2016). Customers also want technological advancement in hotel and want applications like mobile check-in; internet money transfer, mobile check out, privacy maintenance technology and all these technologies are creating chances for better customers’ accumulation in hotel. Customers also want security from the management which is one of the prime need that hotel authority needs to implement. There are some security persons allocated for that particular hotel and these are responsible persons for providing customers’ safety and security.

There are different job roles for Accommodation managers and they have to do their duties in an efficient manner so that the particular hotel can get a competitive advantage in this business market.

  • Ensuring customers safety and security is the prime responsibility of accommodation manager.
  • Develop a positive relationship with all sectors of the hotel including the outsourcing staffs, stakeholders and
  • Control over the finance and allocate money for each section of hotel (Mok, Sparks and Kadampully 2013).
  • Communicate with reception service employees so that they will understand the depth of that job that they are doing.
  • Supervise the cleaning staffs and monitoring them.
  • Take some important meetings with all departments and state the importance of their work and how it influenced customer satisfaction.
  • Get involved with the infrastructure management and determine the sections of changes that need to be done.
  • Arrange repair and maintenance cases so that everything will be organized at the hotel (Molina-Azorín et al. 2015).
  • Motivate employees for better work and providing an easy way of adaptability for innovative work process.

These are possible things that enhance customers’ experience and bring in some positive changes at the hotel. Customer service skill is the prime skill of accommodation manager and all those sectors are monitored by the manager. Better facility management is expected by customers and this is fulfilled by the accommodation managers.

Outsourcing is a contract provided by a third party company. The parental company allocates one or several companies to do some specific job to save some money and resource. In case of the hospitality industry, accommodation section is controlled by front office department. As the technology has grown up people wish to use technological tools for their hotel booking and room selection (Nieves and Segarra-Ciprés 2015). In that case, many outsourcing companies are helping those people by providing them a platform to book such rooms. These companies are considered as outsourcers. There are some packages provided by those companies for enhancing their business. Hotel management also gets relaxed by that process as they need not take that pressure to allocate room to their customers (Padilla-Meléndez and Garrido-Moreno 2014). Customers have already booked rooms and they just come in hotel and deliver their proof in mobile or in any hard copy. There are some advantages and disadvantages of this outsourcing process.

  • The main advantage of outsourcing is a reduction of fixed costs. Hotel can hire any services or another company to do this work and the cost for this particular service is set by that company. Therefore, no fixed rate has been applied to that service (Riley 2014).
  • Better quality of product deliverance is another benefit. This is increasingly updated by the management as the technology is getting innovative day by day.
  • Technological use is the prime benefit that customers wish to experience and they book their rooms through a different portal. In most of the cases management is not allowed to reserve any room but through different platforms, customers can do that.
  • Companies are not getting a ntrol over those third party companies. There are different situations when third-party companies are generating extra discount or book a room for theextra price. So basically people accumulation is the main motive of these platforms and that is the reason they have allocated such discounts and all (Shamim, Cang and Yu 2017).
  • Every company has aim and objectives. Third party companies are not so aware of that and they have set their promotional strategies which sometimes oppose the values of the company.
  • There are some lacks of authenticity persisting in those platforms. People do not always believe such things and prefer to book in an authentic
  • Third party employees’ are not always capable to hold the prestige and value of the parental hotel and for that reason, there are certain misconceptions arising in customers’’ mind. 

Technological Advancements in Hotel Industry

Front office department of a hotel needs to implement some strategic changes and has to include some innovative procedures for better outcome. There are some special clients who occasionally come at hotel and they invest whole lot of money. A special care is needed for them and that is also recommendation. Most of the hotels are not capable enough to implement innovative process due to the fear of non –adaptability of their employees. But the processes need to be implemented so that customers’ satisfaction gets maintained by the hotel management and employees of that hotel need to adopt all those changes for maintaining sustainability in this competitive business market.  

Conclusion

Hence, from above findings, it can be concluded that accommodation management is important for hotel establishment. Accommodation managers need strong communication, leadership and organizational skills and problems solving attitude within them. Customers are important factors for hotels as they want better infrastructure and service from hospitality sector which improves the market position of the hotel and give that a boost for bringing in ore customers with them.  In this proposal, all aspect of accommodation issues and planning has been discussed to gain better customer experience from hotels.

References

Ahmad, R. and Scott, N., 2014. Managing the front office department: Staffing issues in Malaysian hotels. Anatolia, 25(1), pp.24-38.

Al-Refaie, A., 2015. Effects of human resource management on hotel performance using structural equation modeling. Computers in Human Behavior, 43, pp.293-303.

Benavides-Velasco, C.A., Quintana-García, C. and Marchante-Lara, M., 2014. Total quality management, corporate social responsibility and performance in the hotel industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 41, pp.77-87.

Boella, M. and Goss-Turner, S., 2013. Human resource management in the hospitality industry: A guide to best practice. Routledge.

Boella, M.J., 2017. Human resource management in the hotel and catering industry. Taylor & Francis.

Cantallops, A.S. and Salvi, F., 2014. New consumer behavior: A review of research on eWOM and hotels. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 36, pp.41-51.

Gémar, G., Moniche, L. and Morales, A.J., 2016. Survival analysis of the Spanish hotel industry. Tourism Management, 54, pp.428-438.

Melián-González, S. and Bulchand-Gidumal, J., 2016. A model that connects information technology and hotel performance. Tourism Management, 53, pp.30-37.

Mok, C., Sparks, B. and Kadampully, J., 2013. Service quality management in hospitality, tourism, and leisure. Routledge.

Molina-Azorín, J.F., Tarí, J.J., Pereira-Moliner, J., López-Gamero, M.D. and Pertusa-Ortega, E.M., 2015. The effects of quality and environmental management on competitive advantage: A mixed methods study in the hotel industry. Tourism Management, 50, pp.41-54.

Nieves, J. and Segarra-Ciprés, M., 2015. Management innovation in the hotel industry. Tourism Management, 46, pp.51-58.

Padilla-Meléndez, A. and Garrido-Moreno, A., 2014. Customer relationship management in hotels: examining critical success factors. Current Issues in Tourism, 17(5), pp.387-396.

Riley, M., 2014. Human resource management in the hospitality and tourism industry. Routledge.

Shamim, S., Cang, S. and Yu, H., 2017. Supervisory orientation, employee goal orientation, and knowledge management among front line hotel employees. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 62, pp.21-32.

Xie, K.L., Zhang, Z. and Zhang, Z., 2014. The business value of online consumer reviews and management response to hotel performance. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 43, pp.1-12.

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