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PROVIDE ACOMMODATION & RECEPTION SERVICE Preparing for guest arrival There is a limit to the amount of information that

can be physically stocked in the work station. The most important storage component is the services agents. The services agent must know absolutely everything about the property. Be prepared 1. Ensure your work station is stock with every stationery tool you may need (e.g.) pens, pencil, note pads, markers etc 2. Ensure that you have enough brochures and hotels maps. 3. Know your hotel (e.g.) give proper direction to correct department. Blocking rooms This should always occur to prior to the arrival of guest to a property. This can be done by manual need or auto mated mines, when the guest makes a reservation, a space is reserved. Once a room has been blocked, a definite room has been reserved and his/her name is inserted beside that room number in the computer. (if the property is automated or on a colored board beside the room number if the property is manual. Once this is done the service agent will not be able to sell the room to anyone else, during that time period, as the room will show occupied during that time period. Why do we block rooms? Rooms are blocked in advance, blocking depends on the circumstances in the case where the guest is looking for a regular room with no special request, and then, the room may be blocked the day or the morning. Advantages of blocking rooms 1. Notification of housekeeping: in this way, housekeeping knows which rooms will be required for the day ahead of time, and will assign rooms to be cleaned on a priority basis. The arriving guests having the highest priority need to get a room that is clean, ready and waiting. 2. Notification of front desk: this will have an immediate effect on the length of time it takes a guest to check into the property. Once the front desk knows what rooms have been assigned, they are able to go ahead and do some level of preregistration to make the check in smoother and quicker. Pre-registration This comprise of printing the registration card with the room number assigned and giving a room key and any information in the pocket to arrivals. In this way, all that needs to be done when the guest arrive is that they fill in their personal information, deal with the payment and they are quickly dispatched to their rooms. The service agent can ensure that all requirement will be met. (e.g.) refrigerator need for diabetic person will be delivered.

Checking in procedures The process of checking a new arrival can be divided into five basic stages, which are shown below. Preparation for guest arrival

Room assignment & determination of room rate

Registration

Checking the method of payment

Issuing the room key & escorting the guest The order of these stages may vary from hotel to hotel, also the reservation status of the guest may pre-empt some of the stages. Before registering a guest or assigning a room, the receptionists need to have certain information which is essential to their work. E.g. 1. Room status and availability report 2. expected arrivals and departures 3. arrivals with special request 4. VIPs and frequent stay guest In the case of check in guest, the registration form particularly must be properly completed. This may vary from hotel to hotel. arrival date departure date number of rooms room type daily rate number of guest advance deposit room number name address passport number

nationality company name type of payment plan departure time signature (guest & receptionist)

The most important personal information is the name and signature, as without these, there cannot be a legal contract. The method of payment might also be on the card. Once a guest has checked into a property, this information is put into the computer, upon check out the information goes into the guest history. Guest history begin from the reservation is made throughout the guest stay. Check out procedures When checking out a departing guest, front office staff should follow certain basic procedures which are authored below: 1. check guest and check his/her name an room number 2. check if late checkout charges should be applied, check for late charges 3. produce master and guest folio for guest inspection 4. settle account 5. update front office records it should be noted that these procedures charge from hotel to hotel depending on their policy. Prepare registration forms Given: registration forms, pens, pencil, arrival & departure list; guest history record A. B. C. D. E. F. Performance criteria all relevant documents and correspondence must be class of hand Registration forms must be written up prior to arrival of guest following property standards. Registration must be correctly filled out and must be neat, clean and readable, leaving no room for misinterpretation and errors. Guest history record ( if already established) must be held into account and information on it must be checked against registration form. Guest history record must be established Registration forms must be filled with appropriate document.

Attitude required Observe property standard & procedures be organized, accurate, neat, clean and efficient display sense of responsibility in preparing registration form. Procedures 1. Gather all relevant information refer to guests history record, if exist. 2. Prepare registration for by filing out particulars such as: Name, address, arrival & departure date, room & price category, meal plan (if only), method of payment, room number, number of guest and rooms. 3. Establish guests history record based on registration form, correspondence & other document. 4. File registration form with the appropriate document prior to arrival of guests.

Room rates Rooms rate are influence by: 1. type of property 2. dcor of room 3. available services 4. view 5. time of year 6. location of room Rates will vary from property and are often time quoted in united status dollars and its local equivalent. Room rates fluctuate according to the: 1. class of business 2. seasons of year 3. service currently being The following will give a clear explanation to how rates tabulated. (Tabulate how rate is calculated). European plan rate is for room only this may per-person or per room Continental plan this rate includes breakfast as well as accommodation American plan all meals are included, room, breakfast and one other meal, usually dinner. All inclusive rate- rates quoted are for room, all food & beverage and other activities. E.g. Watersports, selected tours, shopping, trips, transportation. Flat rate/group rate- this is a specific rate for a group agreed upon by hotel. The group has to book in advance. Commercial rate- rate which is general upon by a company and the hotel for individual room reservation. Standard room rate or rack rate- rate for room without meals, discount or reduction. Corporate rate- the standard rate charged for executives from business and Individuals Corporation who are regular guest.

Payment method The following are the most widely accepted. Method of payment 1. credit card 2. debit card 3. cheque card 4. cash 5. company cheque 6. travelers cheque

Reservation procedure Each property will set its own standards and policies which will direct the manner in which employee carry out their tasks. Here are the tasks carried out by the reservation of a department of a hotel. 1. receive inquires 2. determine availability of room and services 3. accept or deny request for reservation 4. record details of reservation 5. updates and maintain record 6. compile reservation reports 7. inform front office of reservation 8. follow through- pre arrival, occupancy and departure 9. keep guest history 10. inform department and section of special request. Handle room changes Given: housekeepers reports, house count, arrivals of departure list, guest folio, room status report, registration forms, room cards keys, and rooms charge notification forms. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Performance criteria room change must be made to guests satisfaction property procedure and regulations must be followed keys must be retrieved from guest and checked against room rack information room status report must be updated without errors billing records must be update, altered and completed with 100% accuracy All relevant records must be updated and change without omission or errors. room change forms must be completed without omission and all relevant personnel & department must be informed.

Procedures Complete and distribute room change forms to all relevant personnel & departments and records including: - room status reports - Billing records and information slips. Collect and change relevant keys Handle enquires Procedures: apply procedures for 1. dealing with guest enquires 2. dealing with non-guest enquires 3. handle telephone enquires 4. handle emergency enquires Refer any question you cannot answer to relevant personnel or department. Employ the use of body language, selling techniques and communication skills.

Handling complaints procedures

1. greet guest and listen attentively to complain 2. rectified cause of complain by taking appropriate steps to find a solution or getting relevant personnel or department to fix the problem e.g. (TV not working) 3. record complain 4. report to authority 5. follow up on report 6. Follow property policies and operating procedure at all given times. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Arrange transportation for guest Check transportation arrangement policy of property. Gather all relevant information and data. contact transportation company and make reservation contact relevant personnel or department prepare travel advance forms ensure signing of documents Inform guests of transportation arrangement.

Checkout guests a. gather all relevant records /document and tools b. update all relevant records c. check that record of account is accurate & balanced d. Make changes if necessary and recalculate. e. Greet guest appropriately and present bill and other document f. Accept payment method g. Check forms of payment and record payment h. Recover keys and other hotel property items i. Employ future selling technique j. Deal with last minute problems k. Assist guest with luggage etc, and bid farewell l. Update room status report and inform relevant personnel m. Establish or update guest history record. Irate customers Step1 Have specific people in charge of handling complaints. You want people who are trained in handling complaints and who are available to listen. (Don't actually call it the Complaint Department, though. This will make people think you make a lot of mistakes. :) Step2 Have a good attitude about complaints. Ok, so none of us actually like to listen to complaints. However, complaints are a way to learn how to improve your business. Step3 Listen. Customers want to be heard and understood. Step4 6

Apologize for the problem. It doesn't matter that the customer may, in fact, have been wrong.

Step5 Try to fix the problem or make it up to your customer in some way. Step6 Give them something to show your appreciation. It doesn't have to be much. Coupons are a good idea. Step7 Keep records of complaints. This will allow you to analyze what is going wrong and make changes.

Customer Care Policy


The people of Staffordshire are the focus of "Staffordshire Highways" service. We are dedicated to continuously improve upon the provision of quality, highway maintenance and construction services in Staffordshire. We strongly encourage our customers to make their views known about any aspect of our operations. Their comments help to shape the way we adapt and improve all aspects of the work we carry out. The aims of our customer care strategy are to: 1. Promote a corporate identity for the partnership, to give a clear message about who we are and what we do. 2. Provide a 24 hour single contact point, with free-call phone number, e-mail and internet access for all comments, queries, reporting of defects, compliments and complaints. 3. Deal with all contact from the customer in a fair, prompt and courteous manner; whether comments, queries, compliments or complaints. 4. Train all Staffordshire Highways' staff in customer care. 5. Ensure adequate community engagement has taken place prior to any scheme being implemented. 6. Establish a proactive approach to informing local residents, businesses and commuters of works prior to the start on site and of the benefits that the scheme will bring. 7. Minimise the disruption to local residents, businesses and commuters caused by any necessary works.

8. Actively collect feedback from customers on the performance of the partnership to be analysed and monitored for the purposes of performance management. Dealing with Customer Complaints When a customer contacts your company to complain about a product or service received, it can be a blessing in disguise. For every person who complains, there can be hundreds who do not bother to complain but who also spread negative comments about your company. In situations where customer complaints occur, the complaint must be dealt with immediately and the cause of the complaint rectified. Some companies are not concerned with quality and often ignore complaints or deal with them dishonestly. Seeking customer satisfaction benefits a company in the long run. Questions you may have include:

How should a business deal with a customer complaint? How do non-quality companies deal with complaints? What are the benefits of satisfying complaints?

Dealing with complaints When the customer pays for a product or service, it is assumed that the product will work correctly or that the service received is as promised. Ideally, the customer will be satisfied, and there will be no complaints. If there is a problem and the customer complains about it, your company should quickly answer the complaint and solve the customer's problem. This is often done through your company's customer service activity. But also, you need to follow up and improve your business processes to rectify the problem. Solve the problem You need to immediately answer the complaint and solve the problem. It may be to give money back, exchange a product or do some repair.

Special bonus
To make sure the customer is completely satisfied; some companies will provide some special service or a reduced price on another product. This is done to assure the customer will come back for more business. Many retail stores have a generous return policy to satisfy dissatisfied customers.

Dishonest customers
Unfortunately, there are dishonest customers who will make false claims to get some bonus. Some people will use a product or piece of clothing and then return it, saying they weren't satisfied.

High-end women's clothing stores often will have expensive gowns returned after some important event. The clothes have obviously been worn, but the customer says she is not satisfied or has changed her mind. Usually, the store will refund the money. Since it is often difficult to tell if the complaint is valid or not, the company will follow the adage, "The customer is always right." But since some dishonest people repeat their crimes, a better adage is, "The customer is always right... once."

Price in customer service


When a company sells a product or a provides a service, part of the pricing should include the cost of servicing a certain percentage of defective products or complaints. Rectify problem The second thing a company should do upon receiving a complaint is to seek to rectify the problem. Although a company hopes not to get complaints, they often can be blessing in disguise. Sometimes problems can be caught and fixed before they cause serious negative feedback or even legal problems. It is in the company's best interest to solve any problems and try to make sure that they don't happen again. It is foolish for a company not to use customer complaints to initiate a corrective action. Not dealing with complaints Businesses that don't bother about satisfying their customers usually get more customer complaints. Answering them can, of course, cost the company money. Some companies will try to mollify angry customers but many don't even bother. Complaints that fall on deaf ears Have you ever experienced poor service or purchased a defective product and complained about it, only to have your complaints fall on deaf ears? Many companies that have plenty of business feel they dont need to bother with complainers. These businesses become very independent, especially if they have a product or service in demand. Some continue to succeed, even though they ignore customer complaints, but many will pay the price of lost business and degraded reputation in the long run. Apology mollifies customer A company that responds and apologizes mollifies the complaining customer. But some of these companies never rectify the problem, like the hotel in the above story. The act of responding to the customer and apologizing is good business. Not fixing the problem is risky, though, and may backfire on the company.

Could be sued The bug letter story originated some 30 years ago. In todays litigation crazed society, the hotel would have been sued for millions. Perhaps that is not so bad, if it is a case of ignoring problems. But if it was an honest mistake, such litigation can be destructive to the business as well as to society. We all pay more for things, because businesses must insure themselves against nuisance lawsuits. Benefits of satisfying customer complaints There are numerous benefits for a company to properly deal with customer complaints. Satisfied customer First of all, it will help to satisfy the customer, so you will get repeat business or referrals. In fact, in some cases, effectively dealing with a customer complaint can lead to a more loyal customer than others who may not complain or have problems. Can rectify problems Another benefit of dealing with complaints is that you can see weaknesses in your process or products that can be rectified. This will prevent possible future complaints or problems down the line. It is an effective form of customer feedback, although one you hope to eliminate. Major concern about complaints For every formal complaint you receive, there may be 10 other customers who were dissatisfied and who felt like complaining, but who never did. Instead, they change brands and tell their friends of the dissatisfaction. It is said that an unhappy customer will tell 13 people about his or her dissatisfaction. That is not the type of word-ofmouth advertising you want. The company goal should be to get no complaints at all. Summary Quickly and properly solving customer complaints can help your business grow and prosper. Ignoring complaints or dealing with them in a dishonest manner can result in loss of business or even lawsuits PROMOTE GOODS AND SERVICES TO CUSTOMERS A product may be defined as anything that can be offered to a market for attention, acquisition, consumption or use that may satisfy the needs or wants of a customer / (s). A product is usually tangible- something you can see, touch and smell. Product knowledge and the sale function Customers rely on sales people 10

a. b. c. d. e.

accurate and up to date information satisfy their needs re-enforce their expectation assist them in problem solving instill confidence about their purchasing decision

Formal and informal research Formal and informal research is done to acquire information to update knowledge Formal and informal research includes. 1. 2. 3. 4. decision with colleagues reading enterprise information Research of products or services from information brochures. general media

Primary and secondary data Primary data- this consist of data collected for specific purpose at hand Secondary data- this consist of information already in existence, having being collected for another purpose Organizations that information can be obtained from A. B. C. D. Library JTB (Jamaica tourist board) JIS (Jamaica Information Services) JHTA (Jamaica Hotel Tourist Association)

Products & Services 1. meals 2. unlimited premium 3. scuba diving and/or water sport 4. golf 5. land sport 6. entertainment 7. hotel tour 8. airport transfer 9. hurricane grantee 10. basic wedding package 11. nanny care/child care 12. meeting rooms 13. gift shop 11

Developing the product knowledge Products and Services include function facilities, restaurant facilities, conferences and conversion tourist and transportation food and beverage, entertainment etc. When trying to develop products or services knowledgement, market researchers engaging in a variety of activities. These include 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. measurement of market potential market share analyse sale analyse studies of trends determination of market characteristic

What is marketing research? This is the process that identifies and defines opportunities and problem in marketing, monitor and evaluate marketing action and performance and communicating, defining and implication to management.

Short range forecasting 1. 2. 3. 4. competitive product studies long range forecasting marketing information studies testing existing product

Customer feedback and workplace observation These are use to evaluate products, services and promotional extinctive. Customers research is usually done to determine. a. b. c. d. why customers buy purchasing behaviour source of custom why prospects do not buy

Advertising tools 1. Radio, television, Newspaper, Banner, Poster, Word of Mouth, Internet 2. Build Board, Brochures, Sales promotion What product mix is? This is a comprised total marketing program consisting of advertising sales promotion, personal selling and public relation. 12

The Guest Cycle PRE-ARRIVAL Reservation made

DEPARTURE Settlement of Account Bid farewell

ARRIVAL Registrations take place

OCCUPANCY Guest takes up residence in hotel

PERFORM CLERICAL PROCEDURES Process office procedures: the document process in a typical office includes. 1. Guest mail 2. Customer record 3. Incoming and outgoing correspondents 4. Letters 5. Fax mail 6. Memos 7. Report 8. Menus 9. Banquet order 10. Financial records 11. Invoice 12. Receipt Memorandum (memo) This is an internal correspondent within an organization to convey message instruction or external letter and memorandum is that one memo and is used in house. What is a report? These are design for internal use within an organization. The processing of office documents may include procedures such as the following. a. Recording receipts or dispatch of documents b. Mailing (include bulk mailing) c. Photo copying d. Faxing

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e. Emailing f. Collecting (putting papers together) g. Binding h. Banking How to handle mail: in the tourism and hospitality related businesses, mail is the main method used to transmit information to customers, obtain goods and services provided and send invoices to clients. In order for your enterprise to function effectively, the mail and other documents should be handled efficiently, the handling of incoming and outgoing is expected of all office professional. In order to ensure efficiency you should address mail properly, use proper postage, and choose appropriate mail service. Incoming mail: there are certain procedures in which to follow when processing incoming mail, these include the following. 1. Sorting the mail 2. Opening the mail 3. Keeping selected envelope, date and time, stamping the mail and reading the mail. 4. Organizing and presenting the mail, other procedures such as routing the mail and accepting special mail. Record mail in register and dispatch to relevant persons. Outgoing mail: you may be required to prepare and process the mail for the postal service, when preparing outgoing mail you may carryout the following procedures. a. Assembling the mail b. Selecting classification for mail (e.g) priority, standard express c. Using postal services d. Using private delivery services e. Using postal equipment f. Packing for mailing g. Follow mailing guidelines You can take several steps to ensure the outgoing mail is handled properly, these steps are the following concealing enclosures used when an item is attached to the letter. 1. Prepare the envelope 2. Sealing and stamping the mail 3. Establish a schedule in collaboration with post office, maintaining a correct mailing list. 4. Preparing mail for automated process. Procedures of how to use a photo copy machine. 1. Ensure that the machine is turned on. 2. Enter I.D number if required 3. Place documents to be copied in feeder (face up) or face down on glass (single sheet) 4. Select paper size 5. Select features if required 6. Enter number of copies 7. Press start button

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8. Remove copies from machine 9. Put machine on stand by/energy saver. 10. Documents should always be checked for accuracy because all documents leaving the office must be error free and mailable. Disadvantage of inaccuracy: 1. 2. 3. 4. Waste company resources, time, money and stationary. Damage companies reputation and image. Cause loss of clients. Cause loss of business.

Four types of office equipment in any enterprise are: Computer Fax machine Photo copier Calculator Tape recorder How to handle multiple request for clerical assistance from different colleagues during business period. 1. Convene meeting with all affected parties 2. Determine which tasks are priority 3. Work at tasks in the order in which they were received Key qualities of business document importance: (a) Mail ability correspondence must be error-free (b) Accuracy errors in correspondence do not give a good impression of the company. (c) Presentation/layout correspondence should be attractively displayed on the paper, this makes it easier to read. (d) Neatness (e) Cleanliness What to do if an error has been made on document sent to customer. 1. Inform supervise 2. Call customer and state error and apologize 3. Prepare corrected document and forward to customer as soon as possible Health and safety issue to consider in the office: (a) electrical shocks (b) repetitive strain (c) injury-free PROVIDE CUSTOMIZED GUEST SERVICES

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COLLECT AND SORT WRITTEN COMMUNICATION AND PACKAGES The Front Office is the communication centre of the hotel. It maintains the flow of information to and from guests. Front Desk agents interact and receive more questions from guests than any other department. Duties of the agents include: Providing information about the hotels facilities Handling guest requests Receiving and dispatching written communication and packages.

Mail should be collected and sorted in accordance with property procedures. As soon as mail arrives, items are usually sorted and placed in pigeonholes or delivered to the appropriate guests according to property procedures. Sorting of items can be done either by name or room number, depending on the procedure set out by your property. If the item is bulky, such as a parcel, try to deliver it. Otherwise, inform the staff member or guest of the item awaiting collection. When sorting written communication and packages, you should: Classify and separate guest mail from hotel mail Date, time and stamp mail and mark appropriate room numbers on the items Record mail in mail register Organize written communication and packages in alphabetical order Place written communication in designated room rack Place packages in designated storage area Hotels will Endeavour to protect themselves against mishap. Usually, they keep a record of all packages and written communication that are received, especially registered post. Data logged include: The date the item was received The name and signature of the deliverer The name and signature of the recipient The name and signature of the owner of the item The latter will sign on receipt of the item. Special deliveries by courier, faxes and telex messages should be dealt with immediately.
DISTRIBUTE WRITTEN COMMUNICATION AND PACKAGES In some hotels, the Front Office, specifically the Front Desk, safeguards the item until the authorized person collects it. In more luxurious hotels, the items are delivered to the person or location. It is important that the written communication or packages are distributed to the correct persons or locations. This is imperative if the recipient is a guest. Guests are continuously scrutinizing and evaluating your capability to function effectively and efficiently. Therefore, you should always be diligent and mindful when distributing items. After the written communication or package is collected and sorted, you should notify the owner. If the item is received before the guest checks in, you should make a note in the reservation logbook and put it in a secure place. During the check-in process, give the item to the guest. On the other hand, if the guest has already checked out, you

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should follow the propertys procedure in forwarding the item to the guest. Note - You should exhibit a sense of responsibility in processing/distributing guests mail.
DEAL WITH UNCOLLECTED/UNDISTRIBUTED WRITTEN COMMUNICATION AND PACKAGES There will be instances when written communication of packages are not collected or distributed. In both cases, you should deal with the items according to property procedures. When you as a Front Office representative realize that an item is held over an extended period, send a reminder to the owner. As a sign of goodwill, you can take the item to the guest personally. If the guest has already checked out, consult your manager and he/she will advise you as to the next step. In most properties you would be required to access the registration form and other relevant information from checkout documents and correspondence for the guest who has already departed. You would then send the mail to the registered address of the guest. If you have a contact number for the guest, you can call to inform him or her of your receipt of the mail and your intention to forward it. Note - You should be efficient, responsible and confidential when dealing with uncollected written communications. SECURE WRITTEN COMMUNICATION AND PACKAGES Access to the area where items are kept should be restricted to specific persons. Written communication and packages must be secured from unauthorized personnel at all times. Preserving the privacy and security of both guests and staff is important: It demonstrates the quality of service offered by the hotel It also shows that you respect all persons and their possessions REPORT SUSPICIOUS ITEMS AND PARCELS IMMEDIATELY There may be times when you receive an item or parcel that arouses your suspicion. You should be aware that a suspicious package that is not dealt with immediately could result in great injury to people and/or damage to the property. Therefore, you must inform the relevant personnel, usually the security department, and be prepared to explain your suspicions quickly, clearly and calmly. You should note that occurrences that seem unusual can be considered suspicious. It is essential to note that: You should never approach or tamper with suspicious items as they may contain explosive material that may very sensitive to movement You should report all suspicious items immediately as that they may cause serious accidents/injuries

You should not only be alert to suspicious items but also be on the look-out for suspicious individuals. Pay special attention to the

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presence of strangers in areas where only staff are authorized to be. The procedures for dealing with suspicious persons will vary depending on the property. If you feel uncomfortable approaching a suspicious person, get help from security personnel or a manager. HANDLE ROOM CHANGE
LEARNING OUTCOMES As you go through this element, you will acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes for handling room change. Your learning facilitator is there to assist you with the various activities. Upon completion you should be able to: 1. Recognize guests request for change and offer/provide appropriate alternative room 2. Carry out room change promptly and efficiently 3. Communicate politely 4. Provide room change that is satisfactory to the guest 5. Ensure that relevant records are correct, accurate and up-todate 6. Communicate changes promptly and accurately to all relevant departments 7. Make the effort to maintain quality service to guests at all times RECOGNIZE GUESTS REQUEST FOR ROOM CHANGE The initial selection of a room is based on a guests requests or the category/type of room available. All this information will be found in the reservations logbook. For guests with reservations, rooms are usually prepared prior to their arrival. However, there are situations that will prompt a room change. The situations include: Defective room and bathroom fixtures and facilities Lack of amenities as described in the reservation package Request for a less expensive/more luxurious room Change in location of room for a better view Request for a smoking/non-smoking room

You must ensure that the guests request for a room change is recognized and an appropriate alternative room is offered/provided. Never offer a room that you cannot provide. This portrays you as being inefficient. In cases where the hotel is at fault (for instance, there are insects in the room), as a sign of goodwill, an upgrade (as authorized by your supervisor/manager) or another room can be offered to the guest at a discounted rate. When there is cause for a room change, there are other departments that should be informed immediately. They include: Housekeeping - Checks the correct status (dirty/clean) of the room and makes sure that it is ready for the guest to move in. Accounting - Makes adjustments in its records including any transaction that the guest will make i.e. if the guest makes extra payment for the new room.

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Reservations - Updates the guests record to show the change in room and the reason for the change. Maintenance - Checks the lighting and fixtures in the new room to ensure that they are functioning properly.
CARRY OUT ROOM CHANGE The room change process should be carried out promptly and efficiently. The guest should not be kept waiting unnecessarily. If the new room is not ready, you should check with the Housekeeping Department at intervals to ensure that everything is being put in order. Notify the bell staff of the change and advise them when it is time to transfer the luggage from the old room to the new one. Guests visit your hotel to enjoy themselves and relax. When they request a room change, act immediately to transfer them as quickly as possible: You should exhibit diplomacy and a sense of responsibility when handling room change procedures. Be friendly, helpful and courteous at all times Display accuracy, promptness and efficiency Display effective communication skills COMMUNICATE POLITELY Every exchange between you and the guest should be pleasant. You must be friendly, courteous and polite at all times. You may be having a bad day. However, you still need to maintain a professional attitude and approach. Remember that you represent the property and you are there to make the guests stay at the hotel a memorable one. When guests tell you of the problem and the reason for the request for a room change, empathize. Be sensitive to their feelings and let them know that you understand their point of view. Note: Remember to be polite at all times, even when guest behave boisterously PROVIDE SATISFACTORY ROOM CHANGE Provide a room that meets or exceeds the guests requirements Listen and fully understand guests needs before you attempt to locate a room When the room change is provided, always inquire whether the guests concerned are satisfied.. If the guest is still not pleased, find out exactly what the problem is

You can offer the guest some additional allowances, for example, a complimentary meal at the restaurant. If the situation is beyond your scope, inform your supervisor or manager.

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RECORD ROOM CHANGES All relevant records related to the change should be correct, accurate and up to date. These include Guest folio guests record of charges and payments Rooming list In-house guest list list of registered guests staying at the hotel

If the in-house guest list is not updated, then a package/mail, etc for a guest who changed rooms should be sent to the old room. Also, it is important to keep track of guest movements, so that no mistake is made when posting charges to the guest folio as in the following scenario: Mr. Jones was transferred from room 306 to 401. Ms. Robinson checks in and was assigned room 306. She only spent four days and checked out before Mr. Jones. Upon check out, Mr. Jones realizes that he was charged $70 for a facial treatment that he did not utilize. He refuses to pay that charge. Ms. Robinson has left and she did not leave a credit card number. The hotel has lost that $70. How will the hotel survive if this practice continues? It will not only lose money upfront but also repeat business and prospective clients. Guests will portray the hotel as inefficient and discourage friends from staying there. To avoid any such negative occurrences, update the relevant records as soon as the room change is complete.
COMMUNICATE CHANGES TO RELEVANT DEPARTMENTS It is necessary to inform all relevant departments of room changes promptly and accurately. The departments that should be informed right away include: Housekeeping Accounts Reservations One cannot over emphasize how important it is to keep the communication lines open between all departments. This will ensure smoother operations throughout the hotel. Most hotels now have an internal e-mail system. Otherwise, use oral communication or issue a memorandum to each department. Many hotels have a Property Management System, so that as soon as a change is made, it is shown. Informing other departments of the change will reduce, or eliminate, mistakes and confusion. Messages, packages and telephone calls will be transferred to the correct room. Housekeepers will be aware of which rooms are available or occupied.

MAINTAIN QUALITY SERVICE If you were taking a vacation or a business trip, you would chose a hotel known for its high quality of service. It is no different with the guests who come to stay at your hotel. As a Front Office representative, you should ensure that effort is made at all times to maintain quality service to guests.. Treat each guest as if he/she was the only guest at the hotel. Guests form their first and, most times, last

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impressions of the hotel based on experience with the team members of the Front Office. These representatives should possess strong communication skills and the ability to work well with people. Regardless of how busy the Front Office becomes, you must perform your duties and responsibilities with accuracy, efficiency and composure. The way you address a guest creates the impression of respect and concern that the hotel has for its clients. OPERATE AND CONTROL SAFE DEPOSIT SYSTEM
LEARNIING OUTCOMES As you go through this element, you will acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for operating and controlling the safe deposit system. Your learning facilitator is there to assist you with the various activities. Upon completion you should be able to: 1. Attend to guests without delay 2. Deal with items for safe deposit in accordance with property procedures 3. Allow access to safe deposit in accordance with property policy and procedures 4. Ensure that operating procedures are correct and have due regard to confidentiality and safety 5. Ensure that relevant records are correct, accurate and up-to-date ATTEND TO GUESTS Guests should be attended to without delay. They are the reason why the hotel is in business. Keep this thought in mind and you will bring much success to your hotel and team members. Guests want to be pampered as much as possible. Even if you are busy, you should acknowledge the guests as soon as they approach you. Never allow them to think that paperwork is more important than they are. If they believe that they are second rated, then they will find a hotel that treats them like kings and queens. DEAL WITH ITEMS AND ALLOW ACCESS TO SAFE DEPOSIT SYSTEM Safety deposit boxes are provided at most properties to allow guests to store their valuables, such as cash, personal documents, jewellery, etc. in an area that is safe. At some hotels, safety deposit boxes are found in the guest rooms. These are mostly digital safety boxes, and so the guests can reset the safe and create their own codes. In other hotels, the safe is located in the administrative offices. There are usually two keys. One is the master key, which is kept by the manager on duty and the specific key to match the particular safe box. The guest keeps that key. Both keys are used at the same time to open the safe, either for deposit or retrieval. When the safety deposit boxes are located in the Front Office area, you should: Ensure guests fill out relevant forms

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Record all items deposited (ask the guests to sign the safety deposit form for every transaction made) Keep a record of all transactions Account for all deposited items upon closure and let the guests sign upon receipt of all items Note - You should deal with unexpected situations appropriately. The hotel maintains a logbook that records each time that the safety deposit box is opened. Included in this logbook is the date and time the safety deposit box was opened, the guests room number and the signature of both the guest and the employee who granted access to the safe. In the event that the safe is located in the guestroom, and the guest is experiencing difficulties opening the safe, do not attempt to rectify the situation if the guest is not present. This practice protects the guests interests as well as your integrity. Always allow access to the safe deposit in accordance with your propertys policy and procedures.
ENSURE OPERATING PROCEDURES ARE CORRECT Operating procedures should be correct and show due regard to confidentiality and safety. These procedures include issues such as: Controlling access to the safe deposit Establishing guest identity Identifying signature Making documentation (time and date), of each transaction Issuing safe deposit keys Retrieving safe deposit keys Opening safe for deposit/retrieval

For each of these aspects of the safe deposit system, the procedures must be clear and logical. They should protect both the employee and the guest. Therefore, if you follow the propertys policy and procedure, you should be able to protect the guest and the property.
ENSURE THAT RELEVANT RECORDS ARE CORRECT, ACCURATE AND UP-TO-DATE All relevant records should be accurate and up to date. The main record related to safe deposit is the logbook, which provides data on every safe deposit transaction. In the event of theft or misunderstanding, the record will show what occurred and who was involved. For example, Mrs. Hunter complained that someone had gained access to her safe deposit and had stolen her wedding band. She is quite adamant that Suzette, a Front Desk agent, had opened the safe with her. Suzette does not remember opening the safe for Mrs. Hunter. The logbook was consulted and it was actually Marvin who had assisted Mrs. Hunter. Marvin denies stealing the band as the guest was standing beside him when he opened the vault. In any event, Mrs. Hunter found her ring in her robe. This illustrates how important it is to keep the records accurate and up-to-date. In this way, no one can be implicated. Wrongfully

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RESPOND TO GUEST REQUESTS AND COMPLAINTS


LEARNIING OUTCOMES As you go through this element, you will acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes for responding to guest requests and complaints. Your learning facilitator is there to assist you with the various activities. Upon completion you should be able to: 1. Determine the nature of the requests and provide assistance that is relevant to the requirements of the situation 2. Recommend appropriate alternative sources of assistance, where necessary. 3. Identify, document and analyse steps to prevent recurrence 4. Provide appropriate solution promptly, efficiently and sensitively 5. Minimize inconvenience to guest at all times DETERMINE THE NATURE OF THE REQUEST The Front Office provides information for guests and deals with their requests. Anyone working in this area must have good guest communication skills. When guests come to the Front Office, you should greet them and listen attentively in order to determine the nature of their requests correctly. Asking questions will indicate that you are interested in helping the guest. Make sure you completely understand a request before proceeding to fulfill that request. In addition, ensure that the assistance that you provide is relevant to the requirements of the situation. When a guest has a special request, you should do all you can to satisfy that guest. Do not allow the guest to feel as if he/she is asking too much of you. RECOMMEND APPROPRIATE ALTERNATIVE SOURCES There will be occasions when you have to seek alternative sources of assistance. This occurs when the hotel cannot directly satisfy the request of the guest. There are other additional services that a hotel may not be able to provide and must contact external sources. For example, the guest might desire Italian food but you only have a French restaurant. You therefore have to call an Italian restaurant to make reservations for the guest. Also, the guest may want spa treatment but the hotel does not have a spa. Other external services include: Guided tours Theatre tickets Flowers Laundry

Hairdressing Car hire Golf

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When booking an external service: Identify yourself and your hotel Ensure that you are certain of the guests exact requirements. The guest will not be happy if he/she receives the wrong service Be sure to check the availability of the service and the cost Report to the guest and confirm that the price is acceptable before booking, unless he/she expressed that money is of no concern If the first choice is not available, try to suggest alternatives. Guests may have unusual requests such as ordering an escort service. For any unusual request, get permission from your manager before proceeding. Do not, at anytime, make arrangements for any service that could bring your hotel into disrepute or break the law, because you can be prosecuted. Play it safe and always stay within the limitations of your propertys policy and procedures. When handling guests requests, you should: Utilise communication skills and selling techniques Exhibit helpfulness, politeness, understanding and courtesy Be well informed/knowledgeable and enthusiastic Be organised, accurate, informed and efficient at all times
IDENTIFY AND DOCUMENT PROBLEMS The guest relations representative does not only deal with the requests of guests but also responds to their complaints. When a guest complains to you, you own the problem. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure that it is resolved. Listed below are a number of reasons a guest might complain. Dissatisfaction with service Problems with bedroom and bathroom fixtures and facilities Unusual situations e.g. weather, climate Harassment Disturbances

In order to identify the problem correctly, you should: Listen attentively Repeat the complaint to the guest and restate your understanding Keep a calm but interested expression on your face This is one time when a smile can be taken as a sign of a lack of interest and concern which can make the situation worse. Always maintain eye contact. Furthermore, in dealing with complaints, keep in mind that these guests are angry and will become even more angry if you do not act in an efficient and diplomatic way. Even though you may not be the cause of the problem, you represent the property and therefore share the responsibility. You should always respond professionally. Remember to remain calm and polite regardless of how irate the guest gets. Never take the anger personally or be defensive, as most times the anger is not directed at you. Act according to your hotels policy and procedures.

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Identify the problem promptly and accurately. Document it and analyse steps to solve the problem and prevent recurrence. Being aware of the problem can prevent future guests from complaining about the same thing. Whatever the problem is, establish precautionary measures to ensure that it does not happen again. Remember, when addressing guests complaints, you should Employ listening skills Show concern and understanding Be helpful, polite and courteous
PROVIDE APPROPRIATE SOLUTIONS After listening and understanding the complaint, you should take action. You should respond quickly and apologize sincerely for the guests ordeal. Do not only promise to take action but ensure that you do. If you do not begin dealing with the problem immediately, the guest will feel ignored and become more upset. Remember that when you correct a problem, it is an opportunity to appease the guest and sell repeat business. Let the guest know how you plan to deal with the situation. You can also thank the guest for bringing the problem to your attention. If there is a problem that you cannot handle personally, inform your supervisor/manager. After a problem is resolved, always follow-up to ensure that the guest is satisfied. Allowing a guest to leave your property feeling that his/her problems were not dealt with efficiently, creates a sense of dissatisfaction, which they will pass on to their friends. This can greatly damage the reputation of the hotel. Provide solutions promptly, efficiently and sensitively. Remember: Property policies and operating procedures must be followed when dealing with complaints Cause of complaints must be rectified on a timely basis and followed up Complaints must be listened to attentively, with interest and concern MINIMIZE INCONVENIENCE TO GUESTS Endeavour to minimize inconvenience to guests at all times. Attend to them without delay and fulfill their requests. Quite often complaints can be avoided by educating guests about hotel policies and procedures. In many instances, complaints are related to property procedures, for example, cancellation policy and guaranteeing reservations. Ensure guest rooms are checked before the guests arrival and all faults are corrected. Guests should not have to be complaining but be able to spend their time enjoying the hotel.

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CONTROL ACCESS KEYS


LEARNING OUTCOMES As you go through this element, you will acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes for controlling access key. Your learning facilitator is there to assist you with the various activities. Upon completion you should be able to: 1. Deal with guests in a polite and helpful manner at all times 2. Issue/Authorize keys/access according to established guidelines 3. Manage electronic access according to propertys policy 4. Observe relevant property policy in dealing with lost keys DEAL WITH GUESTS IN A POLITE MANNER Guests should be dealt with in a polite and helpful manner at all times. The Front Desk representative should exercise diplomacy and courtesy. Even when you are otherwise occupied, make it a point of duty to acknowledge the waiting guest until you can fully concentrate on them. ISSUE/AUTHORIZE KEYS/ACCESS At registration, you not only confirm guests identification and verify reservation information, but also dispense room keys. There are two types of lock system used: Hard Key traditional metal key Electronic Key plastic key with electronic codes embedded in magnetic strips. It is the size of a credit card.

The hard key is the traditional one but many hotels are replacing it with the electronic key, which is the advanced method. Keys/access are issued/authorized according to established guidelines. The process of issuing keys/access involves security and maintenance. For example, when issuing keys, do not say the room number out loudly, as some unauthorised person might overhear. Instead, place the key in a pouch and envelope with the room number written on it. You must ensure that the correct key is always issued. For additional information, explain the use of the electronic key to the guest. Keys/access must be controlled and maintained so that guests can enjoy their privacy. Unregistered guests, unauthorized persons and third parties must not be allowed to gain access to a guests room. Therefore, as a precaution, never leave keys lying around or in locks. Also, limit the number of duplicate and master keys and keep a record of all key holders. With the electronic locking system, you are able to tell when the door was opened and which keys were used. These measures make it easier to trace any missing items and are likely to reduce theft. Remember: Keys must be issued to guests in a discreet manner with all keys matching room numbers assigned.

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MANAGE ELECTRONIC ACCESS With the electronic access, the Front Desk agent uses at least one computer terminal to register the guest and an accompanying keypuncher to produce the card. The electronic locking system (ELS) will allow you to issue a fresh key to each guest. It is an investment in guest security and safety. The new combination for the guest room lock will only respond to the new guest room key. When the access key is inserted in the door, the locks microchip scans the magnetic strip and accepts the new valid combination for the door, registering all previous ones as unacceptable. When a guest checks out and the folio is cleared, the plastic key becomes invalid. Consequently, when the next guest registers for the same room, a key with a new combination will be set and issued. The key control system allows only registered guests and authorised personnel to have access keys. Managing electronic access should be carried out according to the propertys policy. Although the security and maintenance departments oversee the intricacies of the operation of the ELS, you should have an idea as to how the system works. OBSERVE RELEVANT PROPERTY POLICY IN DEALING WITH LOST KEYS You should observe your propertys policy when dealing with lost keys. Hotels that use the hard key system are more at a security risk than those that use the ELS. These properties must insist that the guests return the keys upon checkout. If their keys are lost then it is most likely that the respective locks need to be changed. Also, there is a monetary cost for replacing these lost keys. Usually, the hotels will collect a key deposit from the guest during check in. This will be reimbursed when the key is returned.

Guest security is jeopardized when hotel keys are lost. You do not know who might have found them. Dealing with lost keys is a very sensitive issue. It demands observation of security because impostors can pose as guests. Therefore, you must follow your propertys policy and procedures when replacing them. Key fob descriptive plastic or metal tag attached to a hard key. It lists the name and address of the hotel to encourage finders to return the key.

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