If you have a pleasant demeanor, are able to multi-task and have excellent communication skills, then working as a Front Desk Manager is a lucrative option, says Vasim Shaikh
Hotel professionals will tell you that one of the most important areas to work in is the Front Desk. Why? Since it’s the hotels’ smile, the place where you get to experience the excitement of dealing with guests, the complexity of overseeing crisis situations and the control that comes from overseeing the communications centre for the hotel. It’s a lively and fast-paced working environment and being part of this operational hotspot isn't for the faint-hearted.
When people travel, their basic needs are the same: A clean room and a relaxing bed in which to sleep, assurance in the safety of their lodgings, and helpful, friendly front desk staff from customer service agents to the porters and concierge who are polite, knowledgeable and expert in their duties.
A hotel Front Office Manager is tasked with the well-organised and smooth administration of the entire front desk operation, as well as the staff who work there. This senior role is intended to oversee, manage and maintain various managerial, staffing and guest related queries. The Front Office Manager in general trains reception and reservations staff and is the communicator between this valuable department and the General Manager or owner. It's a very demanding role which often requires a lot of multi-tasking.
Night auditors, concierges, receptionists, cashiers and bellmen usually report to the Front Office Manager, who in turn reports straight to the General Manager. It is a very hands-on role and requires a positive leader who is not afraid to make vital decisions. The Front Office Manager must be skilled enough to guide a team, support other departments and make sure that each and every guest has a unforgettable experience. Duties Typically Include
- Overseeing and training front office staff for their job roles and motivating them to offer guests outstanding service
- Make sure the front desk present a specialised and friendly service for all guests of the hotel, not just the ones who are checking-in
- Dealing with guest queries and complaints
- Organise the staff shifts for the week and or month
- Troubleshooting crisis situations and finding proper outcomes
- Managing cash, guest valuables and hotel safes.
To be a successful Front Office Manager, you must seek steady enhancement and self-evaluation in order to stay determined and give of your best. Great Front Office Managers know how to make a client feel special without having to do or say too much. Attention to detail always impresses guests - from a special greeting and warm welcome to an upgrade or assistance with some photocopying. Great Front Office Managers motivate their teams and are results driven. They appreciate how the guest cycle works from the preliminary point of a guest reservation to check-in, payment and departure. They know everyone's role and persuade their teams to be clear, uphold principles and offer outstanding service.
- Have outstanding communication skills both on the phone, in writing and in person
- Have skill to handle tricky situations with a level head
- Have the aptitude to multi-task and execute under pressure
- Must have the capability to make judgment without fear
This is a very satisfying career as it offers administrator and managers a chance to learn how to face challenges and grow in their professional skills on a daily basis. No two days are the same - it's an action-packed adventure career that necessitates a level-headed, prearranged and service-orientated personage to head it all up.
Various front office jobs are available in resorts, hotels, game lodges, cruise ships, spas, golf clubs and many more venues. There is, for all times, a need for experienced front office staff to work both locally and abroad. Job succession includes rooms division manager, assistant general manager or general manager. Hours of work comprise shift work (6 am — 3 pm; 2 pm — 10 pm) or an 8 am — 5 pm role to supervise the smooth running of both shifts.
For those who wish to practise a career in Front Office Operations, you will need a solid requirement and ample of practical knowledge on the Front Desk. Most Diploma courses accept students who have cleared their 12th boards though a few do accept students just out of high school. For PG Diploma course in Front Office Management, a candidate should have completed their graduation in any stream.
Graduates, diploma or PG diploma course in Front Office Management can easily find jobs as front office executives, office assistants, typists, personal secretaries, customer service executives, and telephone operators. Generally, a fresher in the field can get a package of Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 a month and it increases with the experience.
Where to study
- Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition, Chennai
- Delhi Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology
- Institute of Hotel Management, Manipal University
Front office management is not only about people aspects of a business but also about contribution efficient back-end support to employees and run operations of an office or a retail store. Modern technology also finds a variety of uses in Front Office Management today, from number crunching to overseeing time to assisting customers and staff members efficiently.
— The writer is Chief Marketing Officer, Co-director of CEDP Skill Institute Mumbai