Without an automated property management system (PMS), life at the front desk is hard. You have guests checking in, guests checking out, guests disputing their bills… There are a thousand and one little tasks that need doing, and you have to handle it all with a pleasant smile. From bookings to check-outs and beyond, a PMS like WebRezPro streamlines those tasks to make life at the front desk much easier, so you don’t end up with the straw that broke the camel’s back. Here’s how…
A good PMS will include a fully integrated (and commission-free) online booking engine for your property’s website—for the convenience of both your guests and your front desk staff. Guests will do whatever’s easiest, and it’s easier to enter a few reservation details online than call the front desk. If you don’t have your online booking engine set up, you risk losing bookings to online travel agencies (which take commission) or to rival hotels.
Don’t worry, you won’t have to manage website inventory and bookings separately. When you adjust rates and availability in your PMS, that data automatically goes to your online booking engine, so guests have the most up-to-date information. When a guest books online, the booking is sent to your PMS and availability is automatically adjusted. This prevents overbooking and reduces the time your staff spends on the phone and inputting booking details.
Contactless check-in is a win-win. You save time, and your guests don’t have to make small talk after getting off a red-eye at 3am.
It’s also safer. Guests want to take home those little shampoo bottles, not Covid-19.
Use your PMS to enable guests to check in online. WebRezPro’s guest agreements facilitate self-check-in via mobile-optimized registration cards. Or you can integrate your PMS with mobile check-in apps like Akia, which also allow you to communicate with guests about service requests and housekeeping issues, so they don’t have to troop all the way down to the front desk.
To make check-in truly contactless, you need to give your guests their room keys via a mobile system. WebRezPro integrates with leading keyless entry solutions that either send your guests a keycode or have them download a secure digital key from a mobile app. Both these options will automatically deactivate upon check-out.
It’s a win for the environment too, with fewer plastic keycards.
To reduce strain on the front desk, advertise your contactless check-in process on your social channels and show your guests how convenient it is. Give them step-by-step instructions, either on your website or in your pre-arrival email. Not everyone is tech savvy. You don’t want confused, frustrated guests pulling their hair out and demanding to speak with a human being.
But hold on, what about guest payments due at check-in or at the time of booking? Use a PMS with a payment gateway integration to securely accept payments online, and to speed up the check-in/out process at the front desk too.
When guest credit card information is entered into your PMS (via your online booking engine, digital registration form for online check-in, or by inserting the card in a credit card reader at your front desk), the integrated payment gateway encrypts and sends the payment data to the payment processing network before routing it back to your PMS with an approved or declined response.
PCI-compliant integration partners send you a placeholder instead of the actual credit card number, which makes your system more secure. Hackers can’t steal information from your system if it was never there.
Guests want their travel experience to be personal. They want warm fuzzies. The social equivalent of a chocolate on their pillow.
Staff obviously can’t remember everything about every guest. That’s why you add notes to their guest profile. A guest profile is a record in your PMS that stores basic guest information, like name, email, and address. But you can add more. If your guest is allergic to dog hair, make a note in their profile so that you never give them a pet-friendly room.
WebRezPro automatically brings up matching guest profiles when you enter a reservation. You can also set a note to pop up every time a clerk opens the reservation.
Email automation is your friend when it comes to front desk efficiency and guest personalization, if done right. At least make sure your form emails use the guest’s name and aren’t addressed to “Dear Traveler.” In WebRezPro, you can use the “Insert Keyword” function to add personal reservation details when you’re creating an email template.
If you’re looking for something more advanced, WebRezPro integrates with CRM and email marketing services like Cendyn.
Setting up templates for booking confirmation, pre-arrival, and post-stay emails goes a long way towards giving your guests the communication they need. If I don’t get a confirmation email, I assume the booking didn’t go through.
These emails are also a good chance to upsell. Include information about your dining and spa packages in your pre-arrival template. Your guests may think that hot stone massage looks pretty good…
It goes without saying these emails need to be mobile friendly. Don’t make your guests get out their laptop to check their booking information.
Guests need a clean room. You don’t want them wondering what bedbugs are in the sheets…or if it’s possible to leave a zero star review. If a room isn’t clean, it shouldn’t be available.
WebRezPro’s housekeeping report is integrated with the front desk. Your front desk staff can instantly see which rooms are spic, span, and available in real time—on room availability calendars, the daily check-ins screen, and within reservation folios—making check-ins (especially early check-ins!) and room moves a breeze.
POS stands for point of sale. It’s where extras like dining, shopping, or spa purchases come in. A POS system is not the same as a PMS (your PMS takes care of everything to do with selling rooms), but it can be integrated with your PMS.
Here’s how a POS integration works: when your guest buys a meal at the restaurant and wants to charge it to their room, the charge is recorded in your POS system, which queries the PMS to verify the guest’s room reservation and automatically posts the charge to the guest’s reservation in the PMS, so it doesn’t need to be entered manually into both systems.
This makes operations more efficient and decreases the chance for human error. The more times something has to be entered, the more times a typo can sneak in. Guests will not be happy at check-out if they discover the $25 steak they ordered has now become a $250 steak.
And your staff will not be happy dealing with them.
To get the most out of your PMS, staff must know how to use it confidently. WebRezPro includes live online training as part of our package and customer support seven days a week. Don’t kick the computer. Call us instead.
Using an automated PMS ensures your frontline staff has the time and emotional bandwidth to connect with guests. The smoother your employees’ experience, the more personable they can be. When front desk operations are integrated and automated, your staff will have the energy to help that guest find the perfect local Italian restaurant for their anniversary dinner. Multitasking is overrated; your staff’s happiness is not.