Hospitality management: seamlessly integrate visitor handling and reservations management
Implementing a single software solution for multiple tasks can save time in various areas of a facility. For hospitality management to run smoothly, it needs to merge what historically used to be separate applications: one tool for handling visitors and another one for managing reservations. By opting for a single solution, you can automate transitions and eliminate uncertainties, resulting in an appreciably smoother process for everyone.
At present, receiving visitors to many offices is an awkward process, involving communication between several departments. An individual or group may arrive without knowing where to park, or being able to find a space. They may then have difficulty locating the reception, and once they get there, they may have trouble signing in.
A lack of acknowledgement may be compounded by having to wait for someone to receive them. Even worse, they may have to find their way to the meeting room or other facilities without proper guidance. This experience is all too common but is a frustrating one for both the visitors and the business. The guest feels unappreciated, and the process takes longer than it should, wasting valuable time.
A good hospitality management solution should, therefore, aim to be a consistent point of reference throughout the entire visitor and reservations management process. Using a single end-to-end solution makes this a far more reliable process.
When you create an appointment in your email client (Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, Lotus Notes), reservations management should already be in play. Through integration with reservations software, you can make room reservations from within Outlook, for example. You can schedule your meeting, and book a suitable space and equipment, all without having to switch between applications. And if you cancel the meeting in Outlook, the booked space will automatically show up as available again.
This seamless, single solution approach provides immediate access to all of the booking information for everyone who needs it. The organizer and guests have the information for reference, while the receptionist sees a list of upcoming arrivals.
The use of parking sensors allows the receptionist to view occupied parking spaces, and allocate a space to arriving guests. They can then communicate with the arriving guest to guide them to the designated parking space.
The guest is able to sign in via a public kiosk, notifying the receptionist via an announcement and alerting the host. Name tags or badges are printed on the spot. It is even possible for interactive signage to direct a guest from the entrance to the correct reception, floor or room.
This approach denotes more than a simple reminder system. Reservations management software is a collaborative tool that draws in multiple departments, allowing the hospitality team to work more efficiently together with staff and service providers.
Sensors show when a room has been left alone, and make it available for booking if nobody arrives to check in. Cleaning schedules are adjusted to cater for room occupancy, and environmental factors are changed for personal preference. Refreshments or equipment can be booked alongside meetings, with orders sent at the correct time to ensure the room is prepared for use.
Processes which would normally fall to multiple individuals, requiring that they set up multiple lines of communication, are simplified and unified. Potential breakdowns in communication or moments of forgetfulness are avoided. From booking to arrival, to the end of the meeting, the entire process will run like clockwork.
Leave the right impression
The benefits of this integrated approach to hospitality management are felt across the board. The most obvious saving is time: communication between individuals and departments is automated; and no time is wasted looking for a free room, waiting in reception, or hunting for a spare projector. This, in turn, frees up more time for the meeting organizers, reception and service personnel to pursue other tasks.
However, the soft benefits should also not be ignored. A smooth visit for a guest reflects well on the administration of the business, and its image as a whole. Factors that negatively affect visitor experiences, such as slow check-in or a lack of parking spaces, are often seen as ‘unavoidable’.
Successfully avoiding them will make your staff look ultra-prepared, while the software carries much of the burden. This can set the tone for the meetings to come, and drastically impact your relationship with a client. First impressions are everything, and melding reservations management with reception services is the key to a good start.
Would you like to learn more about integrated solutions for hospitality management? Contact us for a free demo.