Beside the reception’s normal operational work, receiving information (by any means) and sending them to right person at right time is very important for guest service. If you miss any information or if you fail to send it at right time, that will be a big set-back to your guest service and the concerned person may be in a problem for not getting the message. Every information has to be treated as top urgent to avoid any kind of complain or discrepancy.
In any international hotel we receive fax, mail, e-mail, message or any kind of articles to be sent to the right guest. Even sometime paging become necessary to contact a certain guest for a telephone call, for a local guest or for an important message.
Now-a-days almost all the international hotels are computerized to maintain guest information and for other activities. So, as soon as you press the certain key of the computer you can view the in-house guest position, and thus you can deliver the things to the right guest. The hotel which still do not have computer system, should maintain a “guest alphabetical index rack” to maintain a guest position or room position. Whether it is a manual system or computerized one, the guest status/room status must be updated to avoid complain or discrepancy.
Main functions of information desk are as follows:
- Maintain “guest alphabetical index rack” or computerized system (for guest houses or in small hotels “in house guest list”)
- Receive message for guest on telephone or by person.
- Control guest room keys.
- Handle guest mail, e-mail, letters, telegrams and so on.
- Handle guest package/registered package, mail/insured mail.
- Handle paging system.
- Deliver information to guest.
Handling message: in any person or visitor wants to leave any message for guest staying in the hotel and if she/he is available in the hotel at that moment, the receptionist should give a message slip to be written correctly including the visitor name, telephone number, company name and so on. The message should be taken in duplicate too. Then the original is to be placed in the key hole and the duplicate to the room under the door, afterwards when the guest comes in he gets his message.
In some hotels there is message light system with the key hole—while the light is on, it means there is message and when the switch is off, it means there is no message. Sometimes a guest who is staying in the hotel may want to leave message for a visitor who may turn up later personally or may call the reception—this has to be written in the message slip. But the message slip should be in different color. The slip is to be kept in the key hole. Then as soon as the visitor comes, it should be given to him/her.
Similarly for the guest mail or for any other article the concerned guest may be communicated by a message slip. But different hotels have different kinds of slip to inform the guest and to deliver the article. To ensure the guest service, the reception should be alert. While handling all the above things, you should safeguard yourself and your hotel from complain regarding important mail or article and do the following:
- Time punch on the mail at the time of receiving.
- If the article/mail is received in an open condition then write it in the log-book and get it countersigned by postman. It is better to write it in the log book to be in the safe side, even it is received in good condition.
- All the important things should be delivered to guest with acknowledged signed.
Out of all the message, e-mail, fax, letters, mails or any documents/articles received for guest, some of them may not be delivered to the addressee due to his/her non-availability in the hotel. So, all the undelivered documents/articles should be kept in a particular place at reception and should check on the every following day with room status rack whether the respective guest has checked in again or not and if the respective guest whereabout is known to you—you can re-direct the document to that particular address. In the mean time if the respective guest arrives again and gets his/her long left document he/she will be really impressed by your superior service.
To take a message correctly the following steps should be followed:
- Write down the name and room number of the guest being called in the message slip.
- Write the caller’s name, company and his/her position in the company.
- Ask the spelling of the name, if not clear to you.
- Write the caller’s phone number and the extension.
- Write the facts (message) concerned.
- Tick-mark the action required.
- Write the date and time and sign the message slip.
- Make sure that the message is being handed over to right person at right time.