In the Words of Chesapeake

Strong Points: Front Desk

Strong Points: Front Desk

September 11, 2017

It’s the single most common point of interaction in a hotel. The front desk is a property’s strongest first impression, as well as its last impression. Should an issue arise during a guest’s stay, the people behind the front desk could have the greatest impact on an individual’s perception of their overall experience.

 To Natacha Lyn, Director of Guest Services at DoubleTree by Hilton in Laurel MD, the fundamental values of great hospitality are still at the heart of what makes a strong front desk team.

 “Going above and beyond is foundational to our job – and each shift should exude greatness,” says Lyn. “No team member should think this only entails answering the phone and processing check-ins and check-outs. We want our guests to feel that they are more than welcomed at the door - every morning they see us they are greeted with a smile, always.”

 “If something goes wrong, it’s our responsibility to fix it. Every person on our team recognizes that reconciliation will very likely be the most important pivot point in a guest’s stay,” adds Lyn.

 Today, those fundamentals of great service are more important than ever before, amplified by the array of technologies available to help optimize guest engagement through the lifecycle of a stay. Put another way, today’s front desk needs to be a hub a wider experience that’s more sophisticated and interconnected than ever before.

 Where is a guest coming from? Why are they visiting? Have they been there before and, if so, what were their preferences? If not, how did they find the property and what does that tell us about them?

 Today’s interactions need to seamlessly integrate these data points. Not simply handing out room keys with a smile, but proactively laying a knowledgeable foundation that will help guests make the most of their stay. Recommendations on places to see, efficient routes to take, stores to get supplies they’ll need for a business trip - or ski vacation - seamlessly integrated to make the guest feel you’ve welcomed them dozens of times before.

 The fundamentals of great service remain as critical as they’ve ever been. As we look to the future, technology sets a higher bar. Excellence is no longer about responding to guests’ needs, but anticipating those needs as if you’ve known a guest for decades.

 As [Lyn] puts it, “With new technology, we have the opportunity to have more personal, relevant and meaningful engagement with our guests than ever before – for those of us who got in this industry for the love of great service, it’s an opportunity we’re truly embracing.”