Advantages to knowing your guests’ arrival time
If there is one piece of information you should know about your guests, it is their arrival time. Although your front desk is usually open long enough to welcome all of your guests, knowing their arrival time can allow you to avoid some unnecessary and awkward situations. This information, which is stored in your hotel management software, will help your staff (and not only your front desk staff) to better plan many components of your hotel’s operations.
The front desk staff
As the welcoming manager, you can easily check the guests’ arrival times via your hotel management software. You will be able to predict trends and prepare for these specific peak times. These predictions will allow you to, for example, move your employee’s break accordingly so that they are available during peak hours. Arrival times can fluctuate depending on several variables, such as the weather. On a nice day, most of your guests will plan on arriving early in order to enjoy your facilities as much as possible. Therefore, by being aware of this trend in advance, you will be able to recruit more staff to welcome your guests earlier in the day, and let some of your staff go in the evening. With this information, as trivial as it may seem, you can manage your staff costs more efficiently, but most importantly, you can prepare for peak arrival times at your front desk. This can significantly help you avoid negative online reviews.
Saving arrival times in your hotel management software allows you to detect general trends. You could therefore identify seasonal trends or daily trends. During the week, you may welcome a lot of corporate clientele, which can make it seem like your arrival times solely correspond to the end of the business day. However, by having your data compiled in your hotel management software, you are able to verify if this observation is accurate or not. By having concrete data, you have a better idea of how to create a schedule for your front desk staff, such that every employee is busy and the waiting time at the front desk is significantly reduced.
Your housekeeping staff will also benefit from this information. They will be able to prioritize their tasks according to the arrival times. Whether you pre-assign rooms or not, the different types of rooms you offer also have priorities. For example, guests who book a more luxurious room tend to arrive earlier. Therefore, the amount of luxurious rooms that need to be available earlier in the day is greater than that of more standard rooms. You can thus plan your housekeeping timetable accordingly in order to have many luxurious rooms cleaned and ready in advance.
By being aware of your guests’ arrival times, your housekeeping staff will also be better prepared to equip a specific room with gifts. For example, if one of your guests has requested a bouquet of roses and you know their arrival time, you can set a deadline for when the flowers need to be delivered to the room. Similarly, your catering staff can also exploit the guests’ arrival times stored in your property management software. According to the guests’ requests and/or packages booked, your staff can prepare in order to deliver bottles of wine or delicious welcoming treats.
For many hotels, late night front desk opening hours can be limited, which is why it is important to set up a welcoming procedure so that the guest can still check-in and access their room. This procedure allows your hotel to gather all the information you usually get upon your guest’s arrival, while allowing them to check-in outside the opening hours.
By knowing in advance that a guest is planning a late arrival, your hotel can prepare for such a situation according to its policy. You can communicate with your guest all the information they need in order to check-in. This often happens for condo or chalet rentals, for which arrival times can vary quite a lot. It is not unusual for a guest to arrive in their condo or chalet without having physically checked-in with a front desk staff member. This can be done effortlessly if the guest has been given the correct instructions in order to check in in advance. Do not try to reach them last minute in order to give them this information if they have previously informed you of their arrival time.
How to gather this information
At Hotello, we have developed an online guest profile form which allows guests to confirm their information a few days before their arrival. On this guest profile, clients are able to indicate a precise arrival time, which you can later exploit to improve your guests’ overall satisfaction. This simple way to gather information straight into your Hotello PMS is a significant advantage. You could also ask your guest their arrival time when they book over the phone, or pick a booking engine which allows guests to indicate this information, which will then be transferred to your hotel management software.
When a guest is planning their stay at a hotel, you usually already know what is happening during the day. Make sure to ask for their arrival time so that you can give them an outstanding customer experience, and that your staff is ready to welcome them.