Checkout Procedures in Front Office Management
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According to James A. Bardi, the author of the textbook "Hotel Front Office Management," checkout is the "best opportunity for securing additional reservations." As the final impression that your customer has of your hotel, your checkout procedures are essential for maintaining and growing your customer base. You can ensure that your front office staff makes the most of this opportunity by developing a checklist for your checkout.
The evening before, review all your guests who are due to check out and arrange all their files together. Send express checkout forms to all the appropriate guest's rooms. Note your customer's names so you can greet them by name in the morning.
Greet the Customer
Make eye contact and greet the customer by name. Ask if she will be checking out. If she has completed the express form, take the form, review it for accuracy and ask for the keys. If the customer has not filled out the express form, continue with the checklist.
Ask About the Stay
Ask if she enjoyed her stay and if she will be returning to the area. If so, ask if she would they like to make another reservation. Is there another hotel in the chain where she might need another reservation? Note any future reservation information.
Review Bill With Guest
While chatting with the guest, print out the final bill and review all charges. Make sure you review all room service, phone and mini-bar charges. If there is a discrepancy, ask the customer which item she disputes and tell her you will look into it immediately. If you have made a mistake, apologize and correct it. If no mistake is found, refer the bill to your supervisor.
Ask how the customer will be paying for the bill. Process all charges and present the customer the receipt.
Ask About Other Services
Ask if the customer requires hotel transportation to the airport or to have her luggage stored.
Thank the Customer
Make eye contact and thank the customer for staying at the hotel. Ask if there was anything else that could have been done to improve her stay. Give out any survey forms and indicate where she can post positive comments online.
Report any complaints and suggestions to your supervisor. Refer any future reservation requests to the reservations department.
Lori Karnac is a librarian, researcher and professor who has done academic research and writing since 1990. Karnac has written for the Key West Arts blog and "Artlurker" in Miami. She has a Master of Arts in library and information sciences from the University of California at Berkeley, and teaches academic research, art and design classes.