As you may have perceived, hotels are grappling between maintaining the distance required for COVID-19 safety and keeping warm and providing outstanding services. Even before COVID-19, some of the positions at the hotel front office had been merged under broader roles. For instance, it is common to see the desk clerk doubling up as the telephone operator or the bell staff.
How staff such as reservation managers execute their roles has also been changed from physical to non-physical forms. For instance, reservations are mostly made online, with payment, receipts, and confirmation done through apps and websites. In turn, the position of reservation manager at the hotel front office has changed drastically or eliminated in some cases. Several other changes can be made to indicate the evolving perception and positions in the hotel front office.
Can hotels maintain warm and contactless services during the COVID-19 period and even in the future? Based on my experience with the evolving delivery of services in my hotel, warm and contactless services are a possibility. Recently, our hotel has digitized our guests’ check-in and room access to help in the quick and easy processing of their stay. In digitized check-in, booking is done and confirmed through an app, which the guest automatically scans on arrival at the hotel.
This has not only made the interaction contactless but also ensured quick check-in by the guests. On the other hand, digitized key systems employ room access through scanning cards to ensure no contact is made in the process of accessing the rooms. Both aspects have been measured through guest feedback regarding aspects such as time taken to access rooms or make bookings and check into the hotel and their overall experience.