The role of the front desk in hotel operations has gone through something of a transformation in recent years. Guests can now skip check-in formalities with mobile devices, and roving hotel staff with tablets quickly process arrivals and departures on the move. Today, speed and mobility serve the supposed preferences of convenience-seeking guests, but this fast-paced interaction comes at a price. By diminishing the role of the front desk, hotels have fewer opportunities to offer personal service and a warm welcome – the fundamentals of what hospitality is really all about.
As a result, guests are often underserved. A face-to-face conversation can lead to unexpected discoveries about their preferences, or a spontaneous suggestion that makes their trip. Many guests want to be welcomed on arrival and appreciate being treated with more focused attention. For these reasons, the value of a call center reservation team cannot be overstated.
Against a backdrop of technological and operational change on-property, a dedicated call center represents a reliable link in the service chain – an invaluable bridge in the hospitality gap. When taking bookings over the phone, a booking agent has a direct opportunity to learn more about a guest, share suggestions, and provide a more personal service. This might involve taking extra time to find the best room combination for a multi-family getaway, or discovering a guest is a big food lover and making a great local restaurant recommendation.
As hotels find fewer moments for guest interaction, this uninterrupted time gains renewed importance. Each reservation call becomes a golden opportunity to build relationships, demonstrate empathy, and shift the focus away from the speed of transaction toward true customer care.
Hotels still need to deliver on the core principles of hospitality, not least because they remain integral to what many hotel guests still want and expect during their stay.