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April 23, 2024

Unlocking Guest Satisfaction: A Front Desk Manager’s Essential Guide to Revenue Management

Unlocking Guest Satisfaction: A Front Desk Manager’s Essential Guide to Revenue Management. This is the second part of a three-part series.

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This is the second part of a three-part series that examines the value of revenue management from the perspective of different leadership roles within a hotel’s operations. The first article examined why revenue management is important for Hotel/General Managers and the final article will explore the subject further from the perspective of Owners and Operators of hotels. 

The Front Desk Manager in a hotel is pivotal in orchestrating the first and lasting impressions of guests, managing the reception team to ensure a seamless check-in and checkout process, handling reservations and addressing guest inquiries and concerns – always with the utmost professionalism. The Front Desk Manager is also responsible for scheduling, training and managing all logistics related to having the rooms ready for guests (i.e., reservations, housekeeping, maintenance, etc.), as well as ensuring that the front desk provides the best possible customer service to guests, 24/7. 

In short, the Front Desk Manager is a central figure at a hotel because they ensure the optimal guest experience and are tasked with maximising operational efficiency. While this role might not be the first one you think of as important in the revenue management process, the Front Desk Manager plays an important, behind-the-scenes role in the strategic development and execution of a property’s revenue management. 

When you remember that revenue management is a strategic approach that not only boosts profitability but also significantly enhances guest satisfaction, it makes it easy to understand that revenue management activities should be intertwined with the roles and responsibilities of a Front Desk Manager, as it will ultimately elevate the guest experience and, as such, improve the hotel’s overall long-term profitability. 

 

Dynamic Pricing: A Win-Win for Guests and Hotels

One of the most important aspects of modern revenue management is dynamic pricing, which is only possible through the implementation of sophisticated revenue management systems (RMS) to automate the collection and analysis of market data, demand, seasonality, competition pricing, among other factors, and provide automated, real-time pricing recommendations.  

A common concern for many hoteliers (especially Front Desk Managers) is that guests will be upset and feel “ripped off” if a hotel implements dynamic pricing. In reality, dynamic pricing will not significantly factor into guests’ satisfaction with their stay or prevent them from leaving a positive review after the fact.

A 2023 ZHAW University study of hotels using RoomPriceGenie’s revenue management solution showed that there was no significant change in guests’ overall satisfaction after the implementation of RoomPriceGenie. 

The guests’ ratings for price fairness went down by a small amount. This is most likely because RoomPriceGenie’s solution is designed to help hotels earn the highest ADR possible, and likely, the room rates increased after implementing the solution, to match market value.

Overall, guests’ perception of the properties’ pricing changed in the study as well: after implementing RoomPriceGenie, more guests perceived the prices as dynamic, which is a positive outcome because it implies that guests understand that dynamic pricing is based on real-life, logical factors (i.e., supply and demand) rather than being a random price that isn’t backed by concrete data. 

As the ZHAW University study showed, dynamic pricing is a very positive revenue management strategy, both for hotels’ overall profitability but also for guest satisfaction, so Front Desk Managers should support the revenue management team’s implementation of automated dynamic pricing to ensure that their property is always offering competitive rates and the best value to guests. 

 

Effective Forecasting = More Effective Operational Planning 

Another important part of modern revenue management is forecasting, in which the revenue management team uses sophisticated algorithms in their RMS to predict future demand based on historical data, current booking trends, market analysis, and other external factors like local events, economic conditions, seasonal variations, etc.

While this information is used in establishing the best price for each room, for the right guest, at the right time, it is also a very valuable tool for the Front Desk Manager. It can help them make better, data-based decisions on important questions such as staffing, housekeeping schedules, hiring, etc. – all of which fall under the Front Desk Manager’s responsibilities and which will ensure smoother operations, reduce guest wait times and improve service quality. As you can see, effective revenue management leads to optimized operations, directly impacting the guest experience. 

 

Better Understanding of Guest Travel Behaviours & Needs

Revenue management requires a deep understanding of market segments and guest behaviour, and by using this information, the Front Desk Managers can set more accurate expectations for guests and communicate more effectively. Whether it’s explaining the reasoning behind the room rates or setting the right expectations about availability and services, informed communication fosters trust and improves overall guest satisfaction.

 

Upselling and Cross-Selling 

At the heart of revenue management is the deep analysis of property data, including booking trends, guest preferences and market dynamics. By combining revenue management data with guest data from the PMS and CRM, the Front Desk Manager can identify the opportunities for upselling and cross-selling, enhancing the guest’s stay while maximizing revenue. From upgrading to a suite with a better view to recommending a spa package, these offers should be tailored to the guest’s preferences to ensure that they are received as offers to personalize their stay, rather than sales pitches.  

That brings us to an important related point…

 

Personalized Guest Experiences

The Front Desk Manager can also use this data to offer personalized experiences to guests. Whether it’s automatically booking a returning guest into their preferred room type or leaving a bottle of red wine (their favourite) in the room to thank them for their continued business, this level of personalization goes a long way in making guests feel valued and understood. 

The involvement of the Front Desk Manager in the revenue management process can transform the guest experience in many positive ways. At the heart of this transformation is real-time data, provided by the RMS and other operational solutions, making the cooperation of the front desk and revenue management teams very important. From offering guests personalized experiences, offering room rates with better value using dynamic pricing, to improving operational efficiency and enhancing communication, the benefits of the two teams working together are tangible and impactful. 

In the dynamic world of hospitality, where guest satisfaction is paramount, the Front Desk Manager must embrace revenue management (and revenue management data) to ensure that the property remains profitable over the long term, while also sustaining the highest level of customer satisfaction for each and every guest.  

This article is Part Two of a three-part series about revenue management, which shares information about the specific benefits of revenue management for employees with different operational roles and responsibilities within a hotel. Keep an eye on this space for the two other articles in the series, including “A Hotel Manager’s Essential Guide to Revenue Management” and “An Owner/Operator’s Essential Guide to Revenue Management.”   


To learn more ways to maximize your property’s revenue, download the free RoomPriceGenie guide, “49 Tips to Supercharge your Revenue”. Trust me, your bank account will thank you for it!

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