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Front office procedures


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Front office procedures

  1. 1. SITXADM001A TAFE (2009)
  2. 2. Learning outcomesOn completion of this lesson, you will be able to:Process a range of office documents.Identify and use office equipment.Manage equipment malfunctions.Produce a range of office documentsMaintain correct filing and storage systems for front office by following the hotel security procedures.
  3. 3. Office documents Office documents are: Customer Records Incoming and outgoing correspondence Financial control documents Telephone messages Policies and procedures Memos Reports Meeting agendas and minutes
  4. 4. Documents used in accommodation servicesInternal use documents: Those documents used within the organisation.Front office diary: All front office operations use a diary, (log book )To facilitate communication between staff.To record information about the daily activities in the hotel.To pass on information from one shift to another or between working colleagues.It is a standard practice for all the staff to read the diary at the start of the shift.
  5. 5. Internal documents continuedDaily running sheet : A form of checklist for, reminder about the duties to be completed on a particular shift in the front office.Guest request Sheets: The request sheet will detail:The guest’s name and room numberTime the request was madeWhat the request isName of the person who look after the request.( the requests usually includes, bags to be collected, iron or iron board, ice bucket, newspaper etc.)
  6. 6. continuedGuest mailReservation slipRegistration CardGuest ProfilesFinancial control documentationWake up calls sheetTelephone message padsDepartment policy and proceduresMemorandumsReports and minutes
  7. 7. ContinuedPolicy- A statement about the venue’s position on an issue.Example: Theft by employees is a dismissible offence.Procedures: is a step by step guide to performing a task.Memo/Memorandums: Internal use document for communicating a brief message to many staff at once.
  8. 8. ContinuedMinutes: The record of the meeting.Agenda: the list of the points or topics to be discussed at a meeting.Vouchers: It is a form of currency. The voucher entitles the holder to the goods, or services.Accommodation VoucherGift VoucherService Voucher
  9. 9. External use documentsCorrespondence1.Request for confirmation of reservation2. Sales letter from suppliers3. Request for information4. Letter of complaints5. Job application6. Confirmation of reservations7. Guest’s account8. Responding to letters of complaints
  10. 10. continuedInvoices: a request for payment for the services or goods supplied.It provides a detailed account of actual goods or services bought, date supplied, cost per unit and settlement details.Receipts: Receipts are issued in exchange for a payment.
  11. 11. Business equipmentsDescribe the type of business equipment required to operate a Front Office facility.Paper ShredderFaxComputerPrinterStaplerCredit card machinePhotocopierFranking Machinepuncher
  12. 12. Switchboard /PABXPrivate automated branch exchangeSwitchboard is a piece of equipment a hotel to manage several telephone lines and multiple extensions.Switchboard is capable of:Receiving several calls at onceMaking several calls at onceInterfacing with hotel’s property management system (PMS) to record calls made and automatically charge the charges.Place many calls on hold or transfer calls
  13. 13. PhotocopierA Photocopier, similar to a fax machine, will produce an exact copy of a document. It enables to reproduce documents without the need to retype or reprint them.Rapidly copying several one or two sided pagesStapling collated documents.Reducing or increasing the size of the copied documentsReproducing in colour or back and white.
  14. 14. Photocopy machine  Avoid Inhaling the toner dust as it can damage your lungs.  Looking directly at the light while the photocopier is in operation as it is not good for your eyes.  Touching the hot rollers or elements of the photocopier as they will burn you.  Misusing electrical equipment. For example, keep dry and ventilated to avoid electric shock.
  15. 15. FacsimileThe word facsimile means an exact copy.A fax machine reproduces written documents received from or sent to external locations by electronically scanning and transmitting the document via a telephone line.Fax machine process only one single-sided page.Fax machine sends or receives the documents within minutes of transmission.
  16. 16. Fax machine  note that once you have sent the message to a wrong number there is no way of " retrieving " it.  You may not even be aware that you have sent the message to the wrong person.  This can present huge problems to you and your organisation if confidential information is accidentally sent to a wrong number!
  17. 17. Franking MachineFranking machine can stamp hundreds of envelopes quickly and efficiently by printing the correct amount of postage required and date on the envelope according to the envelope’s weight and size.The franking machine records the totals of all stamps issued.At the agreed time, the amount of postage used is paid to the supplier along with a lease fee for the product.
  18. 18. Cont .These are utilised mainly by large businesses and are rented from registered suppliers. They are used to process out-going bulk mail.Franking machines are programmed by the supplier to have a certain amount of value placed for pre- programmed credit on a meter.When this value is reached the machine ceases to operate until more money is paid and the meter is reset.
  19. 19. Paper ShredderPaper shreddersSometimes, your organisation will want to destroy letters or documents that are confidential or contain records that are useful to competitors. Shredders cut paper into very thin strips so that they are very difficult to reassemble and read.
  20. 20. Hazards in officeBoth employees and employers are responsible for managing these hazards.Poor layout and design of furniture and equipmentPhysical hazardsMechanical HazardsChemical HazardsPsychological hazards
  21. 21. If a piece of equipment malfunctionWe should:-Stop using the equipmentPlace a sign on it and to say it is out of orderReport the problem to a supervisorFollow up
  22. 22. MailsInternal mail and external mailGuest’s incoming mailIncoming Mail (Staff)Future Guest’s MailGuest’s outgoing mailChecked out – guest’s MailRouting MailForwarding Mail
  23. 23. Available Mail ServicesRegistered MailBulk MailExpress MailOverseas/International mail and parcel postCourier service mailElectronic Mail (email)
  24. 24. Post Office BoxesMost post offices have built-in lockable letter boxes of various sizes which can be hired by individuals or companies from Australia Post, for a relatively small amount per year or other suitable periods.Some post office boxes have also appeared at petrol stations and supermarkets for convenience. Each post box has a number displayed on the outside of the box.Because they are locked, only authorised persons can have access to the mail and be given a key to collect the mail. Instead of an address, the post office box number should be clearly displayed on envelopes, letterheads and other stationery.
  25. 25. Locked BagsLocked Bags.Larger organisations, with a lot of bulk mail to collect daily, may find post offices boxes too small for their needs.In this case they may require a locked bag which is substantially larger and has the added advantage of being transportable. As the name indicates, a locked bag is a large mailbag with a lock at the top which can only be opened by an authorised person with a key.
  26. 26. Courier Services.Courier Services.Both Australia Post and private organisations provide courier services for mail and parcels to be delivered door-to-door.They are commonly used by businesses when there is an urgent item to be delivered. Courier services are convenient and many have a guarantee that an item will be delivered to any capital city in Australia within 24 hours.Smaller towns and rural areas are also linked by courier services but it usually takes a little longer to deliver items to these localities.
  27. 27. The structure of effective letters• Four key features of effective letters:• 1. person – Who are you writing to?• 2. Issue - What kind of a letter are you writing?• 3. Purpose- What is the connection between the person you are writing to and the issue.• 4. Action- What kind of action do you want the person to take?
  28. 28. Parts of a letterVirtually all business letters have the following sections:•The letterhead Consisting of the name of the organisation /establishment, the address, telephone number, fax number, e-mailnumber, web-site number etc•The date With the month written out in letters rather than in numbers.• The name and address of the recipient of the letter For filingpurposes.•A greeting or salutation Usually " Dear Sir / Madam " or if you knowthe persons name " Dear Mrs. McWilliam-Smythe"•An Introduction Usually stating why you are writing.
  29. 29. Parts of the letter1/ Venue’s name and address2/ The name, title and address of the recipient of the letter. (inside address)3/Today’s date4/ Greeting5/ Body of the letter6/ Close7/Signature8/Writer’s name and title9/ Enclosure ( attachment)
  30. 30. Cont.A Body of the letter Which indicates how you propose to deal with a given situation or set of situations.A Conclusion If you know the persons name use " Yours sincerely ". If you dont know the persons name and have used " Dear Sir / Madam " in your salutation, use " Yours faithfully " in your complimentary close.A Complimentary Close Which indicates what action will take place in the follow-up of the situation or set of situations. Your signature and job title This is particularly important if your signature is difficult to read.
  31. 31. A few rules of good writingKeep it simpleDon’t use slang or jargonUse simple wordsBe clearUse the right toneBe accurateBe logicalCheck spelling and grammarCheck sentence structureProofread the documents
  32. 32. FilingThe orderly arrangement of records and documents for storage and retrieval. There are different filing systems such as:1. Subject filing system2. Alphabetical filing system3. Numeric filing4. Geographic filing system5. Chronological filing system
  33. 33. Filing alphabeticallyDocuments filed alphabetically are filed according the first, and subsequent letter.Eg. File by guest nameNumerically: Documents are filed numerically, according to the numbers such as room numbers, invoice numbers
  34. 34. Cont.Chronologically: Documents are filed according to date or time order.Geographically: the basis of geographic tourist regions, for development of data bases and client services.Documents are filed by location or designated area, eg. Victoria, WASubject: documents cannot be filed any other way except by their subject matter. E.g complaints, training. subjects could include headings such as:housekeepingrestaurantsconventions & functions
  35. 35. Bar code filingBar codes and electronic filing systems. These are increasingly used in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry to maintain data and documents on file. Confidentiality and security are often easier to maintain if access to information is via electronic codes and data systems.
  36. 36. File preparationBefore filing any documents, there a number of task to be completed:-Collecting all the relevant documentsInspecting the quality of the documentsCross-referencing the filesCoding the filesSorting the files and filing the documents(active documents) Documents in current use. Inactive documents: documents not in current use.
  37. 37. continuedArchiving: the practice of removing a file of record from everyday use and storing it in another location.
  39. 39. TelephonesGuest room telephones have several features:-Message lightVoice mailDirect dialThe hotel reception is the communications centre of the hotel. The staff working at the reception direct and collect information to and from all other departments as well as from the guests.
  40. 40. Professionalism on the TelephonesThe first personal contact a guest has with the hotel is at the reception desk. The guests register or check in at the front desk as well as seek answers to their inquiries and solutions to their problems.Be ClearConciseCourteousAnd control the callBe ClearSpeak clearlyAvoid jargonMake sure you understand and are understood.
  41. 41. ContinuedBe conciseSet objective for each callKnow who you want to speak toKnow what you want to sayKnow who you are speaking withHave any information by you about your property and facilities.
  42. 42. continuedBe courteous/politeAlways be politeUse personal names when appropriateTry not to sound abrupt. No matter how busy you are.When you pick up the telephone you are committed to the call, and must give it your full attention.SmileListen to the other person’s tone of voiceControl the call by practising assertiveness skills.
  43. 43. Receiving callsSmile when you answer the telephone.Greet the callerUse the exact form of greeting : “Good morning/Good afternoon/Good evening, Front office : this is…………….how may I help you?Identify the department/yourself and offer assistance.Use of names,( if you know the name)
  44. 44. Transferring callsGet to know switchboard system so that you can transfer calls quickly and efficiently.Explain to the caller what you are doing:Check with the recipient before putting the call through whether or not they can help.If there is a delay, return to the caller to explain and ask if he/she wish to continue holdingIf you could not transfer the line, ask if you can have the caller rung back when you have found someone to help.
  45. 45. ExamplesGood morning/ Holiday Inn, this is Vincent, how may I help you?“I’d like to make a reservation please”Certainly Madam, I’m transferring you to reservation now”#2Good afternoon, the Park Hyatt, this is Sue , how may I help you?Could you please put me through to Eliza in Banquets please”Unfortunately, her extension is busy, would you mind to hold:
  46. 46. Receiving the messageAlways write messages down as soon as possible.Try to keep a proper/separate pad just for messages rather than scraps of paper and used envelopes.Use specially printed message pads.Do not hesitate to ask for the message to be repeated or for unfamiliar words to be spelt out.Read back the message to check that it is correct.
  47. 47. Taking the messageListen attentively and write down the message including:TimeDateCaller’s name and contact detailsThe guest’s name and room number or staff member’s name and departmentThe actual messageRead back the message and enter the message into computer.
  48. 48. Tips for telephone operatorsAnswer the call as quickly as possible- after three rings is ideal.Answer the call in a clear, friendly voice.Identify yourself and your organisation.Announce the call clearly and give the recipient time to respond before putting it through.
  49. 49. continuedIf the line is busy, you need to ask the call if they want to hold or call back.. Wait for the answer.Don’t leave them holding for too long and explain what you are doingEvery call needs to be dealt with courteously and efficiently.
  50. 50. Features of telephone systemsPagingPagers are small radio receivers which receive messages via radio waves.Voice Messaging systemsThese resemble networks of answering machines. Recorded messages can be sent from, and receive or listen the message by dialling a code number from any tone telephone.
  51. 51. TeleconferencingTeleconferencing enables you to hold meetings and conferences by phone, video link or TV over any distance.Three way calling: this enables three persons to talk together at the same time.Collect call: The recipient pay the call charge.(STD) Long distance call,(IDD) International calls
  52. 52. Avoid slang and clichés.“Bye-Bye” “Good-bye”“See ya” “Thank you for calling”“Uh-uh/Yeah” “Yes Sir/Madam”“Be right up” “We will send it to your room immediately”“Just a second” “One moment please”“I don’t know” “I am not quite sure, but I will find out for you”“Hold on” “Could you hold for one moment, please?”
  53. 53. Handling guest’s message1. A message in the computer system will indicate to Reception that all messages, mail, fax, for incoming hotel guests are to be passed onto the guest at time of check in.2. A message in the computer system will indicate to Reception that all packages and large items are to be delivered to the guest room after check in.3. All messages, mail, facsimiles, packages for in house guests are to be delivered and or collected within the same day.
  54. 54. Procedures1. All mail received is to be time and date stamped.2. Check all names against the computer system, thoroughly.3. Write the guestroom number on the envelope and place in alphabetical order, in the Mail Box. Activate the guestroom telephone message light by entering a message into the computer system and send the printed message to the room at the next batch of sending.
  55. 55. continued4. Photocopy the front of the envelope and stamp the “Mail Notice” on the back of the photocopy and fill in the column for date/time received, location held and initials of receiver, then file in the “Received Items File”.
  56. 56. Procedure (continued)5. If the guest name cannot be located in the in house guest list, check arrivals for the next seven days, and check outs for past five days.6. If mail received for a future arrival, enter a comment in the guest’s reservation marked “Mail HFA” (Mail Hold for Arrival).7. If the guest to whom the mail is addressed cannot be located, check the name against the Mail Forward Book and redirect mail according any instructions.8 Any remaining should be placed in the Hold Mail Box are to be checked daily for the next two weeks.
  57. 57. HANDLING SPECIAL DELIVERY,INSURED MAIL1. Before any special delivery of mail may be accepted, staff must check whether the guest is registered with the Hotel, is an expected arrival or may have left forwarding instructions (check Mail Forwarding File) with the hotel.2. If guest has left a forwarding address, staff should not accept the letter but instead give the delivery man the forwarding address.3. If a guest is yet to arrive, enter a comment in the message field of guest reservation, and a description of the item received.Time and date stamp the mail once it is accepted.
  58. 58. continued5. Photocopy the front of the item and stamp the “Mail Notice” on the back of the photocopy and fill in the column date/time received, location and receivers initials. File in the “Received Items File” for future reference.6. The item is then placed into the Mail Box in alphabetical order, (or other designated storage area)7
  59. 59. continued Call the guest in their room and offer to deliver the item to the guest room. Have the Porter take up the mail as per guest request then have the guest sign on the “Mail Notice”. The photocopy will then be time stamped and filed appropriately.8.If the guest is not in their room, staff member to leave a text message in the system and send a copy to the guest room.
  60. 60. CONTINUED9. Any Special Delivery Mail is to be kept for two weeks after which it is to be returned to the addressee list on the article.10.  Registered or insured mail which has not been collected within two weeks should be returned to the original sender in the same condition in which it was delivered. Any return receipt should be attached and filed in the record file.
  61. 61. Handling text message1. Messages taken over the telephone, either by the Hotel Operator or by Reception Staff are to be keyed into the system accurately, then printed out.2. The printed copy of these messages will be collected at half hourly intervals then slipped under the door for guest.Sealed or handwritten messages are not to be opened by staff but are to be treated as regular mail
  62. 62. Handling voice massage1.      Calls connected to the guestroom will be prompted to either have the call reverted to the operator or to the voicemail message system if not answered within eight rings.2.      When the guest checks for messages at the Reception Desk, staff are to check in the computer system, the system will display text messages accordingly.
  63. 63. Handling Incoming Faxes1.Any incoming fax received through the Business Centre will be recorded on the Business Centre Incoming fax record.2. If the guest is not in, staff will leave a message in the system and print a copy to send to the guestroom during the next pick up.3. The fax copy will be placed in an envelope, time stamped also stamped “Incoming Fax”on the envelope and sent to the guestroom during next batch pick up.
  64. 64. Standard style (continued) Never response the guest in a rushed or hurried manner. “Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening, How may I help you? “May I ask you to hold for a moment, please?” “Thank you for holding, Sir/Madam” (Use name if known). “Thank you for holding, this is _______, how may I help you.”
  65. 65. continuedAlways use “Please”, “Thank you”, and “You are welcome”, as appropriate.At the end of each conversation, thank the caller by using his/her name and identify yourself, if appropriate.
  67. 67. Letter writingThe StartDear Human Resources Director,Dear Sir or Madam: (use if you dont know who you are writing to)Dear Dr, Mr, Mrs, Miss or Ms Smith: (use if you know who you are writing to, and have a formal relationship with - VERY IMPORTANT use Ms for women unless asked to use Mrs or Miss)Dear Frank: (use if the person is a close business contact or friend)
  68. 68. continuedThe ReferenceWith reference to your advertisement in today newspaper,your letter of 23 rd March, your phone call today, Thank you for your letter of March 5 th .
  69. 69. continuedI would be delighted toGiving Bad NewsUnfortunately I am afraid thatEnclosing DocumentsI am enclosing Please find enclosed Enclosed you will find
  70. 70. continuedClosing RemarksThank you for your help, Please contact us again if we can help in any way. there are any problems. you have any questions.
  71. 71. continuedReference to Future ContactI look forward to ... hearing from you soon. meeting you next Tuesday. seeing you next Thursday.
  72. 72. continuedThe FinishYours faithfully, (If you dont know the name of the person youre writing to)Yours sincerely, (If you know the name of the person youre writing to)Best wishes,Best regards, (If the person is a close business contact or friend)
  73. 73. Business letter format1. Return address of the letter writer. 1600 Main Street Sydney, NSW 2001 2. The date of the letter. This is usually typed in one of two ways: (Begin with the day, no comma) 15 January 2006 or(Begin with the month; use a comma) December 1, 2006
  74. 74. continued3. Complete name, title, and address of the recipient.Use "Mr." for a male recipient. If you do not know how a female recipient prefers to be addressed, it is best to use "Ms."Ms. Anna Brown, Chair Department of Hospitality Management Right State University 1415 University Drive Sydney NSW 2010
  75. 75. continued 4. Salutation with a colon. Dear Ms. Brown, 5. Body of the letter.It is best to keep an initial business letter short. Business people are busy and do not have time to read long letters! In a one-page letter, you will usually only need three or four paragraphs, single spaced. Use a double space in between paragraphs. See examples that follow.6. Closing.The most common closing is "Sincerely." Follow this with a comma. Skip four single lines after the closing and type your name. Sign your name in the space above your name.Sincerely,
  76. 76. continued7. Enclosure.If you are enclosing additional information with your letter such as a resume or a curriculum vitae, skip two single lines after your typed name and type "Enclosure" or "Enclosures." If you use the plural, you have the option of stating the number of enclosures in parentheses.Block Format Type every line flush with the left margin
  77. 77. continuedIndented Format: Example 1 Indent your return address, the closing, your typed name, and the optional enclosure to the approximate center of the page (position 4.25" to 4.5").
  78. 78. continuedMake sure you put the date on the letter.Always include your address so they know where to send the reply.Address your letter to Dear Sir/Madam if you dont have a contact name, because you dont know if they are male or female.Keep your letter clear, simple and to the point.Make sure you spell all words correctly. Check a dictionary to make sure.Yours faithfully is a polite way of finishing a letter to someone you dont know.Otherwise Yours sincerely is the conclusion to use.Always keep a copy of the letter as a record of having sent it.
  79. 79. Purpose of a Cover LetterA cover letter is a summary of the reasons why you are the best candidate for the position.Its purpose is to make the reader want to read more about you in your resume and to get you an interview.