Week (10)
Introduction
 This Training Resource will help you develop skills and knowledge
to provide porter services.
 It deals with the skills and knowledge required to provide services
associated with bell desk or concierge in a commercial
accommodation establishment. Within small accommodation
establishments, reception or other staff may carry out these
services.
Knowledge Summary
• To be competent, you must also have knowledge of and skills in:
*
a range of typical bell desk services;
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occupational health and safety procedures
specifically for luggage, including safe lifting and
bending;
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typical procedures and systems for the
movement of luggage within hotel.
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features of typical luggage storage systems
within hotel;
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Relationships between the bell desk and other
departments
* Bell desk security procedures.
What the porter does for the guest
 Porter’s duties are:
 Porters/bellhops/ concierge are the staff who greet
guests as they arrive at the hotel, manage guests’ luggage
and provide general information services to guests as part
of their role in the concierge department..
 Concierge : An staff whose basic task is to serve as the
guest’s coordinator with both hotel and non hotel
attractions, facilities, services and activities.
 To provide personalised guest services.
Learner Resources
continued
 A concierge can provide a wide range of services for guests
and also plays many roles on behalf of the hotel.
 If there is anything a guest needs or has a problem with ,
concierge is the person to call.
 Concierges almost always help, either by taking action
themselves or by knowing exactly to whom to refer the
guest.
Learner Resources
Desirable Qualification of a concierge
 Enthusiasm: must be a primary ingredient in the
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concierge’s personality.
Organisation and efficiency: Since several concierges
work at the desk during different shifts, accurate record
keeping is a must. ( tickets, flowers, babysitters etc)
Sensitivity to the feelings of others is another important
asset. To succeed as a concierge, you have to be constantly
attentive to the other person.
Honesty
Command of foreign languages is important but not
necessary
Learner Resources
continued
 Stamina : concierge are often on their feet all day long so
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stamina is vital.
Discretion is of the essence. Concierge often knows
intimate details of their guests’ lives (See everything, say
nothing) must be your motto.
A warm and friendly personality
Have a high regard for personal grooming and hygiene
Be attentive and courteous
Have a excellent interpersonal skills ( good social and
communication skills)
Developed selling skills: Understand the various needs of
the hotel’s target markets.
Learner Resources
What are some items you need at the Concierge Desk
 Reference materials
 Log books,
 Official Airlines guide
 Telephone books
 Hotel Personnel list
Brochures and handouts & maps
 Street
 Cityrail
 Bus and tour brochures
 Hotel brochures and advertising
Learner Resources
continued
 Stationary: all kind and sizes, envelopes, luggage tags
 Packing supplies:
 String and twine
 Various types and sizes of tape
Guest mail boxes: Outgoing mails
Special amenities
Forms
 In house forms
 Delivery service
 Tour reservation books
Learner Resources
Four basics of guest relations
 The four followings are required to become a concierge
 1. Greet the guest
 2. Use the guest’s name.
 3. Maintain eye contact
 4. Smile.
Learner Resources
Services provided by a concierge/porter
 General information and directions
(within the hotel and surrounding area)
 Accepting/posting Mail and Packages
 Escorting guest to other departments
 Escorting guest to guest room
 Room inspections
 Delivering special amenities (Cufflinks, medical kits, safety
pins, scissors,)
 Wrapping
 Showing room
Learner Resources
Workplace example
• It is important to remember that this unit applies to
most establishments where accommodation is
provided.
• Provide porter services
• If you are to be successful in this unit, it is critical
that you:
1. know the range of services offered by the bell desk;
2. can provide courteous and friendly service to guests;
and
3. can safely handle luggage and use luggage storage
systems
Continued
• You will be expected to use current equipment,
technology and enterprise procedures for moving luggage
safely including luggage marking systems;
• amount of luggage to be placed on trolleys or taken into
lifts; procedures or designated routes for moving luggage
through public areas;
• restrictions on areas into which luggage can be taken;
order in which luggage is to be moved; procedures for
dealing with heavy items;
• lifting and bending procedures; procedures for taking
luggage from rooms; placement of luggage within rooms;
and group luggage procedures.
continued
• Other services you may be asked to provide to guests
include mail, wake-up call, messages, organisation of
transport, luggage pick up, paging of guests and the
preparation of guest information directories.
• Other enterprise/room features you may have to advise
guests about include dining options within the
establishment; sporting facilities; floor facilities; operating
procedures for room equipment such as phone or TV; and
general services such as laundry, valet and meal
arrangements.
Preparing for and greeting guests on
arrival
• The Bell Attendant or Concierge is usually the first
point of contact a guest will have when arriving at an
establishment. Your aim should be to create an
impression that influences the customers’ feelings about
their entire experience.
• Not all establishments require a Bell Desk or Concierge
department, but the service still needs to be performed.
A receptionist, a waiter or a manager could carry out
these duties. To be successful in a service industry, you
must like people, especially in Bell services where you
are with people for your entire shift. When you put on
your uniform to start work, a happy smiling face must
come with it, regardless of how you feel.
continued
 To make your first impression a positive one:
make sure you are well groomed;
 * greet all your customers and guests courteously;
 * keep your workplace clean and tidy;
*
smile sincerely.
 *
Checking the arrival list
 Arrival lists contains information that is needed to ensure
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the smooth, efficient operation of the Bell Desk to
maintain the best possible guest service standards.
Depending on the establishment, the arrival lists may
contain the following information:
Arrival date;
Name of guest;
Type of room booked;
Number of people staying in the room;
Departure date;
whether the guest is an frequent independent
traveller (FIT) or travelling with a group.
continued
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the rate the guest is paying;
whether the booking has been guaranteed or not;
any special requests that have been made (either by the
guest or management);
ETA (estimated time of arrival), if known;
ETD (estimated time of departure), if known;
Depending on the Front Office system the establishment is
using, arrival lists may be generated by the computer
system or prepared and typed by the Reservation
department or Reception.
Arrival lists contain confidential information and should
not be left lying around where anyone can look at it.
continued
 Preparation and anticipation are key elements to the
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successful operation of the Bell Desk. By using arrival
lists a number of planning activities are possible. These
include:
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rostering staff according to business;
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communication and preparation for special
requests and VIPs;
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scheduling of daily duties in quieter periods;
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preparation for group arrivals;
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preparation of storage areas for luggage, if rooms
are not prepared.
Special Request
 Depending on the establishment, special requests can
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be quite varied. Arrival lists may itemise each request
and may include:
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a guest with a disability;
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guests with an ETA prior to check in time or after
1800 hours;
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flowers in the room on arrival.
Establishments that are computerised may have a
number of reports, giving detailed information. These
include:
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Special Request report
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Group Arrivals report
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VIP report.
continued
 Despite many of these requests being handled by
departments other than the Bell Desk, it is important to
be aware of the daily situation within the whole
establishment. One needs to ensure requests are followed
through and to action requests that have been
overlooked.
 A Bell Attendant may be called on to assist other
departments at any time. The unexpected may occur after
a department has closed for the evening, and the Bell
Desk is then called on to perform the activity. You may
notice a request has not been fulfilled by the responsible
department. If so, you should try to rectify the situation
immediately.
Preparing for a guest with a disability
 It is important to not only know a guest has a disability but
what that disability is, thus allowing you to be better prepared.
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a guest with a walking disability;
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what special facilities would you expect to find in a room
designed for a person with disabilities?
When preparing for the arrival of a guest with a disability:
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be aware of the wheelchair access to all areas;
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if an ETA is known, have a staff member wait at the
entrance;
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be familiar with the set-up of the disabled person’s room
and the special facilities it has;
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know the location of the public toilet for disabled
persons.
Preparing for group arrivals
 Group arrivals can make for an easy cost effective method of
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checking people into an establishment if well organised.
Groups usually work to a schedule. This means that the
establishment will know the group’s movements at all times.
With good communication and follow-up between the
Reservations department and the group organisers, the
following information will be known:
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estimated time of arrival for the group;
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how the group will be arriving, e.g. by private coach or
individually by car;
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how many pieces of luggage each person will have;
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meal times and where the meals will be taken;
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times that the group will be out on tours, in session or on
free time;
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areas to leave messages if guests are not in their room;
continued
 This information is called an itinerary and may be contained
within a form produced by the Groups department. This
form is a vital part of the communication process. In any
establishment, regardless of size, the key to a smooth
operation is communication.
 Information must be exchanged between and within
departments. Problems arise when communication breaks
down. It is usually the guests who suffer as a result and
ultimately the establishment when guests do not return.
 Discuss with your Trainer what forms of communication are
used within your establishment to communicate information
regarding group bookings.
Preparing for early and late arrivals
 Not all establishments provide 24-hour service. Irrespective of
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this, it important to know if guests are arriving outside normal
hours to ensure:
there are rooms available;
a staff member is on duty to check in the guest.
It is normal industry practice to hold a room vacant for an
expected guest until 1800 hours. After this time, the room may
be sold if the reservation has not been guaranteed with either
a deposit or a credit card number.
Why would it be important to know if guests are arriving
earlier or later than the normal arrival or departure times?
continued
 What preparations do you think might be required for a
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guest:
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arriving prior to check-in time;
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arriving after 1800 hours;
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departing early in the morning;
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departing after the normal check-out time.
Preparing for VIPs
 All guests are treated equally. However, consideration
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must be made for Very Important People, VIPs. As a
general rule, they are people who are important in the
community or to your establishment, such as:
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a frequent guest;
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government officials;
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titled people;
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a person staying for an extended period.
Most establishments have set procedures for handling
VIPs. The level of courtesy and the added extras
extended to them depend on the importance of the
guests.
Welcoming guests promptly on arrival
 A first impression of an establishment is based on the warmth and
professionalism of their welcome. This welcome may occur:
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when guest pulls up in the car;
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when the guest enters through the front door;
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at the reception desk.
Wherever it occurs, the greeting is very important as it says a lot about the
establishment and the staff. A greeting should be:
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welcoming
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personable
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sincere
offered with a smile while looking at the person
A welcome or greeting should contain:
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the guest’s name or title;
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(the establishment name) ‘welcome to’;
 Remember continued
 Acknowledge the guest first, before he or she speaks to
you. If you know the guests name, use it; if not, ‘sir’ or
‘madam’, ‘ladies’ or ‘gentlemen’ are acceptable. Do not be
overly familiar or too casual.
 Observe others in your department greeting guests;
develop your own greeting that you are comfortable using
and check it with your Trainer.
Labelling luggage
 Most establishments provide luggage labels. It is a good idea to use
these particularly when you have a lot of luggage to deliver. It helps
to avoid the wrong luggage being delivered to the wrong rooms.
 As soon as you know the details, i.e. name of the guest and the
room number, write these on the luggage tag you have already
attached to the bag. An example of a luggage label is pictured
below. Identify the labels being used in your establishment and ask
your Trainer to instruct you on their correct use.
Directing guests to the reception area for registration
 Escorting a guest to Reception is preferable but not always
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possible. When escorting a guest take care to:
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walk with the guest, not ahead of the person;
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smile and be friendly;
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talk to those who wish to talk; respect the privacy of those
who don’t;
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introduce the guest by name to the receptionist: ‘Mr Jones
would like to register’;
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leave with a greeting: ‘I hope you enjoy your stay with us, Mr
Jones’.
If conversation is difficult for you, try asking a question, e.g. ‘Did
you have a pleasant trip, Mr Jones?’.
continued
 If you are unable to escort the guest, give clear directions and
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remember to:
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stop what you are doing;
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look at the person you are speaking to;
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speak clearly and concisely with confidence;
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use your hands to indicate the way if necessary;
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end the conversation with a smile;
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check that the guests are heading in the right direction;
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if available, provide a map of the establishment to assist
guests in finding their way around;
never say, ‘You can’t miss it’
Displaying a helpful and attentive attitude
 In the Hospitality Industry, the guest is the reason for your work, not an
interruption to it. If there were no guests, you would not have a job. You
are part of a service industry and your job is to give good service. When a
guest asks questions, you must never think of it as an inconvenience. React
promptly, give the guest your full attention and show genuine interest in
the questions asked.
 If you know the answer to the guest’s request:
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advise the guest;
ask if there is anything else you can help with;
finish the conversation with a pleasant greeting, e.g. ‘I hope you enjoy
your stay’;
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never make up an answer in the absence of knowledge or say ‘I don’t
know’ or ‘that’s not my department’.
Assist guests with luggage
 One of the main duties of a Bell Attendant is to assist guests with their
luggage when checking in and checking out of an establishment. Health
and safety issues must be considered when handling luggage.
 Basic precautions to follow are:
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test all bags for weight before lifting them; do not be deceived by
small bags;
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ensure the correct lifting techniques are followed:
 n bend at the knees;
 n keep a straight back;
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use a trolley if luggage is too heavy or if there are too many bags;
 treat all luggage carefully; it may contain fragile or breakable items.
continued
 If you do not know the answer:
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direct the guest to someone who does know;
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offer to find out and get back to the guest with the answer;
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do not keep the guest waiting while you try to find the
answer;
 make sure you follow up and get back to the guest promptly
Providing guests with information
 Holding a prime, front-of-house position, the Bell Attendant is
required to have at his/her fingertips an abundance of information
regarding the establishment and the local area. In your case, this
knowledge may be gained through orientation prior to your first
shift, by asking questions during your normal work day and by
reading the literature that is in your department.
 When a guest asks a simple question, such as ‘What time is
breakfast served?’, it can be very embarrassing not to know the
answer. This portrays a poor impression of the capabilities of the
staff and communication from management.
Know your establishment
 As a Bell Attendant you are required to have information about all
areas of your establishment, from Food and Beverage to
Housekeeping and Business Centre services. That is a lot of
information to absorb and items such as the menus in the
restaurants will change constantly. You must ensure your
knowledge is up to date.
Describing the safety and security facilities
 By law, all accommodation establishments must have:
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fire exits that are clearly marked and left unobstructed at all
times;
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well-maintained fire extinguishers and other fire fightingequipment;
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signage outlining the correct equipment to be used on
different fires and where equipment is stored;
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a sprinkler system that automatically releases water when
heated;
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a smoke-activated alarm system.
continued
 It is the responsibility of the establishment to compile emergency
and evacuation procedures and to train staff in these. Fire drills
and fire extinguishing methods should be carried out on a regular
basis.
 In all guest rooms - usually located on the back of the door - there
should be a floor plan of the establishment, clearly marking the
fire escapes and the closest designated evacuation area.
Safety deposit facilities
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Safety deposit boxes in most establishments can be:
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located in a secure area of Front Office;
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individual boxes securely located in guest rooms;
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smaller establishments may use their main safe.
The Bell Attendant must be aware of the location and the correct
procedure for use because of the security aspects involved with
these facilities. It is very important that correct procedures be
followed exactly.
 There should be only one guest key to a safety deposit box; a
second master key is required to open the box and this is usually
kept at Reception. If a guest loses a safe deposit box key it is a
serious matter and should be referred to someone in authority
immediately.
Key control/security
 Key control in accommodation areas is important for the overall
security of the building and guests. Most establishments have the
room number written on the key tag, but not the establishment
name or address. Why would this be?
 Some establishments use a card system for entry to guest rooms.
This card is similar to a credit card and is slid into the lock on the
room door to disengage the door. Each keycard has its own
individual program. The keycard is issued when the guest checks
in and is valid only for the duration of the stay. Once the guest has
been checked out of the system, the keycard is automatically deprogrammed.
Information on and directions to local attractions
 An important role of the Bell Attendant is to advise guests on the
local area and its attractions, and to give directions on how to get to
a particular destination.
 This information may already be displayed or stored somewhere
within your establishment or may be found in a variety of
directories, guide books, pamphlets and tourist publications.
 As a Bell Attendant, it is a good idea to add a section to your
information book on ‘Local Attractions’. Where possible,
experience the attractions for yourself. Often suppliers will give you
a complimentary pass. Do not just hand over to guests whatever
promotional materials you have.
continued
 When asked for directions or information:
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review the information with the guest;
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ensure you have answered all the guest’s questions;
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offer all the alternatives that you are able to provide.
Escorting guests to their room
Escorting guests to their rooms can be one of the most enjoyable duties in
the Front Office. It gives you the opportunity to ask questions and learn
more about the guests, thus pre-empting any needs or inquiries that may
arise. As well, it offers the opportunity to promote the facilities of the
establishment and local area.
When check-in is completed, the receptionist should inform you of the
guest’s name and room number and hand you the room key .
Remember
Once you know the guest’s name, use it frequently.
Escorting a guest
 When escorting a guest it is good manners to:
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allow the guest to set the walking pace, even though you are leading
the way;
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speak clearly and with the appropriate volume;
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look at the guest when speaking to them;
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be courteous and polite;
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use the guest’s name; the more you use it, the greater the chance
you will remember it when next you see the guest;
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keep the conversation on a professional level; do not be too familiar
or use slang;
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keep the conversation on a positive note; do not voice your opinion
on any issues;
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use your intuition to know when to withdraw from a guest or be
quiet; sometimes guests do not wish to communicate and you should
respect this.
Describing the features of the room
 It is important you are familiar with each type of room
and understand the correct operating procedures for
the various facilities. As you are normally by yourself
with the guest it will be difficult if you do not know the
answer to simple questions. When describing the room
and facilities you must vary your presentation
depending on:
 The first-time guest who has plenty of time and wants
to know everything about the room;
 the first-time guest who is showing some interest, but
does not want to know everything;
Continued
 The first-time guest who is not interested at all, but whom
you still must inform about the important issues, such as
fire exits;
 The return guest; find out when the guest last stayed at the
hotel. There may have been some changes since then.
 Regardless of which option is available to you, you should
have a set order you follow.
 Choose a starting point, usually just inside the door, and
move clockwise or anti-clockwise around the room. This
will reduce the risk of leaving something out, and it saves
time.
Providing guest services and guidance
 Depending on the type of establishment, the processing
and handling of guest mail, messages and wake-up calls
will vary.
 Whichever area is performing the duty - Reception,
Telephone Department or Concierge - the procedures
should be the same.
 Every guest request or mail/message received should be
recorded on the appropriate form and delivered
promptly so as not to cause inconvenience to the guests.
Mail
 Mail is usually delivered during quiet times of the day when this
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work can be performed without interruption. Frequency depends
on the establishment. If you have a reason to go up to guestrooms,
it is a good idea to check if there is any mail to be delivered. This
may save you a trip later on.
When mail is received or a message left:
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check that the guest is registered with you;
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date and time stamp the mail with your establishment’s
stamp;
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record the particulars in the mail register;
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sort mail by room number;
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if possible, activate a message light on the phone.
continued
 The guest should show proof of identity and
sign the register when mail is collected from the
Concierge or Reception, particularly if the item
is registered mail or a package.
 There should be one location only where mail
and packages are held waiting collection by
guests.
 When delivering mail or messages to a
guestroom, place the item under the door or
inside the room
continued
 Remember
 If you are entering a guestroom for any reason, it is important that
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you follow these steps:
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knock on the door;
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identify yourself, e.g. Concierge or Bell Attendant;
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wait for a response;
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knock and identify yourself again;
if no answer, enter the room.
Messages
 A common complaint from guests is that messages are received too late or
not at all. Some establishments have message lights on guestroom
telephones to alleviate this problem.
 Messages should be recorded on the appropriate ‘guest message’ form.
Make sure that you:
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use neat and clear handwriting;
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record the guest’s name and room number;
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record the time the message was taken;
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record the caller’s name and telephone number;
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record the message in full.
If the guest is still to arrive, the mail or message should be held with the
registration card at the Front Desk and handed to the guest on arrival.
Wake-up calls
 Ensure wake-up calls are logged and actioned correctly. This is an
important guest service and is used frequently because people need to
meet prior engagements. Many establishments provide an alarm clock in
the guest room and/or have an automated service via the telephone
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whereby a guest or the operator, can program a wake-up call which rings
the phone automatically at the designated time.
Requests for wake-up calls should be recorded in a register or log book.
Ensure you:
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hand write neatly and clearly;
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record the guest’s name, room number and requested wake-up
time.
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manual system:
n transfer the information directly to the wake-up call request form;
n ensure the wake-up call form is given to the person who is to perform
the action;
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electronic system:
continued
 n enter the request into the system immediately;
 n initial the record book to signify it is actioned.
 The manual wake-up call is administered by:
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dialing the room number at the requested time;
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letting the phone ring until answered by the guest;
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announcing; ‘Good morning, (guest name) this is your (hour)
wake-up call’.
If the guest does not answer, you should take this seriously as you have an
obligation to fulfil in waking the guest at the correct time.
If, after trying again on the telephone, there is still no answer, a staff
member should go to the room and check on the guest. The guest may
have woken earlier and gone to breakfast, could be sleeping very heavily
and not heard the phone, or could be ill or injured and in need of
assistance.
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