Hotel Guest Service Agent: Job Description and Education Requirements
Hotels depend on guest service agents to provide courteous and professional service to guests who are checking into or out of the facility, and to offer assistance to guests as needed during their stay. On-the-job training and previous customer service experience are the most important qualities for most employers.
Guest service agents answer telephone calls from guests seeking to make or cancel hotel reservations. They greet arriving guests, assign rooms, issue keys and ascertain guest payment and billing information. Agents answer guest requests for assistance and coordinate with housekeeping, bell service staff and management to fulfill guest requests. They provide guests with access to hotel services, forward in-room meal requests and ensure that mail, faxes and packages are delivered in a timely manner. Agents also deal with irate guests and find ways to resolve issues to the guest's satisfaction. They may also serve as concierges, assisting guests with ground transportation, restaurant or entertainment reservations and providing other information about the locale.
Agents may also be responsible for bookkeeping duties, including maintaining a cash drawer, preparing bank deposits and posting charges for items that guests may order or use during their stay. Upon checkout, agents calculate the guest's final bill and collect payments. Employers may seek out candidates who demonstrate proficiency and honesty in handling money for this position.
Hotels hiring guest service agents may require a high school or General Educational Development diploma and one to two years of customer service experience. Many agents begin their careers with on-the-job training under direct supervision of a front desk manager or another experienced worker. In-house training may include learning how to use the billing and reservation computer systems, managing a multi-line telephone system, familiarity with the hotel facilities, customer service and communication skills.
While a background in customer service or hospitality may be helpful, most employers simply seek out candidates who demonstrate responsibility, friendliness and proper grooming. Agents who wish to advance their careers may seek out additional training workshops or certification courses in hospitality and business management.
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