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Almost every hotel you may visit will have some sort of focus on customer service and the guest experience. The most important position for this focus is the front desk agent. The desk agent is an entry level position which is tasked with greeting each guest upon arrival, checking them in and out of the hotel, and assisting the guests to solve any problems. To do this, the desk agent must demonstrate the highest commitment to guest service. Since this position is an entry level one, Desk Agents usually make minimum or slightly higher than minimum wage.
Checkins and outs
The biggest part of the front desk agent’s job is the checking in and out of each guest of the hotel. To do this, the desk agent must maintain a pleasant demeanor and be willing to work with the guest to get the best room possible for their stay. As guests check in, there will usually be a process that requires a credit card deposit and the signing of a registration card. The front desk agent must facilitate this process, make sure all hotel rules are followed and be able to explain what the process is should there be any questions. Upon checkout, the deck agent must be able to explain all charges on a guest’s bill.
The desk agent has a big job even before the guest arrives on the hotel property. They must maintain a list of reservations and often place those reservations in certain rooms to fulfill as many guest requests as possible. The desk agent needs to be in constant communication with the housekeeping and maintenance departments to have an up-to-date list of clean and working rooms. As each day begins, they must go through their arrival lists to match up as many reservations with the correct room types as possible.
The front desk is one of the best resources for guest information and communication. If there is no concierge, the front desk agents will be tasked with the job of helping guests make reservations and recommending activities they can do while they are in town. They will often have to communicate with a guest before they arrive in regards to room type and amenities and sometime, will have to communicate with a guest after they have left about problems with their stay or billing issues.
A large aspect to a front desk agent’s job involves paperwork. All hotels guests need to have their accounts checked daily to make sure there is enough of a deposit for the room. The front desk is also responsible for making sure all money has been collected and there are no outstanding accounts. The hard copies of signed registration paperwork must be kept organized and placed in a secure location when the guest has checked out. These accounting duties are vital to the continued success of the hotel.
The front desk agent is tasked with resolving all guest complaints. Most of the time, desk agents are empowered to give free meals, move guest rooms or rebate money for a guest stay if it did not live up to expectations. Dealing with complaints requires a gentle touch, especially if the agent has to explain some policy to a guest or if the guest is very irate.
R.L. Cultrona is a San Diego native and a graduate of San Diego State University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater, television and film with a minor in communications and political science. She began writing online instructional articles in June 2009.