Hotel reservation agents take on a wide range of tasks to ensure their guests enjoy their stay. They also make sure things run smoothly behind the scenes. As a result, reservation agent jobs require customer-service skills, excellent communication abilities, problem-solving skills and patience. In short, successful reservation agents must be able to tackle a long and diverse set of duties while maintaining their composure and a friendly demeanour.
Hotel reservation agents' main function is to register incoming guests and check departing guests out of the hotel. Some organisations use sophisticated software to help with this. These systems can tell agents who's been assigned to which room, when the guest's credit card was charged, when room was cleaned and a barrage of other information. In addition to assisting guests at the hotel, agents may be responsible for taking reservations over the phone and managing large groups that arrive at the hotel.
Registering guests and making reservations can be a balancing act. Agents must do their best to accommodate special requests and make things as easy as possible for the rest of the hotel staff. For example, agents may try to centralise guests so housekeeping doesn't have to hop around from corridor to corridor and floor to floor. This can become tricky when agents realise that Guest A must be located need the elevator, Guest B must be located away from the elevator and Guest C will only accept a room on the fifth floor.
Front desk clerks have to address complaints from upset and angry customers. For example, a guest may contact the front desk because he is dissatisfied with his room. Another guest may disputes charges added to her account. In these situations, the ultimate goal of the reservations agent is to create win-win solutions. This is when the problem-solving and communication skills mentioned above come in handy.
Customer Service Roles
Reservation agents take on a lot of customer service roles. Agents must be prepared to help guests by offering restaurant recommendations, giving directions and answering general questions. At smaller hotels, reservation agents may take on duties that traditionally belong to doorkeepers and concierge agents, such as hailing cabs, making dinner reservations and booking tours.
Reservation agents also function as liaisons for different parties. Agents pass along guests' requests to other departments such as maintenance, catering, event planners and housekeeping. These requests can be routine, like a call for more towels, or more urgent, like the need for emergency repairs to a room. Sometimes the requests can be more complicated.
Considerations for Hotel and Casinos
Agents that work in hotel-casinos may take on more tasks than their traditional hotel and motel counterparts. These workers are often responsible for registering guests for special events and checking comp status--the amount of free perks a guest should receive. In addition, high-rollers have special lounges where they check in. Reservation agents may be required to tend bar inside these VIP areas.