Hotel reservation agents are the face of the hotel, as they are usually the first people hotel guests meet. From booking rooms to forwarding messages to guests and handing out room keys, reservation agents are the backbone to running a successful hotel. Their main agenda is to provide a satisfactory room and hotel experience for guests while maintaining professionalism at all times.
Reserving the Space
The main duty of a hotel reservation agent is to help guests book their rooms for a stay. By asking several questions, including the number of people in the party, whether the guest smokes, bed preference and length of the stay, reservation agents can book the perfect room and package to accommodate guest preferences. Reserving space for guests also requires reservation agents to manage schedules and handle confidential information such as a guest's credit card number, address and personal needs.
Reserving the Happiness
Maintaining customer satisfaction is an essential duty for hotel reservation agents. Creating comfortable quarters, handling all requests, assessing customer needs and resolving issues are all part of making sure guests of the hotel are happy. Directing calls and requests to appropriate departments as issues and inquiries arise are a large part of the job. It's not uncommon for the reservation agent to communicate with housekeeping, concierge, spa managers, the fitness department or even outside vendors to maintain peace of mind for travelers. Doing so requires reservation agents to practice patience, concern and active listening as well as sympathy in all matters pertaining to a hotel guest's comfort. The reservations agent's ability to interact with various hotel departments is essential for a smooth operation.
Reserving the Knowledge
Most of the knowledge needed to be a hotel reservation agent is covered during on-the-job training. During training, agents usually learn about office procedures, database maintenance, completing transactions and how to deal with confrontational situations. Because travelers tend to ask many questions about the surrounding areas and how to get around, training may also include a briefing on what the town has to offer. Some guests may also look to reservation agents for advice during emergency situations. Agents are usually prepared during the training to properly handle dire situations that may require medical attention. Lastly, agents must know hotel policies such as refund terms, age requirements and more. Besides short-term training on the job, hotel reservation agent positions usually require at least a high school diploma. However, some companies may prefer that you have an associate's degree.
Reserving the Skills
Computer literacy and excellent reading comprehension are essential skills, as reservation agents spend a lot of time on computers securing reservations and processing credit cards. Being well-spoken and having negotiation skills are also important when tending to guests and dealing with concerns that may arise. Some agents are also gifted salespeople, as they maintain full occupancy by selling and convincing guests to reserve rooms at the location. Those with exceptional skills and knowledge may have the opportunity of a job promotion to manager. They may also be able to secure a pay increase larger than the average hourly rate of $10.58. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is expected to grow steadily as the increase in travel creates demand for more hotels and hotel staff members.
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