What are hotel receptionist duties? (Including skills)
Updated 25 May 2023
As the hotel industry is one of the most customer-oriented sectors, customer service is an inseparable part of this business. Hotels usually hire receptionists to perform a broad range of duties to assist customers with their needs and manage different processes. If you're passionate about the hotel industry and want to improve customer experience, you may consider a role as a hotel receptionist. In this article, we summarise what a hotel receptionist does, discuss typical hotel receptionist duties and list skills these professionals have.
Overview of what a hotel receptionist does
A hotel receptionist or a front desk officer is a customer service professional who welcomes hotel guests and serves as their first communication point. As hotels can vary in size and scope, requirements may differ from one position to another. For example, receptionists in roadside hotels may have fewer responsibilities than those who work in luxurious resorts. In addition, they may focus on different aspects of the role.
Employers may also have unique requirements and policies that may influence the work environment of a receptionist. For instance, some hotels require them to accompany the guests to the rooms, while others don't. In most cases, this job involves standing for extended periods of time and constantly communicating with guests or other staff members. It may also involve an above-average amount of stress, as receptionists are responsible for solving emerging issues and managing conflicts.
Common hotel receptionist duties
Although hotel receptionist duties may differ depending on your employer, there are several responsibilities that most of these professionals have, regardless of the scope and size of the hotel. The following is a list of duties you may perform as a hotel receptionist:
Providing guests with information
Hotel receptionists provide guests with information to improve their stay. For example, the front desk officers may show the guests their room and explain which amenities it provides. They may also inform guests about the facilities that are available in the hotel or indicate the opening hours of restaurants. This job also involves answering any questions guests have during their stay.
Receptionists may also promote additional services or products. Furthermore, depending on the location, these professionals may inform their customers about landmarks and attractions. This job also requires front desk officers to communicate with potential customers by email or telephone.
Another duty hotel receptionists perform is welcoming and greeting guests. This responsibility involves registering and checking guests in for their stay. Front desk officers may offer drinks and help guests with their luggage to improve customer experience. Receptionists usually accompany guests to show them their rooms and issue room keys. Although you may focus on the customer service aspect of your job, this duty also requires you to maintain accurate records. At the end of the stay, receptionists help customers check out. They can enhance customer experience by organising transfers.
In most cases, receptionists also perform the duty of a cashier. They ensure guest billings include all additional services the hotel provided. Even though these professionals usually verify credit card detail to authorise guests, they also check their passports. In this way, hotels can improve safety and assist the authorities in preventing identity theft and finding missing individuals. At the end of the stay, receptionists provide each customer with their bill and process their payments. They may also ask for a deposit during check-in, depending on the hotel's policies.
Helping guests organise their stay
Receptionists help customers improve their stay by both providing relevant information and organising activities. For example, these professionals may help customers organise celebrations or tours to nearby landmarks. This duty also involves providing additional services, which may differ from one hotel to another. These services may include sports and recreational activities and entertainment. For example, some hotels offer horseback riding tours or boat trips. Therefore, front desk officers may benefit from specialising in working for a specific type of hotel.
Managing emerging incidents
Although hotel managers take diverse measures to mitigate such risks, incidents may occur in any business. For example, an air conditioner might malfunction or guests may require an additional bed linen set. Receptionists are responsible for handling these complaints and providing other hotel departments with relevant information to resolve the issues. This duty also involves politely communicating with guests to manage potential conflicts and placate the customers.
Serving as a mediator between guests and hotel staff
Receptionists frequently serve as a mediator between guests and hotel staff. Such cooperation helps them respond to the needs of their guests. For instance, front desk officers may inform housekeepers if guests ask to clean their rooms. Receptionists may also inform restaurant staff if a client wants to make a reservation. When incidents emerge, front desk officers also inform the upper management to find quick solutions to these issues.
Visitors may not always inform receptionists about their preferences. The ability to monitor guests and proactively provide them with services they might want is an indicator of exceptional customer service. For example, some customers may have a nonstandard daily schedule. By monitoring their activities, you can inform housekeeping staff when to clean their rooms.
Ensuring policy compliance
Most hotels have policies that may regulate both employees and guests. Receptionists ensure that other staff members comply with these policies. They may also inform customers about certain guidelines to help them follow these regulations. For example, hotels often have a specific dress code in their restaurants. Receptionists may not only explain these policies to customers but also find compromise solutions if guests refuse to follow such rules.
Hotel receptionist skills
As hotel receptionists perform a wide variety of duties, they usually rely on diverse skills. In most cases, these professionals depend on soft skills because of the close link between their role and customer service. The following is a list of skills that most hotel receptionists have:
Since hotel receptionists are responsible for handling emerging issues clients face, they can benefit from having problem-solving skills. For example, the ability to solve issues helps them take the initiative and provide timely solutions, which can improve customer experience significantly. In addition, these skills can help you delegate tasks to other employees effectively.
Interpersonal skills play a central role in this job, as it involves constant communication and interaction with clients, other receptionists and staff members. These skills allow you to effectively provide customers with information. An ability to maintain a polite and friendly tone may also help you build good customer relationships. As receptionists often communicate using email, they usually also have strong written communication skills.
In most cases, receptionists document information using digital tools and software. In this way, they can avoid mistakes when accommodating guests or creating bills. They also use digital tools when processing payments or documenting data regarding deposits. Hence, employers search for candidates with computer literacy when hiring hotel receptionists. Another benefit of this skill is that you can effectively use email systems, messengers and corporate social media to communicate with potential customers.
Organisational skills and attention to detail help receptionists manage documentation, arrange workspace and plan activities for their clients. For example, their ability to organise helps them arrange transfers. Organisational skills may also improve time management. As receptionists frequently handle urgent tasks or solve immediate issues, time management skills may help them perform their duties within a rigid timeframe. These professionals also use their organising abilities to arrange special events, such as weddings or birthday parties.
Customer service skills
Customer service skills, such as a positive attitude, patience, effective communication, empathy and listening, help these professionals build trusting relationships with guests. These skills also include comprehensive product and service knowledge. Receptionists may benefit from knowing which services their organisation provides, as one of their duties is to inform guests about these services. Customer service skills may also help front desk officers promote additional services and increase sales.
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