Hotel Front Desk Agent/Guest Services Representative Training Guide

Training Layout In Pointers For – Hotel Front Desk Agent/Guest Services Representative


The front desk agent, also known as guest services representative, plays a vital role in representing the hotel and ensuring guests have a positive experience. This customer-facing position is responsible for performing front office administrative duties including checking guests in and out, managing reservations, responding to guest requests and complaints, answering phones, providing information about hotel services and amenities, and resolving any issues that arise.

The typical education required is a high school diploma or equivalent. While previous hotel or customer service experience is preferred, it is not always required for entry level positions. Essential skills include strong communication abilities, organization, multi-tasking, and computer proficiency with hotel property management systems. Front desk agents must also demonstrate patience, diplomacy, and problem-solving skills in order to deliver high quality customer service.

Front desk job opportunities exist at various lodging establishments including hotels, resorts, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, and corporate housing. There are also related positions at hospitals, apartment complexes, and other businesses that require front office administrative and guest services staff. It is a role with good job security and room for advancement into supervisory and management level positions within the hospitality and tourism industry.

The average salary for a front desk agent in the United States is approximately $25,000 to $38,000 per year. Salaries are often higher in major metropolitan areas and upscale hotels. There is potential to earn higher wages with bilingual skills, agent-in-charge responsibilities, and seniority. Additional compensation may be earned through commissions, service charges, and tips which can add 10-20% onto the base salary.

The average annual salary for a front desk agent in India is estimated to be around ₹250,000-300,000. This is equivalent to around $3,100-3,700.

Salaries can vary significantly based on location, hotel rating, experience level, foreign language skills, and other factors.

Entry level salaries tend to start around ₹150,000-200,000 per year. With 3-5 years experience salaries usually range from ₹200,000-350,000.

Front desk agents at 5-star hotels in major metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore can earn ₹300,000-500,000 annually.

Additional allowances, bonuses, tips can add 10-20% extra to the base salary.

Candidates with expertise in multiple foreign languages or specialized skills tend to earn higher salaries.

With 1-2 years of experience and good performance, front desk agents can expect to be promoted to a front desk supervisor or front office manager position. This provides increased responsibilities and an average salary of $45,000 annually. Further advancement to general manager and director of operations is possible later in one’s hospitality career.

Overall, a front desk agent position serves as an excellent entry point into the hotel industry. It provides the opportunity to gain customer service, sales, communication, and operational skills – creating a foundation for a long-term career in hospitality.

How To Prepare And Apply For This Job

The front desk agent or guest services representative is one of the most important roles in a hotel, resort, or other hospitality business. This customer-facing position is responsible for providing excellent service to guests while handling all front office duties like check-ins, check-outs, reservations, and addressing guest questions or concerns. 

To successfully prepare for and obtain this type of position, here are some tips:

Finding Job Openings

Regularly check major job sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and individual company/hotel career pages for front desk agent job openings. Look for opportunities at hotels, resorts, bed and breakfasts, and other hospitality businesses in your desired location.

Tailoring Your Resume

Cater your resume specifically for a front desk role by highlighting past customer service experience. Include details about assisting customers in person, by phone/email, handling payments, reservations, and resolving issues. List any previous hospitality experience.

Interview Preparation

Expect competency-based and situational interview questions to assess your customer service skills. Prepare examples of how you went above and beyond for a customer or how you resolved a difficult customer complaint. Be ready to describe why you want to work in hospitality and provide excellent guest experiences.

Interview Best Practices

Bring extra copies of your resume. Dress professionally. Arrive early. Greet interviewers with a smile and firm handshake. Be friendly and enthusiastic about the role and providing great hospitality. Send thank you notes after the interview.

Finding Opportunities Globally

There are front desk job opportunities with hotels, resorts, lodges, and other hospitality providers worldwide. Search for openings in desired geographic locations. Look for multinational chains with locations around the world. 

Be open to starting in one location and transferring later.

With some preparation, a passion for hospitality, and excellent customer service skills, you can obtain a front desk agent or guest services representative role to start your career in this exciting industry. Pay attention to details, provide thoughtful assistance to guests, and constantly look for ways to go above and beyond in your position.

What You Will Learn In This Course

This comprehensive training program will provide you with all of the knowledge and skills required to be an excellent front desk agent or guest services representative. Here are some of the key things you will learn:

Hotel Terminology And Organization

You will learn the common vocabulary and phrases used in hospitality like types of room rates, early check-in/late check-out, and more. We will cover the structure and organization of hotel departments.

Front Office Procedures

You will learn core front desk duties including checking guests in and out of the hotel using the property management system, managing reservations by phone and online, assigning rooms, issuing room keys, and processing payments.

Guest Services

You will learn how to assist guests with concierge recommendations, schedule bell desk services, order valet parking, communicate with housekeeping for room cleaning and requests, and more.

Hospitality Technology

You will receive hands-on training on the property management system to make reservations, check in guests, run reports, and perform night audit. We will cover point-of-sale systems for processing payments.

Front Desk Accounting

You will learn accounting basics like processing cash and credit card payments, applying discounts/promotions, calculating room rates and taxes, processing daily revenue reports, and managing the front desk bank.

Professional Etiquette And Problem Solving

You will learn best practices for professional conduct, verbal and non-verbal communication, and problem resolution to deliver excellent customer service to hotel guests.

With dedication to your training, you will gain the skills and confidence to succeed as an exceptional front desk agent or guest services representative in the exciting hospitality industry.

Course Outline

Introduction To Front Desk Operations

The front desk is the heart of a hotel’s operations. This is where guests are welcomed, checked in, checked out, and assisted with requests. The front desk sets the tone for the guest experience.

Overview Of The Front Desk Department

The front desk department, also known as the front office, is the heart of a hotel’s operations. This is where guests are welcomed, checked in and out, provided with information, and assisted with any needs during their stay. The main functions of the front desk include:

Main Functions

  • Check-ins: When guests arrive at the hotel, front desk agents greet them, verify their reservations, assign rooms, have guests complete registration cards, encode room keys, and provide welcome packets. Agents should welcome guests warmly, double check reservations for accuracy, and offer room upgrades or amenities if available.
  • Check-outs: When guests are ready to depart, front desk agents print itemized bills, receive payments, check rooms for any damages or missing items, and return deposits. Agents should verify all charges are correct, thank guests for staying, and invite them to return in the future.
  • Reservations: Agents book rooms in advance for guests, modify existing reservations if needed, and coordinate group room blocks for events/conferences. This requires checking room inventory, applying rate codes, collecting deposits/payments, and providing confirmation info.
  • Customer Service: Front desk agents address guest questions, requests, concerns, and complaints. This includes providing info on hotel amenities, local attractions, airport transportation, maintenance issues, lost items, and any other guest needs. Excellent communication skills are required.

Key Positions

  • Front Desk Agent: This is the core front desk position. Job duties include those described above. Traits of successful agents include organization, professionalism, problem-solving, communication skills, and ability to work under pressure.
  • Front Desk Supervisor: Supervises a team of front desk agents. Responsibilities include training agents, overseeing operations, addressing escalated issues, and ensuring excellent guest service. Supervisors lead by example and require management skills.
  • Front Office Manager: Oversees the entire front office department. Managers hire/train staff, set policies and procedures, monitor budgets and expenses, purchase supplies/equipment, handle VIP guests, and work to maximize operational efficiency. Strong leadership abilities are essential.

Interaction with Other Departments

The front desk interacts closely with several other departments:

  • Housekeeping: Front desk coordinates room status, supplies “Do Not Disturb” info, manages guest requests, and inspects rooms regularly.
  • Maintenance: Front desk informs maintenance of any room/hotel repairs needed and may need to move guests if major issues occur.
  • Sales/Events: Front desk provides availability info, tracks reservations, and ensures excellent service for group arrivals.
  • Food & Beverage: Front desk provides counts of guests, VIPs, etc to aid preparation. May also make dining reservations for guests.
  • Management: Provides daily operations reports/budgets and seeks guidance on policies, challenges, etc.

The front desk serves as the hub connecting these departments to provide exceptional guest experiences. Strong communication and teamwork is essential.

Front Desk Responsibilities

The front desk agent or guest services representative has a very important role in representing the hotel and ensuring guests have a positive experience. Here are some key responsibilities and best practices:

1. Greeting and registering guests

  • Greet guests warmly and make eye contact when they arrive at the front desk. Use phrases like “Welcome to our hotel” or “Good evening, how can I assist you?”
  • Verify guest reservations and assign rooms. Pull up the reservation in the system, confirm arrival and departure dates, room type, rate, and assigned room number.
  • Have guests complete registration cards and input information into the hotel system. Collect contact details, take a photocopy of ID, collect payment for deposit/full stay.
  • Inform guests of hotel policies like check-in/check-out times, parking, smoking policy, etc.
  • Provide room keys,wifi details, and information about hotel amenities and services. Offer to show the guest to their room.

2. Managing room assignments and occupancy

  • Use the hotel system to stay updated on room statuses and availability. Release rooms as guests check out.
  • Change room assignments when needed, like if a guest requests a room upgrade or change. Inform housekeeping of changes.
  • Track occupancy forecasts and use historical data to prepare for busy periods. Block room allotments for large groups.
  • Respond to overbooked situations by walking guests to partner hotels or providing vouchers/discounts.

3. Processing guest requests and complaints

  • Listen attentively to understand the guest’s needs. Repeat back their request to confirm understanding.
  • Handle maintenance requests (e.g. plumbing, A/C issues, door lock problems) by creating work orders and notifying maintenance staff. Follow up with guests.
  • Field noise complaints by speaking with offending guests. Move guests if necessary. Notify security for serious issues.
  • Accommodate late check-outs, room changes, luggage storage, etc. Make exceptions when possible.
  • Report complaints to management and follow up on resolutions. Thank the guest for bringing issues to your attention.

4. Handling reservations and cancellations

  • Take phone, email, and walk-in reservations. Verify dates, room type, rate, payment details, and input into system.
  • Explain cancellation policies and fees when taking reservations. Charge cancellation fees as applicable.
  • Follow up on reservations nearing the cancellation timeframe. Offer to modify dates if possible.
  • For group blocks, track reservations against room block commitments. Release unbooked rooms per contract.

5. Performing night audit and daily accounting

  • Run end-of-day reports on occupancy, revenue, taxes, transactions, and balances. Investigate discrepancies.
  • Review and post charges to guest accounts like room charges, parking, meals, gift shop purchases, etc.
  • Process payments for guest accounts including deposits, advance/partial payments, and final payments due.
  • Print statements for in-house guests to review charges and make payments if needed.
  • Reconcile cash, checks, and credit card payments. Tally receipts and balance against reports. Prepare bank deposits.

6. Maintaining front desk supplies and equipment

  • Restock forms, stationery, key cards, pens, mints, etc. Track inventory and reorder as needed.
  • Test key card encoders, phones, printers, and computers. Create help tickets for malfunctioning equipment.
  • Keep desk area neat and professional looking. File paperwork, remove clutter, wipe surfaces.
  • Monitor desk lighting, temperature controls, and music levels to ensure guest comfort.

Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions! Providing an exceptional guest experience is key for a front desk agent.

Guest Cycle

The guest cycle outlines the various stages guests go through, from the time they consider booking a hotel stay until they leave the hotel. Each stage is an opportunity to provide excellent service and build customer loyalty. 

Here’s a more detailed look at each stage of the guest cycle:



The pre-arrival stage starts the moment a potential guest thinks about booking a stay. This is a crucial phase because it sets the tone for the guest’s expectations and experience.

During this stage, guests might explore the hotel’s website, check out reviews, and compare prices. They might also contact the front desk with questions about the amenities, policies, or location. It’s essential to respond quickly and professionally to these inquiries, providing all the necessary information and making the booking process as easy as possible.

Best Practices:

  • Provide detailed, accurate information on the hotel’s website.
  • Ensure that the booking system is user-friendly and secure.
  • Train front desk agents to handle inquiries professionally and efficiently.
  • Use CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems to keep track of potential guests and their needs.



The check-in stage begins when the guest arrives at the hotel. The front desk agent should greet the guest warmly, confirm their reservation, explain the hotel’s facilities and policies, and process the payment if not already done.

Best Practices:

  • Greet each guest promptly and warmly.
  • Confirm reservations accurately, handling any issues promptly and professionally.
  • Explain amenities, facilities, and policies clearly.
  • Use a guest management system to track check-ins and guest details.


In-house stay

During the in-house stay, the guest uses the hotel’s facilities and services. The front desk agent needs to be available to address any concerns, provide information, and coordinate with other departments to ensure the guest’s comfort.

Best Practices:

  • Regularly check in with guests to ensure their comfort.
  • Respond promptly and professionally to guest concerns or requests.
  • Coordinate efficiently with housekeeping, maintenance, and other departments.
  • Use guest feedback to improve services and facilities.
  1. Check-out

The check-out stage marks the end of the guest’s stay at the hotel. The front desk agent should ask about the guest’s experience, handle any last-minute charges, process payment if not already done, and wish the guest a pleasant journey.

Best Practices:

  • Ask for feedback about the guest’s stay.
  • Handle any additional charges accurately and professionally.
  • Process payment efficiently, ensuring the guest understands all charges.
  • Wish the guest a pleasant journey, inviting them to return.
  1. Post-departure

The post-departure stage involves following up with the guest after they’ve left the hotel. This might include sending a thank-you note, asking for a review, or addressing any outstanding issues. This stage is crucial for maintaining relationships with guests and encouraging repeat business.

Best Practices:

  • Send a thank-you note or email after the guest’s stay.
  • Ask for feedback or a review, addressing any negative comments promptly and professionally.
  • Use a CRM system to track guest details and preferences for future stays.
  • Offer incentives or discounts for repeat business.

In summary, a front desk agent plays a crucial role at every stage of the guest cycle, from pre-arrival to post-departure. By understanding each stage and following best practices, front desk agents can ensure a smooth, enjoyable experience for guests, which can lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Front Desk Tools And Technology

The front desk agent utilizes various tools and technology to carry out their key responsibilities. Having a working knowledge of these systems is critical for providing high-quality guest service.

Property Management Systems (PMS)

The PMS is the central hub for reservations, check-ins, check-outs, and managing room inventory. 

Examples of common PMS platforms are Opera, OnQ, and Guestware. 

When checking in guests, front desk agents will use the PMS to:

  • Pull up and verify reservations
  • Assign room numbers
  • Encode room keys and credit cards
  • Register guest information and special requests
  • Review room status and availability

Best practices:

  • Learn to navigate the specific PMS quickly and efficiently
  • Double check all guest details entered in the system
  • Utilize waitlist and overbooking features appropriately
  • Communicate PMS issues promptly to manager

Point Of Sale (POS) Systems

The POS system is used to process payments from guests. This includes room charges, deposits, incidentals, food & beverage, gift shop purchases, etc. Popular POS systems include SoftHotel, RoomKey, and GuestPay. When processing payments, front desk agents will:

  • Verify forms of payment with guests
  • Obtain signatures for credit card authorizations
  • Securely handle cash transactions
  • Print itemized receipts for all transactions

Best practices:

  • Count cash drawer before and after each shift
  • Process payments accurately and record tips
  • Keep payment terminals clean and working
  • Notify manager of any suspicious credit card use

Room Keys And Key Card Systems

Electronic key cards provide access to guest rooms. Front desk agents are responsible for programming these cards and managing the key management system. This involves:

  • Encoding keys with assigned room numbers
  • Setting electronic locks to activate at check-in and expire at check-out
  • Deactivating lost or stolen key cards immediately
  • Reprogramming keys as guests change rooms

Best practices:

  • Verify keys work when issuing them to guests
  • Advise guests to keep keys away from phones and other magnetic devices
  • Have enough encoded keys prepared in advance for busy check-in periods
  • Follow security procedures for lost key cards

Phone Systems

Multiline phone systems are essential for managing incoming and outgoing calls. Front desk agents should be skilled using features like:

  • Placing calls on hold
  • Transferring calls to extensions
  • Making overhead paging announcements
  • Accessing guest voicemail accounts
  • Blocking unwanted calls

Best practices:

  • Memorize the extensions for each department
  • Answer all calls in 3 rings or less
  • Adjust volume as needed but keep mute feature off
  • Project a smile through your voice on phone calls

Fax, Photocopier, Printers

Front desk agents regularly use office equipment like fax machines, photocopiers, and printers. Agents should be proficient in:

  • Sending and receiving faxes
  • Making photocopies of IDs, receipts, etc.
  • Printing reports, letters, envelopes, etc.
  • Troubleshooting basic issues like paper jams

Best practices:

  • Load paper and toner supplies promptly when low
  • Clear paper jams carefully by following device instructions
  • Report equipment malfunctions to facilities staff
  • Route incoming faxes to appropriate departments

Computers And Software

Computers provide access to the PMS, internet, email, and other digital platforms. Front desk agents utilize computers to:

  • Look up reservations and guest information
  • Send confirmation emails
  • Access software like Microsoft Office
  • Search the web to address guest questions
  • Input data and generate reports

Best practices:

  • Log in and out of software programs properly
  • Use strong passwords and log off when away from computer
  • Organize bookmarks/favorites for quick access to tools
  • Keep workstation neat and monitor turned from public view

Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions!

Front Desk Workspace

The front desk workspace is where guest services representatives spend most of their time and is the first impression guests have of the hotel. It’s important for this area to be organized, efficient, and welcoming.

  • Workstations

  • The front desk will typically have 1-2 workstations with a computer, phone, printer, and supplies for each representative working. Make sure your workstation is neat and professional looking. Don’t keep food or personal items out.
  • Log in to computer programs and phone system promptly when starting your shift. Make sure they are working properly. Know who to call for technical help if needed.
  • Keep desk surfaces clean and free of clutter. Only keep key supplies within reach. Store other items neatly out of sight.
  • Layout And Design

  • The front desk area should be centrally located with clear sight lines to the lobby and entrances. This helps representatives greet and assist guests efficiently.
  • There may be stations for specific tasks like check-ins or concierge separated by counters or podiums. Make sure you know the setup and routing.
  • Decor reflects brand identity and style. Keep counters tidy, displays neat, and materials stocked. Report any damage or issues.
  • Supplies

  • Have essentials on hand like pens, forms, stationery, keys, brochures, maps, flashlights. Replenish when low.
  • Keep drawers and shelves organized with specific spots for different supplies. Don’t overstuff. Request new supplies when you notice inventory shrinking.
  • Know what promotional materials should be displayed and discard outdated ones. Keep counters and displays looking full and neat.
  • Communications Devices

  • Master using the phone system including transferring calls, placing guests on hold, accessing messages.
  • Use radios or internal messaging to stay in touch with colleagues. Communicate clearly and professionally.
  • Shared computer files, logs, and message boards help pass on information between shifts. Update and check frequently.

Let me know if you would like me to elaborate or provide more examples on any part of the front desk workspace! I’m happy to clarify or add details as needed for the training material.

Guest Arrival Procedures

Pre-Arrival Communication

As a Front Desk Agent, communicating with guests before they arrive is an important part of delivering excellent customer service and ensuring a smooth check-in process. Here are some key tasks and best practices for pre-arrival communication:

Confirm Reservations

  • Check the reservation system on a regular basis for any new bookings.
  • For reservations arriving in the next 48 hours, proactively reach out to the guest via email or phone to confirm their reservation details, arrival time, and any special requests. This helps avoid any last minute changes or cancellations.

Example email:

“Dear [Guest Name], This is [Your Name] from [Hotel Name] contacting you regarding your reservation arriving on [Date]. We look forward to welcoming you! Please reply to this email to confirm your arrival date, time, and details. Let us know if you have any other requests to make your stay more comfortable. We look forward to seeing you soon!”

Send Welcome Emails/Texts

  • Send a welcome email/text to arriving guests 24-48 hours before arrival. Include details like check-in time, wifi passwords, hotel location, parking information and other useful details.
  • Make the email personal by addressing the guest by name and including any special requests or preferences they have made.

Example text:

“Dear [Guest Name], Welcome to [Hotel Name]! We look forward to your arrival on [Date]. Please let us know if your check-in time changes or if you have any other requests. Our address is [address]. We hope you have a wonderful stay!”

Notify Housekeeping Of Early Arrivals

  • Inform housekeeping supervisors of any early check-ins expected for the day so rooms can be prioritized for cleaning.
  • Provide room numbers, guest names and expected arrival time. Follow up with housekeeping before the guest arrives to ensure room will be ready.

Review Special Requests

  • Note any special requests in the reservation (e.g. high floor, crib, late check-out etc.)
  • Proactively reach out to the guest to confirm you have received their request and can accommodate it. This sets clear expectations.
  • Inform relevant departments like housekeeping and maintenance of requests that pertain to them so they can be prepared.

Greeting Guests

The first impression a guest has of the hotel starts with how they are greeted upon arrival. As the front desk agent, it is your responsibility to provide every guest with a warm, sincere welcome.

Warm Welcome

  • Greet the guest immediately when they walk in or are within a few feet of the front desk. Make eye contact, smile warmly, and welcome them to the hotel.
  • Use a polite welcoming phrase like “Good morning/afternoon/evening, welcome to [Hotel Name]. How can I assist you today?”
  • Listen closely to guests and give them your undivided attention. Do not shuffle papers, type on the computer, or appear distracted.
  • Adjust your tone and demeanor to the time of day – more energetic in the mornings, calm in the evenings. Match the guest’s energy level.
  • Keep the welcome interaction sincere and unhurried, even when you are very busy.

Assess Needs

  • Note if the guest has luggage or bags that may require a bellperson. Ask if they would like assistance with their luggage.
  • Observe if the guest appears to have mobility challenges or is requesting a wheelchair. Call for an escort immediately.
  • Politely inquire if the guest requires any additional assistance to access hotel amenities and services.

Direct Guests

  • If the guest has already checked-in online, politely verify their name and room number, provide their room keys, and direct them to the elevators to proceed to their room.
  • For walk-in guests needing to check-in, greet them and invite them to proceed to the front desk to complete check-in procedures.
  • If lines are long, apologize for the wait and ask the guest if they would prefer to use the self check-in kiosks to start the registration process more quickly.

The way you welcome each guest sets the tone for their entire stay. Be alert, attentive, and ready to provide assistance to make every guest feel genuinely welcomed.

Verifying Reservations

An important responsibility of the front desk agent is to properly verify all guest reservations upon arrival to ensure the guest is assigned the correct room type, rates, and dates.

Locate in PMS

  • Ask for the guest’s last name to search for the reservation in the Property Management System (PMS).
  • If multiple reservations appear, verify additional details like first name, arrival date, and confirmation number to identify the correct reservation.
  • If no reservation is found, politely inquire if the booking may be under another name or offer to check again under a different spelling.

Confirm Details

  • Verify the check-in and check-out dates, room type booked (king, double queen, suite, etc.), and rate quoted.
  • Also confirm the room is still available for those dates if dealing with a walk-in reservation.

Handle Discrepancies

  • If there are discrepancies between the guest’s expectations and the reservation details, remain polite and apologize for the confusion.
  • If room type is incorrect but original rate is available, offer to upgrade the room.
  • If room type is not available, explain the situation and offer the next best available room while honoring the original rate.
  • If rates have changed, explain that politely to the guest. Offer a discounted rate as a courtesy for the inconvenience.
  • Notify a supervisor immediately if upgrades incur additional charges for the guest. Get approval before making any rate changes.

Carefully verifying reservation details and handling any discrepancies diplomatically is crucial to starting the guest’s stay off right. Taking the time to fix issues demonstrates good customer service.


An efficient and accurate registration process is key to getting guests checked in and on their way to their rooms quickly.

Complete Registration Card

  • Ask the guest to provide identification and any pre-completed registration card.
  • Verify the name, address, phone number, email, and other contact info is filled out.
  • Ask for a second contact number, email, or address in case of emergencies.
  • Ensure any special requests (adjoining rooms, high floor, etc.) are noted.

Verify/Collect Payment

  • If prepayment was made, confirm method of payment and final amount charged.
  • If payment is due, politely verify the credit card, collect imprint for incidentals, and collect payment.
  • Notify the guest of deposit amount for incidentals that will be temporarily charged.

Issue Room Keys

  • Confirm the room number out loud and write it on the registration card.
  • Program room keys and explain the room location relative to elevators, exits, etc.
  • Offer a second key if more guests will be staying in the room.

Provide Orientation Info

  • Give a brief overview of the hotel layout – dining areas, pool, gym location.
  • Explain the checkout time, breakfast hours, and other hotel policies.
  • Ask if the guest needs any additional information or has questions.

Following procedures carefully during registration reduces mistakes and shows professionalism. Giving a quick orientation eases the guest’s transition into the hotel.

Non-Reserved Guests

  • When a guest arrives without a reservation, the front desk agent should kindly greet them and inquire if they need a room. Before assigning a room, check the property management system to view room availability and identify any rooms that meet the guest’s needs.
  • Discuss the different room types available, such as standard, deluxe, suites, accessible rooms, etc. along with the rates for each so the guest can select what fits their budget. Provide descriptions of the amenities, layouts, sizes, views, and bed types for each room category. Recommend any promotional rates or discounts that may be available such as corporate, AAA, or weekend rates.
  • Once the guest has selected a room type, collect their contact information including name, address, phone number, email address, and company name if a business traveler. Secure payment by authorizing a credit card for room & tax for the entire stay, plus an incidental hold if applicable. Have the guest sign registration documents and issue a room key. Offer to help with luggage if bell staff is not available.

Group Arrivals

  • When an organized group is expected to arrive together, coordinate in advance with the group sales or event manager to understand the booking details including rooming list, dates, room types, billing instructions, amenity requests, etc. Prepare room keys in advance for speedier check-in.
  • As the group arrives, greet them professionally and let them know you have been expecting them. Have the room keys organized alphabetically or numerically to match the rooming list so guests can quickly find their assigned room key packet. Hand out the keys efficiently. Answer any general questions the group may have about the hotel and direct them to any planned events or activities.
  • Review group requirements such as max room occupancy, early departure fees, cut-off dates, hospitality suite access, credit arrangements, and miscellaneous charges. Look for any special notes/requests for individual group members such as accessible rooms or late arrivals and accommodate accordingly. Check with the group coordinator daily for any changes to the rooming list.

Amenities And Escort

  • After check-in, offer the guest refreshments such as water, coffee, tea or cookies while their room is being prepared. This shows hospitality.
  • Notify the bell desk that the guest has arrived and provide the guest’s name and room number so luggage can be delivered. Offer to call the guest when their room is ready if they want to relax in the lobby.
  • Once the room is ready, escort the guest to the room if possible, describing the property layout and amenities along the way. If unable to personally escort, provide clear directions on how to get to their room. Use the room number, floor, nearest elevator or stairwell, and any landmarks in your description.

Check-In Challenges

  • If unable to find the guest’s reservation, stay calm and ask for more details like confirmation number or date booked. Check all possible name spellings. If still not found, contact the manager on duty for assistance. Apologize to the guest and reassure them you are working to resolve this.
  • If a guest wants to change rooms before checking in, ask why and do your best to accommodate. If the request is not possible, apologize and explain why while trying to offer alternatives like a room upgrade.
  • For declined credit cards, request another form of payment. If they do not have one, contact the manager, as authorization may be required to accept cash. Politely explain the situation to the guest if no alternative payment can be made.
  • If a guest is unhappy with room location, apologize for the inconvenience and offer to show them the property layout to understand the location. If possible, relocate them to a preferred room type or location. If unavailable, offer amenities like wine, parking, or breakfast as compensation.

Guest In-House Services

Providing Information

Be knowledgeable about all the hotel’s services and amenities so you can accurately advise guests. This includes:

  • Dining/restaurant hours, dress code, menu options, room service
  • Recreation amenities like the pool, gym, spa, golf, kids club
  • Business amenities like meeting rooms, AV rentals, shipping, computers
  • Other amenities like the gift shop, convenience store, laundry, safety deposit boxes

Keep brochures on local attractions like museums, parks, tours, and maps available for guests. Know the distance, transportation options, hours, and admission costs to commonly asked about attractions.

When recommending restaurants, consider guest preferences, occasion, transportation needed, price range, cuisine types, etc. before suggesting places. 

Provide directions, contact info, hours, and if reservations are needed. Highlight any of the hotel’s restaurants on-site.

Be aware of interesting events, shows, festivals, and tourist activities going on locally during a guest’s stay. 

Suggest age-appropriate live shows, sports events, music festivals, art fairs, food festivals, and more based on the guest’s interests and length of stay.

Be able to provide clear verbal or written directions and maps if asked by a guest about how to get to local places or even destinations out of town. Use landmarks in your directions and estimated distance/travel times. Offer to look up transportation options as needed.

Managing Guest Requests

  • When a guest calls for additional towels, pillows, or toiletries, confirm their room number and name. Tell them you are happy to deliver the requested items promptly. Bring extra bottled water, snacks, or other amenities as an extra touch.
  • For maintenance issues like a broken fixture, AC not working, etc. apologize, notify maintenance immediately, and relay the urgency and specifics of the issue. Follow up with the guest once maintenance confirms the issue is resolved.
  • When booking hotel services, focus on the guest’s needs and preferences. For the spa, inquire about treatment type, gender preference, and availability. For restaurants, discuss cuisine, ambiance, attire, pricing. Give options at different times if needed.
  • Offer to arrange transportation like an airport shuttle, town car service, or local taxi/rideshare for a guest. Provide cost estimates, pick-up times, and transit duration. Obtain guest’s flight information if needed. Confirm the transportation and pickup details with the guest.

Handling Complaints

  • Listen carefully without interrupting if a guest complains. Empathize by saying “I understand how frustrating this must be.” Thank them for bringing the issue to your attention.
  • Sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment the guest experienced. Take ownership by saying “I take responsibility for making this right.”
  • Do your best to immediately resolve the complaint. If unable to do so, involve the manager on duty. Follow up with the guest to ensure the issue was corrected properly and to their satisfaction. Offer a gesture of goodwill like a meal voucher, hotel credit, or amenity.

Reservation Requests

  • When a guest wishes to extend their stay, check room availability and rates for their current room type during the requested additional dates. If unavailable, offer alternate room types or dates and provide the rates. Update the reservation in the system once confirmed and have the guest authorize the charge for the extra nights.
  • If a guest wants to change rooms during their stay, inquire about the reason and do your best to accommodate. Notify housekeeping of the room change. Have the guest pack belongings and change keys at the front desk for a smooth transition. Offer luggage assistance.
  • For late checkout requests, review housekeeping schedules and departure reports to see if extending their stay is possible. If so, confirm the new departure time and have the guest settle any additional charges owed. Update the reservation system.

Message Services

  • Keep a message log to formally record guest messages including: guest name, room number, contact info left, date/time of message, and message details. Verify you have all details before the caller ends the message. Deliver messages to guest rooms promptly.
  • When transferring calls, first announce you are transferring the call and provide the extension number. Warmly introduce the receiving party once connected before dropping off. Follow up to ensure the call went through successfully if concerned.
  • Keep mail and faxes secured and deliver to guests in envelopes marked with their room number. Maintain confidentiality for all messages received. Inform guests at check-in where messages will be held for them and to call for pick-up if urgent

Concierge Services

  • When providing restaurant recommendations, consider the guest’s preferences for cuisine, price, atmosphere, dress code, and location/transportation needs. Suggest the hotel’s on-site restaurants first then popular local spots. Make reservations for guests upon request.
  • Offer to book tours and local attractions per the guest’s interests. Outline what is included, duration, transportation, admission fees, and cancellation policies for tours. Arrange VIP experiences, event tickets, museum passes, etc. Follow up with confirmation numbers.
  • For childcare needs, provide reputable sitter/nanny services or hotels kids clubs. Verify caregiver ages, background checks, CPR training, and fees. For pet care, recommend pet sitters, dog walkers, veterinarians, pet stores, and groomers. Share licensing, insurance, and cost details.
  • Make every effort to source last minute, hard-to-find items guests request like event tickets, specialty items, or services. Leverage your vendor relationships and be creative. Update the guest on progress finding the item.

Bell Desk Services

  • When notified of guest arrivals, retrieve luggage from vehicles and deliver to rooms promptly. Communicate with front desk on room readiness and escort guests if possible. Offer to store luggage for guests after checkout.
  • Arrange valet parking services. Provide directions where to park/key drop. Log keys carefully with name, room, and car details. Retrieve vehicles quickly when guests depart. Load luggage into vehicles and open doors for guests.
  • Inform guests about hotel amenities and services like the fitness center, pool, restaurants, business center, spa, shuttle service and more. Give directions to amenities. Offer to store luggage as guests use them before check-in/after checkout. Recommend nearby attractions and transportation options.

Front Desk Accounting

Preparing for Check-Out

  • Review all charges in a guest’s folio the night before departure to verify accuracy. Look for any duplicate charges, mispostings, unverified/unauthorized purchases, etc. that need correction.
  • Contact any hotel outlets the guest utilized like restaurants, gift shops, spa, salon, golf club, etc. to obtain detailed itemized charges. Incorporate these line by line into the final folio.
  • Immediately address any discrepancies discovered in the folio charges. Make corrections as needed with supervisor approval. Follow up with the outlet or guest if any charges are disputed.
  • Print out detailed, final folio statements for each departing guest to use at checkout. Clearly highlight any remaining charges that still need to be paid at departure.
  • Notify guests in advance of the hotel’s standard checkout time and provide a courtesy reminder call shortly beforehand so they can prepare.

Check-Out Process

  • Greet departing guests warmly by name and inquire how their stay was. Offer to call for bell staff to assist with luggage as they depart.
  • Present the itemized folio statement and review the charges in detail, explaining what they are for. Point out any last-minute charges that may have been added since their preliminary statement was printed, such as room service or late checkout fees.
  • Politely request payment for the full estimated amount shown as the balance due on their statement. Accept various payment types like credit card, cash, traveler’s check, or debit card. Carefully count cash payments before completing the transaction.
  • Offer the guest a comment card to provide feedback about their stay experience and the property. Reassure them their input is valuable for improving service. Provide a pen for convenience.
  • Print a final itemized receipt detailing all charges, payments made, and any remaining balance due. Highlight loyalty program benefits for earning points/status on their stay for future redemptions.
  • Thank the guest sincerely for choosing to stay at your property. Wish them safe onward travels as they depart.

Express Check-Out

  • Express Check-Out is a convenient option for guests who wish to expedite their departure process without visiting the front desk in person. The procedure involves the following steps:

Provide Express Checkout Envelopes:

  • Ensure that a sufficient number of Express Checkout envelopes are available at the front desk. These envelopes typically contain a simple form where guests can write down their contact information, method of payment, and any special requests.
  • Example: When handing out the Express Checkout envelopes during check-in, you can politely inform guests about this time-saving option and explain the form’s purpose briefly.

Review Completed Envelopes:

  • As a responsible Front Desk Agent, it is essential to review the information provided by guests on the Express Checkout envelopes. Check for completeness and accuracy, especially regarding payment details.
  • Example: If a guest forgets to provide their contact number or leaves the payment section blank, you should make a courteous phone call to verify the missing information and ensure a smooth check-out process.

Deliver Receipts To Rooms:

  • Once the Express Check-Out envelopes are processed, deliver printed copies of the itemized receipts to the respective guest rooms. This step allows guests to have a record of their charges and expenses.
  • Example: When delivering receipts, you can also include a personalized note, thanking the guests for choosing the hotel and encouraging them to provide feedback on their stay.

Late Check-Outs

  • Late Check-Outs occur when guests request to extend their stay beyond the standard check-out time. Handling late check-outs effectively requires cooperation with other departments and attentiveness to guest needs.

Verify And Update Departures In Pms (Property Management System):

  • When a guest requests a late check-out, verify the availability of the room for the extended period and update the departure time in the PMS accordingly.
  • Example: If the room is not reserved for the following night, you can offer the guest a late check-out option with a predetermined additional fee.

Inform Housekeeping Of Delayed Room Cleaning:

  • Communicate the updated departure time to the housekeeping department promptly. This allows them to prioritize their cleaning schedule and ensures that the room is cleaned at an appropriate time after the guest’s departure.
  • Example: A polite and clear message to housekeeping might be, “Room 305 has a late check-out until 2:00 PM. Please ensure the room is cleaned after that time.”

Group Check-Outs

  • Group Check-Outs involve handling the departure process for multiple guests from the same group or event. It requires coordination and preparation to expedite the check-out procedure.

Coordinate With Group Coordinator:

  • Communicate with the designated group coordinator to gather information about the group’s check-out requirements and any special billing arrangements.
  • Example: Schedule a meeting with the group coordinator before the check-out date to address their questions, collect necessary information, and explain the process to ensure a seamless experience.

Have Folios And Receipts Ready:

  • Prepare individual folios and receipts for each guest in the group ahead of their departure time. Having everything ready in advance will speed up the check-out process.
  • Example: Use the hotel’s Property Management System to generate folios and receipts, ensuring accuracy in charges and payments.

Assign Staff To Speed Up Process:

  • During the group check-out, assign additional staff members to assist with the process. This helps manage the flow of guests and ensures that everyone receives the necessary attention.
  • Example: Divide the group into smaller segments and have a dedicated Front Desk Agent to handle each segment efficiently.

Guest Feedback

  • Actively listen without interrupting when a guest provides feedback, whether positive or negative comments. Thank them sincerely for taking the time to share their experience.
  • For complaints or serious issues, empathize with the guest’s frustrations. Apologize for the failure in service and notify a manager immediately so they can assist in resolving the matter appropriately. Follow up later to ensure the guest’s problem was fully addressed to their satisfaction.
  • If you promise a guest you will look into something or resolve an issue, be sure to follow up in a timely manner. Provide periodic status updates to the guest along the way until the issue is officially closed. Document all details.

Additional Services

  • Offer to book future stays for departing guests. Check the property’s reservation system for availability on the guest’s preferred dates and room type. Provide current rate details and outline any applicable promotions available for those dates. Follow up by emailing a confirmation of the new booking.
  • Assist guests requiring local transportation arrangements to the airport, final destination, etc. Offer to call a taxi, rideshare service, hotel shuttle, or rental car on their behalf. Verify details like arrival times, vehicle preferences, luggage quantities, flight info, payment, and exact pickup locations.
  • For guests who had an exceptional experience, offer to publicly share their positive feedback by posting a review on sites like Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, etc. Ensure the guest is comfortable with you submitting on their behalf. Keep the review authentic.
  • Follow up with departing guests via mail or email, including any forgotten items, stay photos, or a small gift from the property. This thoughtful gesture can build lasting relationships.

Guest Departure Procedures

Preparing for Check-Out

  • The night before guests are scheduled to depart, front desk agents should thoroughly review all charges and credits posted to each folio to verify accuracy.
  • Carefully inspect each charge line by line, watching for potential errors like duplicate postings, incorrect dates, unverified/unauthorized purchases, or charges posted to the wrong room.
  • Contact any hotel outlets the guest used like restaurants, the spa, gift shop, parking, business center, etc. to get itemized receipts. Ensure any pending outlet charges are added to the correct guest folio for their final bill.
  • Example: If a guest dined at the hotel restaurant, the agent must obtain the itemized receipt from the restaurant and have any outstanding charges transferred to that guest’s account.
  • Investigate any discrepancies discovered by speaking with the outlet or night auditor to understand what occurred. Determine if corrections or adjustments are required with supervisor approval.
  • Example: If a charge looks incorrect, the agent should contact the outlet to see if it was posted properly before modifying the guest’s bill.
  • Make any necessary corrections to ensure the folio is 100% accurate. Print updated final statements to present at checkout reflecting all legitimate charges owed.
  • Example: If errors were found, the agent should make corrections like removing invalid charges or adding missing credits, then print a new folio statement.
  • Having fully reviewed and corrected accounts ahead of time helps ensure smooth, efficient checkout without billing issues afterward. Guests appreciate getting an accurate statement.

Express Check-Out

  • Provide envelopes and instructions for express checkout in each guest room.
    1. Provide pre-printed express checkout envelopes and clear instructions for completing them in each guest room. Explain the express checkout option at check-in for convenience.
    2. The envelopes should request the guest’s name, room number, signature, and payment details (credit card info, cash, etc.) along with any comments on their stay. Have pens and a secured express checkout box available.
    3. In the morning, the front desk agent should collect all completed express checkout envelopes and carefully process the payments, verifying the information is complete and accurate. Flag any envelopes with discrepancies.
    4. For envelopes that are satisfactorily filled out with valid payment, process the charges and deliver an itemized receipt and folio statement back to the guest’s room, slipped under the door. Call the room to notify them it has been delivered.
    5. This allows guests to depart immediately without needing to stop at the front desk for formal checkout. Their itemized charges and receipt are provided in their room instead.
    6. Follow up on any incomplete envelopes to resolve payment issues or obtain missing signatures/information. Hold any unfinished envelopes at the front desk for the guest to complete later before leaving.
    7. Continuously monitor the departures list and room statuses throughout express checkout times. Knock on the doors of rooms that have not vacated by the hotel’s checkout time to inquire about late departures. Retrieve keys, assist with bags, and begin preparing rooms for arriving guests.

Check-Out Process

Greetings and Assistance

  • Warmly greet departing guests by name and ask how their stay was. Inquire if they need any assistance with luggage or arranging transportation.
  • Offer to call bell/valet service to help retrieve luggage from the room and load bags into the guest’s vehicle. Provide directions and accompanying guests to the taxi/rideshare pickup area if needed.
  • Thank guests sincerely for choosing to stay at your property. Express hope they enjoyed their time on property and invite them to come back and stay with you again in the future.

Presentation of Charges

  • Present the final itemized folio statement for review, explaining any charges. Point out any last-minute additions since their preliminary statement was printed, such as room service or late checkout fees.
  • Politely request payment from the guest for the total estimated amount due as shown on their statement. Accept various payment types like credit/debit card, cash, traveler’s check. Count cash carefully when received as payment.
  • Offer a comment card to get feedback on the guest’s stay experience and your property’s facilities/services. Assure them their input is valuable for improving service.
  • Provide a final printed receipt itemizing all charges and payments made. Highlight any loyalty program benefits earned from their stay they can use for future redemptions.

Guest Follow Up

  • Offer to email the final receipt for the guest’s records if desired. Ask if you can assist booking a future stay. Inquire if they need ground transportation arranged to the airport or final destination.
  • For exceptional stays, offer to write and post a positive review online on the guest’s behalf, with their permission. Follow up afterward with photos, forgotten items, or a small gift from the property.


  • Present the final itemized folio statement to the departing guest, explaining any charges. Politely request payment for the total estimated amount due as shown.
  • Be prepared to process various forms of payment:
    1. Credit or debit card – Have the guest swipe their card or input their chip. Retrieve the signed merchant receipt after the charge is approved.
    2. Cash – Count the cash carefully in front of the guest before completing the transaction.
    3. Traveler’s check – Verify validity, record the check numbers, have guest sign, provide a receipt.
    4. Gift card – Ensure sufficient balance, print receipt showing remaining balance.
  • Have the guest review the statement and sign the folio acknowledging the charges are accurate. Double check for outstanding items needing signature such as room deposits or incidental balances that exceeded the authorized credit card amount.
  • For cash/check payments, be aware the final charges may differ once the folio is officially closed out in the system after checkout. Be prepared to process additional payment from or provide refunds to the guest accordingly.
  • Provide a final printed receipt to the guest itemizing all charges and payments. Highlight any rewards program benefits they can use for future stays.
  • Thank the guest for their payment and for staying at the property. Invite them back again.

Completing Check-Out

Print Receipt Copies

  • After payment is complete, print out final detailed receipt copies itemizing all charges and payments for the guest to take.
  • Highlight any rewards program points or status earned from their stay that can be used for future redemptions or upgrades.
  • Offer to email a receipt copy for their records and follow up with any photos, forgotten items, or other stay details.

Collect Room Keys

  • Collect all room keys and access cards from the departing guest. Keys should be deactivated to prevent future unauthorized entry.
  • Update the room status in the property management system as checked-out. Assign housekeeping staff to clean the room for next arrivals.

Provide Comment Cards

  • Offer printed comment cards and ask the guest to provide feedback on their stay experience and your property’s facilities/services.
  • Let them know their input is highly valued and helps improve guest satisfaction. Provide pens and a collection box.
  • Review comment cards regularly to address common complaints and praise excellent service. Follow up on issues positively.

Thank Guests

  • Thank departing guests sincerely for staying at the property. Wish them safe travels and express hope they will visit again.
  • When possible, accompany guests to the exit and assist with doors and luggage. Farewell them warmly.

Late Check-Outs

Confirming Requests

  • When a guest requests a late checkout, verify room availability by checking the property management system. See if it has been assigned to a new guest arriving that day.
  • If able to accommodate, update the scheduled checkout time for the room and guest profile. Notify the guest their late checkout is confirmed.
  • Add any applicable charges for extending their stay past the standard checkout time to their account.

Informing Housekeeping

  • Immediately communicate all confirmed late checkouts to the housekeeping department. Provide room numbers and departure times.
  • This prevents staff from inadvertently entering a room before the guest has vacated, disturbing their extended stay.
  • Post late checkout notices on the door both the night before and morning of departure as a visual alert.

Adjusting Assignments

  • Housekeeping managers should adjust cleaning assignments as needed to accommodate late checkouts while still preparing for timely check-in of arriving guests.
  • Shift focus first to flipping vacated rooms, delaying non-departures. Reassign staff once late checkouts occur to catch up.
  • Front desk should expedite cleaning of priority rooms like suites or accessible rooms that are needed for arrivals.
  • All confirmed late checkouts should be closely monitored until keys are returned and rooms ready for housekeeping.

Group Check-Outs

Handling group check-outs efficiently and professionally is an important part of the front desk agent’s responsibilities. Here are some best practices for facilitating smooth group departures:


  • Connect with the group leader in advance to understand their checkout requirements and preferred timeline. Groups often need to adhere to transportation schedules, so accurate timing is key.
  • Prepare all group member folios in advance and have them organized and easily accessible. This prevents delays in locating accounts and settling bills. Assign specific agents to handle designated parts of the group for efficiency.
  • Set up temporary checkout stations or blocks of rooms dedicated for group checkout. This segmentation prevents the group from crowding the main front desk area and facilitates faster processing. Rope and stanchion queues can help organize large groups.

Checkout Processing

  • Begin processing the group’s checkouts according to the agreed upon schedule. Having agents ready to start checkout at the designated time is important for keeping things moving smoothly.
  • Handle any rooming issues like disputed charges professionally and quickly. Do not let minor issues delay the checkout flow. Empower agents to make quick decisions to keep things moving.
  • For large groups, implement an express checkout system where guests simply drop their keys and pick up final folios from designated locations. This prevents bottlenecking at the front desk.
  • Load group luggage efficiently so all bags are ready for departure on schedule. Have bell staff available specifically for the group.


  • Keep the group leader updated on progress to ensure the timeline is on track. Alert them to any potential delays or issues.
  • Make departure announcements to keep the group organized and aware of progress. Clearly direct guests to proper checkout or luggage areas.
  • Thank the group leader and members for staying with you. Invite them to complete guest satisfaction surveys to provide feedback.

By preparing thoroughly, keeping tight organization, and maintaining clear communication, front desk agents can ensure group checkouts are completed swiftly and professionally, leaving guests with a positive final impression.

Guest Feedback

Responding appropriately to guest comments is a critical part of providing excellent customer service as a Front Desk Agent. Here are some best practices for handling guest feedback:

  • Resolve issues directly when possible – If a guest complains about a maintenance issue in their room, see if you can offer to move them to another room right away. For minor complaints, offer a sincere apology and see what you can do to make it right.
  • Notify management when necessary – Some issues will be beyond your authority to fix directly. Escalate these cases to the front office manager or GM. For example, if a guest is very upset about curfew noise and wants a refund, you may need management approval.
  • Follow up to ensure resolution – Don’t just pass an issue along and forget about it. Follow up with the guest to ensure their problem was resolved to their satisfaction. You may need to loop in management again if the issue was not fixed.
  • Share positive feedback with staff – When a guest compliments an employee, be sure to pass that praise along. Post thank you notes from guests in the employee break room or mention it at a team meeting. Recognition encourages great work.
  • Monitor reviews – Check sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp for reviews of the property. Look for recurring themes and bring issues to management’s attention.
  • Encourage feedback – Gently ask guests during their stay or at checkout if everything was satisfactory. Wish them a good journey home and mention you hope they’ll share feedback on their experience.
  • Report feedback trends – Keep notes on feedback so you can point out issues that regularly come up. This allows the property to address systemic problems.

Providing excellent customer service means paying extra attention to guest feedback. Handled well, it can improve guest satisfaction and the reputation of your hotel. Consistently poor feedback needs to be addressed through training and policy changes. As the face of the property, the front desk staff plays a key role in this process.

Guest Challenges And Problem Solving

Handling Difficult Guests

As a front desk agent, you are the face of the hotel and will inevitably have to deal with upset, angry, or dissatisfied guests. It’s important to remain calm, empathetic, and focused on resolving the situation in a professional manner.

When facing a difficult guest interaction:

  • Take a deep breath first. A heated conversation can quickly escalate emotions on both sides. Pausing to breathe helps you stay calm, centered, and professional. Count to 5 before responding if needed.
  • Actively listen to the guest’s concerns. Give them space to speak without interruption. Nodding, maintaining eye contact, and using brief affirming phrases like “I understand” demonstrates active listening.
  • Apologize sincerely. Even if the hotel is not to blame, a sincere “I’m very sorry this happened” shows empathy. Avoid dismissive phrases like “these things happen.”
  • Ask questions to fully understand the issue from the guest’s perspective. Probing questions show care and help determine solutions.
  • Remain positive and avoid defensiveness. This further aggravates upset guests. Keep responses focused on resolving the issue.
  • Offer potential solutions to help appease the guest. Extra pillows, meal vouchers, room upgrades, or waived fees are possible options depending on the situation.
  • Know when to involve a supervisor or manager. If you feel unable to resolve the issue, discretely notify management. Pass along details to get them up to speed.
  • Document details of any heated interactions, including guests names, room numbers, issues, and resolutions offered. This protects the hotel if complaints escalate.

With practice, you can learn to smoothly handle even the most difficult guests. Staying calm and constructive can turn frustrations into satisfaction.

Addressing Complaints

Guest complaints should be viewed as opportunities to improve service and loyalty. Handle complaints professionally by:

  • Letting the guest explain their complaint fully without interruption. Give them space to vent frustrations.
  • Apologizing sincerely for the dissatisfaction or inconvenience caused, even if it was out of your control. “I sincerely apologize this happened” shows care.
  • Taking ownership of resolving the issue. Use “I will” statements like “I will look into our cleaning schedule immediately and make sure your room is serviced properly.”
  • Explaining policies or reasons tactfully if applicable. Avoid bluntly saying “those are our rules.” Offer empathy while providing context.
  • Thanking the guest for making you aware of the issue. Feedback helps improve service.
  • Resolving the complaint by offering solutions – room upgrades, dining vouchers, refunds, credits, or complimentary services. Go above and beyond.
  • Following up to ensure the guest was satisfied with the resolution.
  • Logging complaints and tracking resolutions. Look for trends and patterns to improve policies, avoid repeated issues.
  • Notifying management of any major or unresolved complaints for further follow up.

Handling complaints with professionalism and care will improve guest loyalty. A complaint is an opportunity to show how much you value that guest’s experience and feedback.

Solving Problems

As a front desk agent, you will encounter many different problems and complaints from guests. It is important to address each situation calmly and systematically.

  1. Assess the situation and gather information. When a guest approaches with an issue, take a moment to listen and understand the details of the problem. Ask questions if needed to get all the pertinent facts.
  2. Clarify the exact issue. Repeat back the issue to the guest to confirm you understand it correctly. This shows the guest you are listening closely.
  3. Research options and solutions. For common problems like billing errors or maintenance issues, consult your hotel’s policy manual for the standard procedures. For new situations, take the initiative to research potential solutions on your own using all resources available to you.
  4. Present a solution and take action. Clearly explain the solution to the guest and take any needed action steps. For example, if addressing a billing error, explain the correction you will make to the bill.
  5. Follow up with the guest. After resolving the issue, follow up to ensure the guest is satisfied with how it was handled. Ask if you can be of any further assistance. This shows you care about providing excellent service.

Common Challenges

  1. Reservation or billing errors – Double check all information in the reservation system or folio. Make any needed corrections and apologize for the inconvenience.
  2. Maintenance issues – Contact maintenance staff immediately and provide temporary solutions like switching rooms or offering points/discounts. Follow up regularly until issue is resolved.
  3. Noise complaints – Apologize and go speak directly with others causing noise. Enforce quiet hours or relocate guests if noise continues.
  4. Late check-ins/check-outs – Accommodate as best as possible, block rooms, offer points/discounts for inconvenience, communicate with housekeeping.
  5. Wait times at check in – Greet guests promptly, call for back up, thank guests for patience, offer beverages or snacks while they wait.

The key is to always stay calm, show empathy, take ownership of issues, and provide solutions. Going above and beyond to resolve problems and follow up shows your dedication to excellent guest service.

Referring Problems

  • Know limitations of authority
    1. As a front desk agent, you have authority to solve minor issues like giving a guest extra towels or booking a reservation. But bigger issues like compensation for a poor room or an angry guest need to be escalated to a manager.
  • Recognize when to get manager
    1. Examples of when to get a manager:
      1. Guest wants compensation (free night, refund, etc)
      2. Guest is very angry or threatening
      3. Special requests that require manager approval
  • Escalate urgent and complex issues
    1. Urgent issues like maintenance emergencies, guest illnesses, or safety concerns should be escalated immediately.
    2. Complex issues like disputed charges, guest accidents, or special requests should also be referred to a manager.
  • Provide context and recommendations
    1. When escalating an issue to your manager, briefly explain the background and provide any recommendations on how to resolve it. This helps the manager respond appropriately.

Preventing Problems

As a Front Desk Agent, you are the face of the hotel and set the tone for the guest experience. By anticipating and proactively addressing potential issues, you can help ensure guests have a positive and seamless stay. 

Some key techniques include:

Establish Clear, Flexible Policies

  • Develop detailed check-in, check-out, cancellation, and other policies that balance customer service with hotel needs.
  • Train all staff thoroughly so policies are applied consistently. Have employees sign an acknowledgement.
  • Re-evaluate policies regularly and update as needed based on feedback.
  • Keep summarized policies on a laminated sheet at the front desk for quick reference.

Provide Extensive Training to Staff

  • Conduct a multi-week training program on all hotel systems, policies, procedures, and hospitality etiquette.
  • Roleplay common scenarios like check-ins, complaint resolution, room upgrades. Provide constructive feedback.
  • Monitor trainee performance on the job and coach in real-time as needed.
  • Hold regular refresher trainings on policies, new systems, soft skills. Have quizzes to test knowledge.

Set and Manage Guest Expectations

  • Set reasonable expectations when guests first book about room types, hotel amenities, policies.
  • If an issue arises, sympathize first. Then explore alternatives and reset expectations as needed.
  • Follow up with guests proactively to ensure they are satisfied with how any issues were resolved.

Inspect Rooms Regularly

  • Conduct random inspections of occupied and vacant rooms at least weekly to catch maintenance issues early.
  • Managers should also inspect rooms periodically and compare notes with staff.
  • Note any damages, stains, broken fixtures during inspections and ensure issues are fixed promptly.
  • Leave a handwritten thank you note after inspecting occupied rooms to delight guests.

Prepare Backup Plans in Advance

  • Overbook rooms judiciously factoring in historical cancellation rates to maximize occupancy.
  • Keep a few clean, inspected rooms available for early arrivals and overbook situations.
  • Maintain relationships with nearby hotels to refer overbooked guests. Secure discounted rates.
  • Have emergency maintenance contractors on call for urgent repairs like plumbing issues.

Gather Guest Feedback

  • Ask guests for feedback during and at end of stay. Provide comment cards in each room.
  • Respond promptly to online reviews. Thank guests for positive feedback.
  • For complaints, apologize, address the issue, and offer a discount on a future stay.
  • Review feedback regularly to identify areas for policy and training improvements.

By proactively setting expectations, training staff, inspecting rooms, having backup plans, and gathering input, you can head off problems before they happen and deliver excellent guest experiences.

Front Desk Professionalism

Appearance And Hygiene

Front desk agents represent the hotel’s brand. A friendly, hospitable attitude and proper etiquette are key.

  • Demeanor: Greet guests with a smile and pleasant tone. Be patient and helpful if guests have requests or issues. Wish them a good day upon departure.
  • Language: Use respectful, professional language. Avoid slang or profanity. Be mindful of volume and tone of voice.
  • Confidentiality: Protect guest privacy. Do not discuss guest information with unauthorized parties.
  • Etiquette: Follow protocols like addressing guests by surname (Mr./Ms. Last Name). Stand when guests approach the desk. Mirror body language and smile.

Remember, exceeding guest expectations and creating return visits is the goal. Follow hotel hospitality training at all times. Report any suspicious, disrespectful, or inappropriate behavior to a supervisor immediately.

Attitude And Etiquette

Front desk agents represent the hotel’s brand. A friendly, hospitable attitude and proper etiquette are key.

  • Demeanor: Greet guests with a smile and pleasant tone. Be patient and helpful if guests have requests or issues. Wish them a good day upon departure.
  • Language: Use respectful, professional language. Avoid slang or profanity. Be mindful of volume and tone of voice.
  • Confidentiality: Protect guest privacy. Do not discuss guest information with unauthorized parties.
  • Etiquette: Follow protocols like addressing guests by surname (Mr./Ms. Last Name). Stand when guests approach the desk. Mirror body language and smile.

Remember, exceeding guest expectations and creating return visits is the goal. Follow hotel hospitality training at all times. Report any suspicious, disrespectful, or inappropriate behavior to a supervisor immediately.

Communication Skills

Effective communication is crucial for front desk agents. You are the first point of contact for guests and your interactions set the tone for their stay.

  • Warm greeting
  • Greet guests immediately when they arrive at the front desk with a smile and friendly “Hello!”, “Good morning/afternoon”, or “Welcome to [Hotel Name].”
  • Make eye contact and use the guest’s name if known to make it more personal.
  • Have a positive and enthusiastic tone – this energy is contagious.
  • Active listening
  • Give guests your undivided attention. Don’t shuffle papers or look at your computer when they are speaking.
  • Clarify information and summarize their requests to ensure understanding. For example, “So I’ve booked you a king room for the 23rd, is that correct?”
  • Clear explanations
  • Speak slowly and clearly. Be thorough but concise.
  • Avoid using industry jargon and acronyms. Explain terms if confused.
  • Repeat or rephrase if the guest seems unsure. Ask if they need clarification.
  • Manage body language
  • Stand up straight with an open body stance. Avoid crossed arms and slouching.
  • Make eye contact and nod to show you are engaged.
  • Mirror the guest’s body language subconsciously to build rapport.

Phone Etiquette

Phone interactions require additional etiquette and skill. Be even more patient, attentive, and articulate on the phone.

  • Answer promptly and politely
  • Answer before the 3rd ring if possible.
  • State salutation such as “Good morning, [Hotel Name], this is [Your Name], how may I assist you?”
  • Identify property and yourself
  • State name of hotel, your position, and your first name. This helps build trust.
  • Use courtesy titles
  • Address guests as Mr., Ms., or Mrs. if known. If unsure, use Ma’am or Sir.
  • Handle transfers and voicemail
  • Advise the guest if you need to transfer them to another department or colleague. Ask if it is ok before transferring.
  • Take clear messages if sending to voicemail and inform the guest when they can expect a call back.

Business Writing

As the face of the hotel, it’s important that front desk agents maintain professionalism in all written communication.

  • Proper spelling, grammar: Proofread all emails, reports, and other documents carefully before sending. Use spellcheck and re-read to catch any errors.
  • Clear, concise emails: Emails should be short and to the point. Use bullet points for lists when possible. Avoid lengthy paragraphs.
  • Accurate documentation: All reports and records related to hotel operations must be factual and precise. Double check details like dates, room numbers, rates, etc.
  • Constructive comment card responses: Address guest complaints professionally and politely. Apologize for the inconvenience and offer solutions or compensation if appropriate. Thank guests for positive feedback.


  • Email confirming reservation: Include guest name, arrival date, room type, rate, reservation number. Use formal greeting and sign off with your name.
  • Incident report: Note date, time, and location of incident. Record details objectively focusing on who, what, when, where.
  • Comment card response: Thank the guest for their feedback. Address complaints specifically and outline follow-up actions. Offer a coupon or discount for future stay.

Policies And Procedures

Following hotel protocols ensures guests receive consistent and high-quality service.

  • Check-in/check-out: Verify reservations. Obtain payment authorization. Photocopy ID per policy. Adhere to check-in/check-out times.
  • Rates/discounts: Apply rates and packages correctly. Avoid unauthorized discounts without manager approval. Honor member loyalty program benefits.
  • Security: Keep track of room keys. Store guest credit cards securely. Watch for suspicious individuals or activities.
  • Emergency protocols: Know evacuation routes and emergency numbers. Follow emergency response plans for accidents, injuries, fires, etc. Remain calm.


  • Check-in procedure: Greet guest, verify ID and reservation. Input payment method, assign room, provide keys and wifi information. Review checkout time.
  • Corporate rate policy: Require proof of company affiliation to provide discounted corporate rate. Do not extend for leisure reservations.
  • Suspicious person: Notify manager if an individual exhibits unusual behavior like wandering around with no purpose or checking door handles.

Productivity And Time Management

Managing your time effectively ensures all tasks are completed efficiently without sacrificing quality service.

  • Prioritize tasks: Respond to emergencies first. Follow check-in/check-out procedures for arriving/departing guests. Handle urgent requests before routine ones.
  • Work efficiently: Create task checklists. Be focused and avoid distractions. Take notes for follow-up items.
  • Meet deadlines: Give yourself more time than you think you need when starting a task to avoid last minute rushing.
  • Minimize distractions: Disable notifications during peak times. Schedule social media/internet breaks between tasks. Identify private area for calls.


  • Urgent maintenance request takes priority over confirming a reservation that is checking in the next day.
  • Set a timer to avoid spending too much time responding to emails. Schedule social media browsing for slow periods.
  • Start preparing reports 1-2 days in advance of the deadline to allow time for revisions, reviews, etc.


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