Important Hotel Front Desk/Guest Services Job Skills

Image by Colleen Tighe © The Balance 2019 

Demand for hospitality-related services is growing worldwide. If you have experience in hospitality or possess many transferrable skills, you may be able to build a solid career in guest services.

Those working within the hospitality industry need strong interpersonal and communication skills. They also need to be strong problem solvers.

Make sure you know the skills that are required for a job as a guest services employee and highlight those skills when applying for jobs.

The front desk position at a hotel requires many different skills, and the details can vary depending on how the hotel is organized and what kind of guests the hotel serves.

What Are Guest Service Skills?

Hotel front desk employees (also known as guest services employees) are responsible for making sure each guest has a pleasant experience at a hotel. Tasks typically involve checking in and checking out guests, taking reservations, and answering any questions guests may have.

You don’t need a college degree or any relevant experience to be a hotel front desk employee, although an associate’s degree in business, administration, or hospitality can help. Some people that are interested in the hospitality industry begin as guest services employees and then move up to supervisory positions. The following are a few types of guest service skills.

Communication

Communication is critical for hotel front desk and guest service employees. They speak with guests in person and over the phone all day, so it is important that they speak clearly and maintain a positive tone.

Composure

Because a front desk worker has to multitask and serve many guests at once, a good employee must keep calm under pressure. Even when the hotel is very busy, the employee should be able to juggle a variety of tasks while remaining friendly to customers.

Computer Literacy 

Working at the front desk requires using computers to keep records, process payments, and complete other tasks. While you don’t need to be an expert in the world of tech, you do need to be computer literate. You must either be already comfortable with the software the hotel uses and be able to learn new software quickly.

Friendliness

A front desk employee is typically the first person a guest sees upon entering a hotel. Therefore, front desk workers have to be extremely welcoming. A good guest services employee greets every guest with a smile and kind word.

Organization

Front desk employees are always multitasking; they must answer phones, greet guests, answer questions, check out customers, and more. Being organized allows a front desk worker to juggle these multiple tasks.

  • Attention to Detail
  • Efficiency
  • Prioritization
  • Time Management

Problem Solving

Being a front desk employee means you will be the first person that guests bring their problems to. These problems could be minor, such as a request for restaurant recommendations. They could be major, such as a guest whose reserved room is not wheelchair accessible, as they had requested. There could even be unexpected emergencies, such as a guest in a medical crisis. Your job will be to resolve the problem if possible or figure out who to call to get it solved. If you can respond promptly and creatively to these challenges, you can give guests a good experience, and you can earn a good review for your hotel despite a difficult situation.

  • Analytical
  • Creativity
  • Resolving Complaints
  • Troubleshooting
  • Customer Service

Sales

While front desk employees are not salespeople, they should be able to promote specific hotel services and offer suggestions. They might also encourage guests to purchase more luxurious and expensive rooms, if their goals and budget would be better served. People in guest services, therefore, need to be comfortable promoting products and services.

  • Communicate Sales and Promotions
  • Promote Facilities and Services
  • Recall Customer Programs
  • Provide Information on Hotel Services
  • Upselling

Teamwork   

Front desk employees often have to work with others. Sometimes they have to work with other employees at the front desk to handle a difficult problem. Other times, they have to communicate with people in different departments within the hotel—including parking, housekeeping, and management—to ensure that guests are satisfied with their stay. Front desk employees should, therefore, be able to get along and work with a variety of people.

  • Integration
  • Collaboration
  • Leadership
  • Team Building

More Guest Service Skills

  • Written Communication
  • Confidence
  • Concierge
  • Scheduling
  • Memory
  • Physical Endurance
  • Resilience
  • Active Listening
  • Presentation
  • Negotiation
  • Multilingual
  • Mobile Devices
  • Empathy
  • Articulating
  • Patience
  • Focus
  • Agility
  • Quality Assurance
  • Versatility
  • Compassion
  • Approachability
  • Initiative
  • Attentive
  • People Oriented
  • Critical Thinking
  • Diligence
  • Poise

How to Make Your Skill Stand Out

Add Relevant Skills to Your Resume: You can include relevant skill words in your resume. In the description of your work history or your resume summary, you might also want to use some of these keywords.

Highlight Skills in Your Cover Letter: In the body of your letter, you can mention one or two of the required skills and give a specific example of a time when you demonstrated each skill in the workplace.

Use Skill Words in Your Job Interview: Make sure you have at least one example for a time you demonstrated some of your top skills.