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What Does a Guest Service Agent Do?

By Marlene Garcia
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A guest service agent works in the hotel industry to handle hotel reservations, cancellations, and changes requested by customers. He or she also handles customer accounts and serves as a concierge for hotel guests. Essentially, he or she is the first contact a customer makes with hotel staff and the last person seen when checking out. This employee ensures customers' needs are met during their stay to encourage repeat visits.

Usually a guest service agent handles a switchboard and answers incoming calls from customers who want to book a room or obtain information about the property. The agent might also transfer incoming calls to registered guests, along with handling messages, mail, or faxes for guests. He or she makes sure guests receive these messages or packages in a timely manner.

Agents typically handle calls from hotel rooms that come through the switchboard. This might include transferring calls for room service, answering questions about nearby tourist attractions, or dealing with requests for housekeeping or laundry services. Sometimes a guest might need help accessing Internet service from the room or request a wake-up call through the agent.

These hotel employees also handle complaints from guests during their stay. If the problem concerns cleanliness, the agent sends housekeeping personnel to the room. Problems sometimes occur with plumbing or electrical fixtures, which are handled through the guest service agent. He or she might offer telephone help if a guest is having trouble with a television set or other room amenities.

Part of a service agent’s job includes totaling customer bills when they check out. The agent tabulates the room rate and any telephone or room service charges added during the stay. He or she collects payment from the guest and maintains a cash drawer, which is typically reconciled after each work shift. If a dispute over charges arises, the guest service agent works to resolve the issue to the customer’s satisfaction. An agent might also take responsibility for preparing bank deposits and other reports.

Duties as a concierge might include arranging transportation for guests during their hotel stay, or providing information about shopping or attractions in the region. The guest service agent might make reservations at restaurants or entertainment venues. If guests have special needs, such as a restricted diet, the agent might make arrangements with hotel restaurants to accommodate those needs. This employee basically addresses any request made by hotel guests.

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Discussion Comments
By clintflint — On Aug 29, 2013

@MrsPramm - Being the guest service agent might be a difficult job, but it can really make a difference if you do it well. Most of the hotels that I consider to be worth staying in are on my list because of really good staff.

Even one or two that don't have rooms that are the nicest can make the grade if the people working there are good people.

By MrsPramm — On Aug 29, 2013

@Iluviaporos - It's already such a tough job, I'm not sure I'd want to make it more difficult. I particularly dreaded the night shift, because, even though it seems like it should be easier, it's very difficult to stay awake and something always seems to happen that needs creative thinking and a lot of calm to sort through.

It might just be that I'm not suited to this kind of customer service job though, because it always made me uncomfortable to have to sit through confrontations with guests and there was always someone who was chomping at the bit to have a confrontation.

I think that people just know that they can get free stuff out of the hotel if they make a fuss about little things and they go out of their way to try and find a way to do that.

By lluviaporos — On Aug 28, 2013

This is the same job that you might do if you're working on a cruise ship. In fact I know a couple of people who deliberately got jobs in hotels when we were in university, so that they could use the experience to get jobs on cruise ships after we finished.

They actually were paid better at the hotels and it was a better job as well, since cruise ship passengers tend to be a little bit more demanding and the hours are longer. But they got to travel to all kinds of places for free, so I think they both enjoyed the experience.

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