Working in a customer-facing role is challenging in any industry, so it’s no surprise that hotel receptionists are often under considerable scrutiny. After all, there's so much work that goes into managing a hotel and receptionists often are the first ones to deal with an angry guest, even though an issue may not have been their fault. They're also often the first person that guests interact with, so they play a crucial part in forming a first impression of your hotel.
Here’s ten skills hotel receptionists need, and the qualities employers should look for when recruiting new front desk talent.
1. Appearance that is ‘on-brand’
Every hotel is different when it comes to dress code but taking pride in your appearance and adhering to the hotel’s clothing rules will show that you’re proud to represent the business as a whole.
A hotel receptionist will be the first port of call for guests when something goes wrong, so you need to be capable of keeping your cool when a crisis presents itself.
Hotel reception shifts are usually considerably lengthy, and because most of that time is spent standing behind a desk and rushing around the property servicing guests, physical fitness and mental stamina are key.
A hotel receptionist role involves a lot of admin and booking management - most of which will be done digitally via cutting edge technology.
This means you need to be at home with modern PMS platforms and online booking systems, while also being willing to learn new systems and guest services that are adopted by the hotel.
5. Great communication
When you’re not welcoming guests, you’ll be interacting with other members of staff face-to-face, firing off emails to deal with enquiries from prospective customers and generally calling on your communication skills non-stop.
Being able to express yourself clearly and concisely, both in-person and within written communication, will make you a great front desk representative.
6. Linguistically versatile
As well as having a firm grasp of your native tongue, you’ll also need to be competent when dealing with guests whose first language may not be English.
You don’t necessarily need to be fluent in other languages, but being able to hold a simple conversation and answer basic queries in French, German and Spanish can certainly be an asset.
7. Time management
Keeping on top of all your responsibilities as a hotel receptionist can be tricky, which is why you need to be able to manage your time effectively and make sure that no important tasks are overlooked or deliberately ignored.
Because hotels need staff on call around the clock, hotel receptionists need to be comfortable with night shifts, as well as schedules which involve working at the weekend or during bank holidays.
9. Mental dexterity
A lot of unusual conundrums and challenging guests can present themselves in a hotel environment, therefore receptionists need to be flexible thinkers and true problem solvers.
10. Social skills
You need to be a people person if you want to work as a hotel receptionist – it’s that simple.
Dealing with challenging guests, welcoming weary business travellers and ensuring excited holidaymakers get their trip off to the best possible start is all in a day’s work for a hotel receptionist, therefore great social skills need to be very high on the agenda.
Hotel receptionists are superheroes, and finding the best takes time, but if you’re either recruiting for such a position or want to fill it yourself, our tips above will give you the best possible head start. It's also crucial to equip your receptionists with the right hotel management software so they're given the proper tools to perform their tasks as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part - it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.
Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.