The Leisure and Hospitality industry, as a whole, is expected add over 900 million jobs by 20241. Guest Service Agents are the lifeblood this industry, consisting of customer facing positions such as Front Desk Associate, Concierge, and Guest Service Specialist. These positions are at locations such as, but not limited to, hotels, resorts, casinos, and cruise lines.
The roles of a Guest Service Agent may vary slightly, but essentially they ensure that customers' needs are completely and thoroughly met during their stay across multiple channels. This may include greeting the guest, handling check in/check out, performing concierge duties & special requests, making & modifying reservations, and monitoring guest requests to ensure they are handled properly. Skills required for the Guest Service Agents includes knowledge of effective customer service techniques, communication, conflict resolution, problem solving, and, for some positions such as concierge, an intimate knowledge of local eateries, nightlife, and attractions.
While there are no required certificates for Guest Service Agent, a number of hospitality industry associations offer certificates of completion for their training programs, including the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) Guest Service Professional exam. Most online and Community College programs are geared towards management training but not necessarily the role of Guest Service Agent. One exception is Penn Foster, which offers a Guest Service Agent Career Diploma. This nine-course program is aligned with AHLEI Certified Guest Service Representative standards and aims to provide students with a strong background in hospitality skills. Developed by industry progressions from Hyatt and MGM Resorts, this program is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in a 4-star or better hotel & resort setting.
With the ability to work at a wide range of companies across the hospitality industry, a high number of jobs being added in the next decade, and a pathway for career advancement, Guest Service Agent is another fast-growing career that we can expect to remain popular in the next decade.
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Resources: Photo Credit. (1) Industry employment and output projections to 2024