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How Do I Become a Front Office Agent?

Gabriele Sturmer
Gabriele Sturmer

Front office agents typically work in resorts, hotels, hospitals and other businesses that offer services for customers. They are responsible for handling reservations, assisting with customer issues, checking customers in and out and completing purchases. Duties vary, however, depending on the industry in which you work and may include giving tours, training others, filing reports and performing inspections, especially for hotel and resort workers. To become a front office agent, you mostly need to have experience using a computer, proficiency using basic productivity applications and the excellent communication skills required to provide customer service. A high school diploma or some college is usually the educational requirement.

A high school diploma or its equivalent is typically required to become a front office agent, but some companies prefer applicants with some college experience. A bachelor's degree in management can be helpful if you hope to become a manager someday, but you won't need a degree for most entry-level front office agent positions. Some companies prefer candidates who speak a foreign language and know how to use various word processing, database and spreadsheet programs. Continuing education classes through a technical school or college are a good way to learn these skills.

Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

Customer service skills are important for front office agents, because they deal extensively with guests, both on the telephone and in person. To become a front office agent, you should have excellent oral and written communication skills and feel comfortable greeting guests, answering any questions about services, taking complaints and making reservations. You will need to know how to use basic office applications on the computer to fill out forms and make reservations for customers. Basic math skills are important for processing payments, estimating the cost of services and filing reports. You also should feel comfortable performing inspections, working with other team members, giving tours, completing reports and logs and training other team members, if necessary.

Some employers require one year or more of experience working in a guest services position, but others let you become a front office agent without this experience. Most of what you need to learn is taught during the on-the-job training period, and those with previous customer service experience, good computer skills and excellent communication skills are usually better prepared. The training process involves learning how to use the company's software, becoming familiar with the policies for making reservations and learning your way around the building so you can give customer tours as needed.

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