Did you know it only takes approximately 30 seconds to make a good first impression? With this in mind, a receptionist needs to create a welcoming yet professional image from the start. A warm greeting by a receptionist can speak volumes about how the hotel will treat its guests.

But successfully running the front desk calls for much more, and the role of a receptionist working in accommodation demands an impressive line-up of hard and soft skills. 

1) Strong technical receptionist skills

In today’s technology-driven industry, receptionist skills need to be across all forms of guest communication from a hardware and software point of view including; handling phone systems, property management systems, channel management software, website booking engines and chatbots, review sites and social media platforms. Word processing skills are essential, but receptionists may also be asked to work with Excel, Outlook, SharePoint, Google docs, desktop publishing software or other accommodation specific programs.

2) Ability to work independently

Covid has changed the way most accommodation providers offer guests multiple ways to check in now so reception hours may vary, or they might check-in after hours or via an app or remote check-in process which means the front desk can be an isolated place. Without colleagues to consult with or guests to talk to, the ability to work independently is highly regarded in the top receptionist skills.

This calls for the ability to think fast and come up with innovative solutions to different challenges, all while reassuring management, owners of units, guests, tradespeople or contractors working onsite that they are in the hands of a professional.

3) A genius organiser

Have you ever stood back and viewed the reception area through a guest’s eyes? Take note of what you see. Do you see paper pinned to a wall, or an open door to the housekeeping and storage area or messy looking files on the back wall? It is no surprise to anyone who has ever worked in a hotel that some reception areas have very limited space so you need to reorganise the space so it can store what you need yet look totally professional. 

So, a good receptionist has to be a genius organiser with a system in place to find contact details or files at a moment’s notice when requests come in on the fly, while still maintaining a super tidy desk.

4) Dependability

No hotel, motel, resort or serviced apartment can afford to have phone calls unanswered or leave guests unattended – even for just a few minutes.

The accommodation provider depends on the receptionist to arrive punctually at the front desk each morning allowing time to get handover from either colleagues or management so you can start your day, return from lunch at the allotted time not 5 mins late, and not let anything slip through the cracks from a check-in process or guest feedback during the day.