Front desk guest services agents are the ones whom guests meet at the beginning and end of their hotel stay. They’re also the one who bear the brunt of complaints. I shadow the pro Marielyn binte Kamarudzaman, who was first runner-up at this year’s Receptionist of the Year competition, to learn how she becomes a superhero at her job.
Marielyn’s day starts with the interesting briefing notes. The notes list details such as the VIPs, events and memorabilia of the day as well as trivia related to music. Marielyn’s favourite trivia are about Eminem’s awards (many) and Daft Punk’s nationality (French).
Before stepping out for front desk work, there’s a mirror that asks a very important question, “Do you think you rock enough?” I think we do.
Marielyn said that the dress code for her role includes the purple top and black pants uniform, a cool Hard Rock lanyard with funky Hard Rock pins, heels and tied hair. Hard Rock guest service agents are allowed to have two colours in their hair. Sadly, black counts as a colour too so you can’t go in with tri-coloured hair.
It was mid-day when I visited Marielyn so I missed out on counting the cash during the first shift. Some of the busiest times of the day for the guest services agents are around check-out and check-in times at noon and 3pm.
Marielyn demonstrated the procedure for passing key cards to guests. Besides telling the guests their room number and the nearest lifts, she points out a code that allows guests to download songs from one of three free playlists. That’s music to my ears.
The reception at Hard Rock Hotel includes four regular counters and one for VIPs. The VVIPs are whisked directly to their rooms so don’t expect upcoming acts like Incubus to queue. Marielyn’s job sees her standing for about 8.5 hours a day.
She said that being able to help guests with their problems keeps her happy on the job. Her fun colleagues are also a highlight of the job as they keep her spirits high.
Did you know that Hard Rock Hotel has its own business centre? There are three Windows PC and an iMac. Guest
services agents sometimes bring guests to the business centre and help out guests who are less IT savvy. I was most familiar with this task as I frequently act as IT support to my mum. But it still took me a while to set up the iMac because I’m a complete Apple OS noob.
The key to being an awesome guest service agent is to treat the guests as rock stars (quite fitting for Hard Rock Hotel). Being able to think on your feet and multitask to solve guest problems are very useful skills to have too.
By the time I left my short stint as a guest services agent – just under a quarter of a regular shift – I was exhausted. Turns out fitting into a uniform doesn’t automatically turn you into a super guest services agent.
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