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Receptionist Etiquette Tips: How to Answer Telephone Calls in a Hotel

Receptionist Etiquette Tips: How to Answer Telephone Calls in a Hotel

The tourism industry has turned into a free-for-all as sites like Airbnb and HomeAway introduced a new way to book travel accommodations. Boutique hotels and global hotel chain brands need to step up their guest services in order to stay in the game. Keeping your guests happy and attended to falls largely into the hands of your hotel switchboard operator, front desk associate or hotel answering service.

In this article, we bring the top receptionist etiquette tips exclusively for hoteliers. We’ll share how to answer telephone calls in a hotel to ensure that your guests keep coming back to your establishment.    

Our Guide on How to Answer Telephone Calls in a Hotel

How to Greet Hotel Guests Over the Phone 

Since 57% of all travel reservations are made on the internet, having proper phone etiquette is essential to your hotel’s success. According to this statistic, nearly half of your guests are expected to phone in their room reservation. As such, having a fully trained switchboard operator or virtual telephone operator is crucial to providing elite guest services.    

Quick Phone Answering Tips to Follow 

  • • Always answer all incoming calls within the first 2 rings.
  • • Have a standard answer greeting to create uniformity in your branding.
  • • Make sure your voice radiates a sincere, helpful and excited tone. 
  • • Keep caller hold times as low as possible; ensuring immediate assistance.
  • • End all conversations with a cheerful invitation to call back if they need anything else. 

Phone Answering Fails You Need to Avoid

  • • Never place a calling guest on hold without asking for permission to do so.
  • • If you don’t know an answer to a caller’s question, don’t guess.
  • • Don’t tell a calling guest, “Sorry, I can’t help you.” Find someone who can.
  • • Never overbook your staff; it results in callers and walk-ins both being ignored.
  • • People are paying you for a relaxing experience, never be rude or short on the phone.  

Assisting Guests With Booking

As a popular hotel, your reservation lines ring off the hook and you never know who’s going to call to book a room. In order to create premium and tailored guest services, we recommend that you organize your incoming reservation lines and assign telephone numbers to different patron groups. 

Each of your market segments should have a unique telephone number to call when booking a stay at your hotel. When your front desk receptionist or virtual receptionist receives a call on a particular line, he or she will know the general nature of the call.

Consider designating these group types a unique telephone number with their own custom script: 

  • • Vacationers and Private Guests: Your average guest will only be seeking assistance in booking 1 or 2 rooms. They will have inquiries that match your hotel’s frequently asked questions and your receptionist will be able to assist them swiftly. 
  • • Corporate Accounts and Scheduling Assistants: Administrative assistants often book the business travel accommodations for their bosses. Have your hotel receptionist add specific questions to their caller intake form to assist these scheduling assistants. You can have them take down special business room reservations or frequent flyer affiliate program information.
  • • Travel Agents and Agencies: Your hotel’s receptionist or virtual booker can assist any travel agents that call in with special room rates. Having a designated line also allows you to outsource these calls to a virtual telephone hotline team that can provide professional answering services 24 hours a day.   
  • • Event Planners and Management Services: When a wedding planner or other event manager calls in with very specific questions, it comes in handy when the hotel’s receptionist is prepared. For this custom script, you can include event package rates, ballroom size dimensions and other pertinent information needed to book an event.   

Seamlessly Connecting Callers

Nearly all telephones in the average American hotel room have a phone directory or phone menu listed right on the phone. However, as you have experienced, not all guests will search for the room service extension or the housekeeping department. Guests are trained to simply press “0” to skip the guesswork and go straight to a live telephone operator. 

As such, your front desk receptionist needs to be on constant standby; ready to connect a caller with the appropriate department. No guest wants to be directly put on hold with the receptionist just to be forwarded to an in-hotel service. Be quick and accurate when transferring your calls and you’ll keep your guests happy and satisfied. 

Here’s where outsourcing to a virtual receptionist and dispatch team will come in handy. A qualified digital call center can retrieve all incoming calls from your hotel guests and patch their call to these various on-site departments: 

  • • Room Service and Kitchen Orders
  • • Maid and Housekeeping Services
  • • Concierge Desk Services
  • • Hotel Spa’s Menu and Services
  • • Event Manager or Hotel GM
  • • Administrative and Corporate Team
  • • Maintenance and Landscaping Team
  • • Staff’s Shift Coordinator  

Whether you have an on-site receptionist transferring your guests’ calls or if you outsource this customer service task, don’t underestimate these calls. Try to assist the callers before patching them through if you can and you’ll be able to dazzle your guests with your attentiveness.

Handling the telecommunications for a hotel is an art form. The one piece of advice we can give on how to answer telephone calls in a hotelis to always go above and beyond. Think about how you can help each and every calling guest get his or her questions answered as quickly as possible.

Handling Guests Services with Care

What advantage does a big hotel chain or boutique hotel have against homeowners that list their rooms on social booking sites? It’s not a trick question, you have a devoted staff. You can offer 24-hour, round the clock, assistance to your guests.

Take advantage of this by providing personal services such as:

  • • Accommodating your guests’ special requests.
  • • Having a designated complaint and suggestion department.
  • • Providing multilingual guests services to assist guests speaking a foreign language.
  • • Offering accurate and personalized wakeup call services.
  • • Lending your event manager’s time and expertise for special event and banquet services.

24-Hour Emergency and Maintenance Calls

This section will be short and to the point. If your guests call your front desk receptionist at 3:00 am to complain about an overflowing toilet, you’d better have someone on call. Not only should your receptionist be awake to answer the call, they better be trained in delivering sincere apologies while troubleshooting quick solutions.

If something goes wrong, you need to nip it in the bud immediately. ­­Having standard policies and procedures in place before the emergency will help your hotel operator better handle any situation that arises. Have your general manager or staff manager create a list of common emergencies and maintenance issues. Write a specific protocol for each of them and train your telephone support team members on the procedures.  

Still Not Confident on How to Answer Telephone Calls in a Hotel? Our Virtual Receptionists Are Here To Help!

Whether you’re on the hunt for reservation hotline telephone agents or a 24-hour guest services team, we’ve got you covered. Here at A Courteous Communications, our customer service agents are trained in how to answer telephone calls in a hotel and can be the solution any hotelier is searching for.

Give us a call now at 1-800-785-6161 to speak with a hospitality account specialist about how we can help your hotel provide elite guests services.   

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